Between a Placecommer and a DTT (First Ranker), and having a best friend who was a winner, there was me - a nobody.
All’s well that ends well. Yes, my MBA did end well but that does not describe how my journey was. I entered into a B-school with big dreams and aspirations, as finally, the struggle to step out of my home town was over. Unaware of the upcoming battles, I did everything possible to continue the paradigm of being an achiever. In my undergrad, I was a star and never failed once and hence, I challenged myself with MBA preparations.
Once I got into my dream college, I thought I had achieved the pinnacle of success - the dream of being with the best people in the country had finally turned into reality. I forgot that they will be better than me in everything, I struggled and I failed every time even after trying hard. The sleepless nights did no good and all the Company-Competitions I competed in – turned down my sweat and hard work. I pondered on what I did wrong and the world around me commented “Oh! You are a fresher and you know nothing,” and some of them blamed it to the city where I came from.
Again, I questioned what went wrong - is it wrong to aspire to achieve big things at a very early stage in life, or was it my fault to be born in a Tier-3 city. Jealousy, anger and sadness - I experienced all these emotions at such great intensity that it transformed me into an under-confident and lost child. My roommates, from whom I used to run away, achieved everything possible that was there in the MBA curriculum and then there was me who had nothing.
In the middle of the MBA, I committed the mistake of ending my 4-year long relationship and karma came back to bite me during my internship process. Being among the last people to get placed, I felt the world had come to an end and the amount of loan hovered in front of me. The struggle didn’t end there. I loved the company which I got into and did every possible market visit to get the PPO, but the company went into restructuring process and sweetly apologized to me with a regret mail.
PPO conversion became the talk of the town and I pull my happy face to hide what I felt within. The people who were my best friends turned into reporters to give updates of everyone’s PPO.
Life is what happens when you are busy making plans, and I was busy thinking about how I would prepare for Final Placements. Alas, an opportunity, which I never dreamt of, did knock on my door. My shortlist of Google came and here, I thought again that I was not capable of getting through it. But this was the time for me to make the most of the only single chance that came along my way. I prepared and consistently did the hard work for it. I turned every stone around and gave up every possible thing that I could.
Surprisingly, I sailed through 5 interviews and now the jitters came back to me. I tried hard not to think of the outcome but everywhere I could see my 1.5 years of struggle and the urge to be back in the game by regaining my confidence.
I never imagined it would happen and it did happen - a hug from a Placecomm member and I still questioned - Was it true? I demanded proof and they replied by hugging me the second time. Yes, I made it to Google. Tears did drop from my eyes and it was a dream which I never dreamt of.
Life changed from there onwards. I made the most of the last three months of my journey. I earned respect from people around and made great friends for a lifetime.
The End of An Era
One of my roommates, who was from the Placement Committee, treated me like a sister throughout the process and the other, the topper, became a reason for my laughter. I attribute my success to my roommates, the person who became my best friend in the journey and my broken relationship. They all inspired me to learn, pull myself together and transformed me to my stronger self than I was before.
I learnt success doesn’t come to us for the things which we do occasionally, it comes when we work towards it constantly. After looking back, I don’t think a single all-nighter or a competition was a waste, they all became a stepping stone to the success which I achieved. I cried, failed, struggled as I was a misfit but the people around me helped me to mould my own story and accepted me the way I was and hence, in the process, Courage and Heart just happened to me.
But I know,
"Till the time I have a fire within,
My struggle will never end
But that fire will keep me going"
You may also be interested in reading about overcoming and dealing with the imposter syndrome at a B-school.