Below Average Engineer’s Journey To An IIM

My story did not begin when I started my computer engineering course from NSIT, New Delhi, but when I was in school. I had chosen the stream of science with economics in class XI for I had an analytical mind and was fascinated with economics (I am not going to lie, one major factor that drove me to this decision was the fact that this stream opened most doors for a career path in the future). I was determined to pursue B.A. Hons. (Economics) after passing school. Unfortunately for me, I missed the cut off for St. Stephens, my dream college by 3 marks. By that time I had successfully secured admission in the computer science branch of NSIT, which for people who don’t know, is a dream case scenario for many or the answer to some IIT rejects.

Hence, began the next phase of my life, which I divide into two parts:

First 3 years of college or what I would like to call – ‘Ignorance is not bliss’: I went to NSIT with mixed emotions. I was sad that I wasn’t able to get into the field I had set my mind on for the past 2 years but was also happy that I was able to get into a prestigious engineering institute of Delhi. Little did I know that this happy feeling wasn’t going to last must long. As someone with no computer science background, I struggled ten times more than the others. I felt like a square peg in a round hole. On one hand I had all the catching up to do with the already accomplished coders and on the other hand, there was the pressure to socialise and make your presence felt. Trying to achieve both, I was able to achieve neither. Lagging behind in studies, with no friend circle for most of my first semester, it was tough. Then finally I caught a glimmer of hope. I went to the football field to play and met people and finally, one of them struck a chord, my first friend at NSIT. He, later on, introduced me to his friends, who made me a part of their group in an instant. With this, time went by and before I could realise I was done with three-fourth of my engineering. I had fallen into a deadlock of backlogs and it seemed almost impossible to get out of this and finish my engineering in time.

And hence begins the second part of my story:

The final year of college or what I would like to call – ‘Just in time’: 
This final period in NSIT is the only period of time where I can safely say that I lived up to my potential and am actually proud of myself. This is the period where one can say that ‘I got my shit together’. The chances of clearing my backlogs were looking very slim and the easier way out was to give up and say I will drop a year and clear them next year. But my family and friends were with me. They helped me get up, encouraged me to start planning my year and more importantly, execute it. To my surprise, I cleared eight exams in one go which actually was a huge morale boost as what seemed impossible at first, looked achievable now. With the resulting positivity, I turned my attention to CAT 2016. I joined T.I.M.E. coaching institute which helped me a great deal in getting a good percentile score. Now, as the interviews came, the lack of decent marks in college became a very difficult question to answer, because truth be told there was no answer. Hence began a series of rejections from various top b-schools such as IIM C, IIM L, FMS, etc. Then finally in the third list of IIM Indore, I was given the green light. But, this was not the end because I still had a few exams left, failing which, would mean not being awarded my engineering degree. And here came my friend to the rescue. She taught me in spite of having better and more important things to do. The results finally came out a few days ago and I did pass my exams. I will be getting my degree and will be allowed to continue my course here at IIM Indore.

Now, I may not be a great engineer. I may not know ‘C’ or ‘C++’ or any other programming language for that matter to the extent that most of the friends do. But, I am here at IIM Indore, in spite of being an under achiever and in spite of scoring poorly in my undergrad. This is because I had the courage to get up when all evidence pointed towards me being defeated and because I had a great set of friends (it’s the quality that matters and not the quantity) and my family, who stood by me and never doubted my ability for a second.

So, if you are not doing well in life (not just in engineering), the first thing you must do is get the negative thinking out of your head. Remember, you are good enough to achieve anything and everything in life. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. The first step to get your life on track is to get up, stop thinking and start doing.

Adit Kumar

I am a computer engineer from NSIT New Delhi and I am currently in my first year of MBA from IIM Indore. My field of interest is Operations management. I am passionate footballer and a Manchester United supporter.



Vaibhav Meshram

I didn’t even blink once, reading your story which surprisingly corelate to a great extent to mine except that I will be writing cat this year and I have no girlfriend.
Thanks for sharing your story.