It has been quite a long time since I posted and I think some happy posts are overdue… Yes, I have great news – one which I should have posted some months ago, but couldn’t just gather the words for it. Here’s a narrative of how the year 2017 brought a change in the life of a Computer Science student.
The “placement season” hit our college with the beginning of 2017 itself. We were in the third year, or what is called the “penultimate year”. A lot of companies with fascinating offers of internships and jobs started coming to the campus. I admit this was something I had waited for all those years, and yet something so new, unfamiliar and intimidating.
I still remember, my first job interview experience happened in January, after clearing the online “coding round” of a very innovative startup called Juspay, which was one of the first companies to visit our campus. It almost felt like I was going to bag an offer that early, though I was very unsure about whether it would be right for me to go with it without even knowing what more could be coming in the future.
I gave that interview with confusion fogging my mind; it didn’t go too impressive. But I was not feeling all bad. I got a taste of what giving a job interview was like. It was after this interview when I started my ng-notes project, the one which I wrote about here… I needed a productive distraction – to learn as well as have fun, to cope with the stresses and pressures of that time.
Not to mention, I never got to join Juspay. In fact, a bunch of offers slipped off my hands one after another, me growing more restless after each one. All these years I had concentrated religiously on my subjects because I loved them, and my only expected remittance was to have good knowledge of my field and thus to rock during placements. That was not happening at all.
This downer went on for months, spanning January to June. I didn’t go into complete depression though, because I had myself distractivated with the project I was building side-by-side. And my friends and teachers were very supportive, a big shout-out to all of them! Eventually, it was in July when I came to realize why none of those offers were ever meant for me, because fate had in store exactly, if not more than, what I had expected.
During July, three interesting companies visited us with paid internship offers – HP Inc. (the computer giant), OYO Rooms (a cool, tech-based hospitality startup) and WorldQuant (a quantitative investment management firm). Their tests and interviews were scattered all across the month. I cleared the coding/aptitude assessments of all the three. The interviews of HP and OYO Rooms happened first. Those days had a sublime feeling with them, a feeling which focused more on learning than worrying around, probably because I had seen so much rejection lately that I didn’t fear it anymore. I appeared for these interviews not with the stress of being rejected, but just the excitement of giving an interview, having a conversation and trading knowledge. The interview with OYO Rooms in particular was elating. It felt like I was actually putting my knowledge to use and that OYO would be an awesome place for me to work at. After some days, they told me the results – I was selected by both HP and OYO Rooms! Selected in two companies already, I didn’t appear for the WorldQuant interview.
I joined OYO Rooms on 31st July (that’s Harry Potter’s birthdate too, by the way) – in the hope of learning loads in a company which is transitioning from being a startup to an established player. Now I am a part of OYO’s web development team. I might also get a full-time job offer next year, if my work shines. The most important part is that I love what I do at OYO!
Once weeping over the rejection from companies I wasn’t even sure I wanted to go into, now I had scored a competitive offer from one of the most promising and fastest-growing startups in the country. And this happened not only because of my love for the field, but also because of me not losing hope when opportunities were missed multiple times, my super-supportive friends & family, and my projects (especially ng-notes – it gave the OYO interview a defining direction). The preparation, the classes, all those missed chances, and the projects I had built – these pieces now fit perfectly together like the solution to a puzzle.
My hunt was over. As Sherlock Holmes would have put it, the whole journey was like going down the rabbit-hole – though I dirtied my fluffy white tail, I finally emerged enlightened.
Here is what I learned: Getting your first job offer in college is an amazing feeling, but don’t rush for it just because others are doing so. Also, it is not an easy feat; there are chances that you might fail a couple of times, and almost every such time it is not completely your fault. That magical moment has to be a perfect blend of preparation, presence of mind, timing, luck and you never losing hope. It has to be backed by your diligence of the past years and high hopes for the coming ones.
I look back at all those experiences now, and I am grateful for each one of them. I gained way more than I thought I had lost in those dull moments. I finally had the kind of gig I wanted by the end of my third year.
As of now, the last year of my graduation is going on and I am, of course, not attending college. I am working with professionals learning what it is like to build software in the corporate world. It has been nearly five months having fun doing my work, and earning. As I always say, OYO is a place where you quickly learn new things over a cup of hot chocolate. Nevertheless, I miss college a lot… It still feels like there was a lot more to learn, so much more crazy stuff to be done, so many dragons to be slain. 😀