The Big Choice


The Thing is that I’m not too interested in being an Engineer. Yeah, it does like a dumb career choice seeing that I’m on my way to get an engineering degree but that’s how my life has been, Mostly going with the flow. Things happened and I didn’t have ideas at that time and with me being the eldest in the family I had to explore things on my own; The what, the how and the where to apply, the procedure, etc., being the lazy dude I am , I didn’t venture too much away from the taken path. Me as an individual at a point of time did but only minutely change what I did. Like when I choose EC at Nitte over perhaps a Civil at Nitk. Because when I was to do Engg., I would rather study what I would like to learn about. Why wouldn’t you? Well looking back I still feel it was a good decision. Being at nitte has helped me so much more. I’ve got good friends, I’ve had good fun and I’ve lived.
So now we meet again at our next cross roads. TCS ya Infy? We can choose one. But once selected in one we would be stuck there for at least the duration of the service agreement expiry date. Now that’s 2 years for TCS while Infy is only 1 yr. So if I would be looking to seriously pursue my higher studies I should look towards Infy as a good employer. The pay there also seems to be slightly more.(lesser holidays)
But now what if I don’t make it to any of the higher studies colleges(that I want to get in and not any institute down the road) this year? Or the next? Wouldn’t TCS look like a better option in the long run. From what I’ve heard is that it gives better job opportunities.(more holidays)

But coding is not what I would like to see myself doing with my life. But I can’t see myself working in an EC background either. Yes I do like the coding aspect in EC better any day. Right now what seems to be an ideal choice for me would be like doing my MBA. That means passing through CAT(IIM’s) and/or XAT(XLRI) and going towards more managerial positions, of which HR looks inviting because it s essentially interacting with people.
On the other hand, GATE offers me a good College (IIT’s, NIT’s,IISc) and an approx Rs 8000 a month scholarship provided I get into a college. But looking at my current situation and with only one month remaining for GATE after my exams, my chances don’t look so good in it. But this has been a dream of mine to study from a premier technical institution.

And the choice of going abroad was thrown out by me a couple of months back. Presently it looks economically crazy to go for it. Scholarships are rare and you are more or less expected to foot the bill. That’s where huge bank loans will come in. How long do you think you will take to repay them back? After your MS that is. Yeah, the degree is coveted and most people say it would not take too long, provided that your MS is in a good subject. Some people like Rahul are indeed going for it. He’ s got a good GRE score and is pretty sure about what he’s going to do.

Now my choices are not limited to just these. An uncle of mine wants me to join government service. Perhaps write IAS like a certain ‘son of mangalore’ who passed it last year. The government does need youth but am not too good with languages. This had prompted me to dump the idea of a medical seat even though I had a CET rank of 441( yea bragging rights are mine). Because like medicine, government is about serving people.. Although what we see is not too many are doing that. It s not like they are not willing but it’s more like the system does not allow them to. Joining a system that does not work well will do no good.

So what do I want to be?

Somewhere down the line I want to quit work and start to enjoy the finer things in life. Do what I want to. Go through my Bucket List. This would mean safe and wait. What the TCS spokesperson, Sampath Kumar, said really impressed me. He gave us a brief intro of his life. Now that’s an accomplished man. He spent 19 years working for Bharat Electronics Ltd. Did his higher studies with them. Quit to join an MNC, quit the MNC when he was about to be promoted and started something that he wanted to do; Rural education. He became an educator and a multi-certified one at that. He was one of the founding team of the first BPO in India and then he joined TCS and is part if their leadership group. The guy is genuine. He’s lived his life. He’s done what he wanted to do. I haven’t met many such people in my life. Whenever I do , I feel immense respect for them. It made me remark to Karthik ‘ somewhere down the line , I wish I get a job like his’.

All this takes me back to ‘the Masterplan’ made by Rajat and me. But the feasibility of the plan would be only if time was slightly on the infinity side. ‘the Masterplan’ would also mean that you would be studying for a good amount of your life, but it would allow you to do all that you dream. It works well if you aren’t sure about what to do next. But the next thing on ‘the Masterplan’ is an Mtech degree through GATE.

So there we have it. My dilemma, in my words. It’s quite a lot. But it feels good to type it all out. I needed to do this and hope that few who read this were not too bored. So on the 19th I feel I’ll decide what needs to be done i.e., TCS ya Infy. Making Major decisions in between semester exams is just adding to the stress. Sheesh!

