IIT and Microsoft: a short story

Should we dare to dream?

One of my tweets today took me back to the time when we were preparing for IIT. I was good, I had poured my heart and soul into it. Most of my productivity tips, most of the resilience comes from those days. Those days taught me that if I set my heart on something I can work as hard as I want without thinking twice.

Coming back to the story, I couldn't get into IITs, disheartened I decided I will go to Kota classes, take a drop year and try again. I was all set, filled DD (yeah we had to Demand Drafts then, kids today won't know), and everything. Before we move ahead you need to know about a friend, Arnav. Arnav and I were in the same school, we prepared for IITs together and we both failed at cracking IITs, NITs, even BITs. It's okay to fail when no one expects anything from you, but when you are a FIITJEE topper in a city like Bokaro (known for IITians), you do feel sad. Arnav was from Dhanbad so, after exams, he went back. He came to Bokaro one day and we went out to get some snacks. I vividly remember sitting in NutKhut and talking about the future. I asked him why he's planning to go to MIT Manipal (it was the lowest-ranked college we both had filled, never thought of going there). He said, "See! At the end of IITs and other top colleges you go and work for Microsoft (yes, he said only Microsoft that time)." And continued, "Microsoft comes to hire at MIT, even though it hires in lesser number, if I crack it, I'll be okay".

I went home, I told my father, I am going to MIT too. My father, to date, recounts this story, that how I changed the entire plan by just talking to Arnav. So, we both went to Manipal together. Somewhere during college, I got fascinated by Network Security (read Hacking) and decided not to sit for software engineer roles.

2011, placements begin at MIT. Microsoft came for hiring. A ton of students got rejected in the first round itself. I remember Arnav was locking the door of his room when we got the news that he has got in, yes, in Microsoft. In a second, we were both on that table from 2007, where he told me about getting into Microsoft. This was a big moment for my friend and I was super happy for him.

Who would have known in 2011, that years later in 2017, I will land up at Microsoft too? For those reading who don't know my career journey, I will write about it sometime. But before we close, let's come to the point.

Work hard in life. You never know what will work out for you. Where your good habits will take you. You know nothing about the future. All you know is present. And in present give your 100% to increase your awesomeness. IITs or no IITs. FAANGs or no FAANGs. Things always work out if you're consistent with your efforts.

Today, both these friends, from that Nutkhut sweet shop, work at Microsoft, along with thousands of IITians. Dare to dream. Always.


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