It has been almost a month since I joined the Master of Hospital Administration course in TISS, Mumbai. Whatever I expected before joining or even before applying for this course, it seems like I am getting more than that in every aspect.
Just going a little in the past, I was studying at the Central University of Jharkhand in its 5 Year Integrated M.Tech in Nanotechnology course. I was in the 5th year when I thought of doing something other than going for a PhD or a job in the IT industry. During the same time, one of my seniors took admission in MA in HRM & LR course in TISS (he is currently in the second year). I thought of congratulating him and I called him and while talking to him I came to know about other courses of TISS. Before that, I was really unaware about TISS and the courses it offers as earlier I never thought of going for any field other than Nanotechnology.
Then I searched through the website of TISS and read whatever is present on the website, each and every piece of information. Here, I read about the course in Social Work, Development Studies, Human Resources, Health Administration, Hospital Administration, etc. For some unknown reason, the course in Hospital Administration got me interested. But, I was not sure about taking it up. So, I tried to find out more and more about it by asking some of my friends in other cities to get me the information from someone whom they might know. Also, during this time, I kept constant touch with senior in TISS who although was in HRM but tried to get me as much info as he could from his batchmates in MHA course. So, all this happened till July end of 2017.
In August, I had a conversation with my parents and elder brother and brother-in-law about this course and its prospects. My father was initially reluctant and so was my elder brother as they were not sure as to where this course would lead me to, since this is not one of those traditional courses like Engineering, Medical, Law, Chartered Accountancy, etc. This is not their fault because, coming from a small district of Jharkhand, we are hardly exposed to the changes that are taking place continuously in the education sector and opportunities coming out from there.
I constantly talked to my family for about 1 month and they also tried to find out about this from the usual Sharma jis and Gupta jis in the neighbourhood, which is common for every Indian household, and in the meanwhile, I started preparations as well. Earlier I was preparing for GRE. So, I was ready to shift gear in my life and decided to take a different path from the highway on which I was driving for the last 4 years. I was taking a risk as may be after all my persuasion, it could have been the case that my family would not have agreed.
But, somewhere my instincts were saying that I will be able to convince them all and finally this happened and they gave in to my wishes (although after lots of their own research). Believe me, in our country convincing your family for your career and marriage of your choice are biggest challenges.
Then, I started my preparation in full vigour. This time I talked to my senior almost weekly and kept him updated. He used to tell me that TISSNET is easiest among the exams but just because of the high number of applications in some of the courses makes the exam super-competitive and therefore I should not take it easy just because the test is easy. He also suggested to me the books and websites to prepare from and asked me not to purchase any book for the preparation except for Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis. Rest of the components was completely online and free preparation. I referred to YouTube videos and also to Unacademy for some of its content on Verbal and Quants.
For General Awareness section, I depended on some apps like InShorts and Flipboard which give out all curated content. All these were not the challenge, the challenge which many times frightened me was my spoken English which I was not at all confident of. So, I took the help of some of my friends who spoke fluent English and also, I talked to the same senior who was guiding my preparation. They told me different ways to boost it up in few months but the idea that worked for me was watching debates regularly and my senior told me that watch English debates particularly on those topics which I am passionate about because that would not bore me. I did that religiously for next 3-4 months. All these were going on simultaneously.
Finally, in January the D-Day came and I was confident. The confidence that I was feeling was something I did not feel earlier in life. With that confidence, I took the exam and it went well beyond my expectations and I was sure of clearing the exam for sure. Many times, I also thought that if finally, after everything, I could not get through in TISS and this thought used to send shivers down my spine. But, today while writing this piece, I think as humans, this fear of losing out is always there no matter how better we make ourselves and this only makes us work harder.
On the day results of TISS NET were declared, I was feeling really scared. It was my fear of losing out. But, when I saw the results, all that fear went away in a matter of seconds. I was selected for the further process. This was one of the happiest moments I felt in my life till now. I called my senior in TISS, he was very happy and told me to celebrate that day and call him next day to discuss the preparation for the further processes.
Next day I called him and we had a long discussion and he listed out a lot of things related to behavioural aspects of the interview and also asked me to read more and more about health care and related policies. He also recommended me to join some coaching for preparation for Essay Writing and Interview. I took up all his recommendations. He also helped me get connected to 2-3 students of MHA course (who are currently in 2nd year). I had some conversations with them and tried to get as much as information as possible as to what to expect in the interview.
Finally, after around 1 month of grinding myself in preparation, I came to Mumbai for my PIT and PI in TISS. I stayed with my senior who was in TISS. I arrived one day before and so during evening time, I got to meet with some of MHA students. They were friends of my senior and they gave me a kind of crash course on cracking interviews just one night before my interview.
Next day, I went through all the process and in my interview, the way I was speaking English surprised even me. It was coming out completely spontaneous. I gave the answer to all the questions with confidence. After coming out of the interview, I was happy not because I was sure of getting through but just because interview went well way beyond I ever expected. That day, I realized that this was all because of the 100s of debates that I had seen in the last 3-4 months.
Now, it was the waiting period before results are declared. During this time I focused on my final thesis and worked with full energy on that. Days passed like anything and finally results declaration day came. It was 27th April. I was waiting for the entire day. Results declaration time was pushed by the TISS administration by a few hours (I don’t know the reason but most likely because of some technical problems). It was 9:30 PM when results came out. Some of my friends who were also checking results were the first people to bang on my door in the hostel after seeing my name in the selected list of students. They were hooting and shouting with joy. I myself also wanted to see the results, but the server was not working that well and connection was slow.
In a matter of 10-20 mins, I was able to see my name there. A sense of relief completely took over me. I cracked it finally. After accepting congratulations from all those friends who were banging on my door, I called my parents and told them the results. They were very happy. After that, I called my senior who at that time was doing his Summer Internship at Aditya Birla Group in Mumbai. It was around 10:45 PM. He picked up the phone but he seemed a little tired and told me that it was a tiring day in office. But, when I told him about my selection, he instantly became enthusiastic and was really happy to hear that.
On 5th June, I joined TISS Mumbai finally with full of energy and lots of aspirations and expectations. I am quite sure of achieving all that in the next 2 years. After one month, I am still settling in the overcrowded city of Mumbai which has a place for anyone and everyone. Among many things, I am loving Mumbai rains and hustle and bustle of the city every day, seeing a new freshness in TISS with a new endeavour. All of these I did not plan because “Life is what happens when you are busy planning other things”.