Most success stories in life concern top graduates, gold medalists, Dean's awardees and young adults who are well on the way to making it in "Forbes 30 under 30". Every university seeks testimonials from students who bagged the highest salary packages during on-campus placements. I am not one of them, and my story is different. My story is about the redemption of an engineering failure, a story about a student who got rejected in interviews, failed in exams and wondered whether his brain was non-existent.
The story is long, but inspiring, so do bear with me. I'll fast forward as much as possible.
To give you some context, I was an engineering student, pursuing electronics and communication engineering at a college in Chennai. Due to shameful ignorance post-schooling, I ended up enrolling for a program in 2013, which I had no interest in, and as I would later find out, one which I would detest completely.
Fast forward to 2015, I was in my 5th semester and I was bugged by numerous backlogs in every direction. Tears and night lamp purchases weren't doing the trick. Things weren't right at all. My classmates who had started at the bottom seemed to be climbing to the middle of the pack, while the top of the pack went about their business in their own manner. I was still at the bottom.
Fast forward a little bit more to May 2017, and I had somehow finished my engineering exams or so I had hoped. My results were due in two months and I had got the opportunity to work at HP in Bangalore. However, just as things seemed to click for once, my final semester results decided to pay a visit on my orientation day at HP. With 2 arrears as the verdict, I was sent packing back to Chennai. With that, my only job offer was cancelled - all inside 24 hours.
Moving up to a couple of months later, I got selected to work at Amazon in Chennai and while the job role didn't give me the growth, which I envied about my friends roles, it gave me the flexibility to focus on higher education abroad - my first step to redemption. Staying near office in a crappy room didn't stop me. My day started at 5PM, when the official working hours ended and my preparations started, which went on till 11PM, following which I made the silent walk to my hostel room.
Moving up a couple of months later - post successful GRE and IELTS attempts and a decision to remain in India for higher education - I got the opportunity to switch companies, moved to Aspire Systems and got a marketing role (something I had dreamt of). With that the most productive 20 months of my life began. I got the chance to do much more and became engrossed in content and social marketing campaign management, podcast host, strategist, handling community and client relations, and even appeared as a speaker on a technology panel discussion.
At the same time, I reverently prepared for CAT and other management exams - exams that I had failed in previously. The exams went well and while I fell just short of a decent 95 percentile in CAT, I made up for it in the others. The quest for redemption, for tasting success, overpowered my fear of past failures and resulted in my admission at NMIMS, Mumbai for their MBA program in 2020.
It's never too late to write a good story in your life, even while this pandemic tries to tear off many of the pages you wrote. This is coming from a below average student who dared to believe. If you want to reach out to me as to how I prepared, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org