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Author: inosaint

designer. data viz aficionado. evil genius. senior product designer at @practo

17 thoughts on “The Big Choice”

  1. I can pretty much understand your position on this issue.. It really is a big dilemma.. I Know for sure an MS/MTech is on cards for me, just like u said GATE2010 looks improbable..

    The next question being TCS/Infy I’d opt for TCS anyday if I had the choice 😛 Don’t really see the two years Service Agreement as a big hurdle. But the bigger scene in life is something along the lines being an entrepreneur and start my own small company.. Money is never an issue, having fun while working is a major criterion for me..

    And the way things stand TCS/Infy defn aren’t the place I’d want to be in.. But these big companies are a good way to start one’s career. Atleast one thing that I know for sure is MBA is out of my viewpoint atleast for the next 3-4 years..

    And my suggestion is something along the lines of what Mr. Sampath said yesterday, quitting a company before atleast 2 years of service won’t help you much in terms of real world corporate experience. And working for two years minimum will definitely give you a clearer picture as to where you to want to be..

    But definitely we have the best group of friends in Nitte, and thats something I am really really proud of! 🙂 Cheers!

    Now we better get back to studying:)

  2. The first 4 paras are exactly the same that I would have written if I were to write a blog post about it!! Same dilemma! However, I have the additional baggage of making some disastrous decisions already unlike you , one of which is selection of college..

  3. Well… I can’t really give you like technical advice because I don’t know much. But trust your gut. Things will sort themselves out. And difficulties, if any, you’ll be able to deal with them. =)

  4. You for got the other option……. neither. 🙂 I’ve known u for a long time, n working in companies like infosys n tcs wont do justice to the kind of talent you’ve got. i suggest you start lookin for off campus opportunities if u want a job. i’ll let you know if there are some good offers in bangalore when i get to know some. I suggest ditching both these companies and waiting for better on campus ones, while at the same time going off campus. Let everyone else get mass recruited, n u can get the good offers.I suggest gunning for IBM. Friend of mine’s worked in it, prepared for gmat on the side, and now he’s getin ready to go abroad.At the same time, start slogging for cat. Also slog like crazy for gate in Jan, except for 3 days of bowling and Chefs 🙂 coz some companies consider the gate score.but i wouldnt suggest doing an mtech even in an iit, except for maybe in Bombay or IISC if u happen to get em.Look at me, compared to the other guys in my dept, i’ve written the least number of companies. And they just keep coming. You can always write both these companies off campus. Then again, this is just my opinion 🙂

  5. I second my thoughts with what rahul said. TCS/Infy aren’t for you… And plus mam has already told that if a good core company does come to campus she won’t stop us even if we are placed in either. Which is a fair deal IMHO.

    And the only reason why u should be opting for either if these two is the last ditch backup plan. I call it the least common denominator I.e. If nothing works out this will…

    Going off campus seems to be a good idea and I guess we should be doing that… Coz you are defn gonna be lost in the sea of lakhs of infy/tcs’ers.. So keep it as the last ditch option. Strive harder for the bigger better things…

  6. Sorry 4 late reply
    firstly what kk and rahul said makes sense, but don ditch either.I mean to say go 4 Tcs if placed fine you can anytime write for core, or in case u get a seat in IIM’s u can join them [anyway TCS wont call you before jan2011].IIT and IAS are not for you, no doubt you will clear them if you prepare for them,but I dont see you enjoying either of them.
    I don know why my gut says you wont be in the line you chose now after 8 years from now.
    So try for campus placement as back up plan and target IIMs.
    Yeah Sampat was great,ever wondered why I dint speak for eligibility thing ,it was because of that soul in sand castle video and his philosophy of doing what you like instead of what you are suppose to do . [:)] all the best for whatever you want to do.
    Consult parents as you said you are the eldest one so your decision will have its effect on your family.And you know who else to consult ‘dial’ her and ask. It may look silly but this decisions will change the timings of few things which are out to happen…

  7. I know it took a long long time to reply….so sorry!!
    now talkin about ur DILEMMA isn’t (almost) everyone goin through the same phase…that excludes me alright. No placements..no entrance exams..donno what am i doin??

    But then again knowing the Kenneth that i have known for all these years…you are sure to come up with the best possible choice for you.
    I’d say don’t ditch both..and Infy sure sounds the best plan on the charts for the time being.
    That would mean less holidays..but thats just for a year and you will definitely get through a good college. So scratch the thought of you not getting into any colleges 😀 Although there could be many more better choices than TCs/infy…

    I know am kinda adding to the confusion…but isn’t everybody a lil confused…so BEST OF LUCK ken!!

  8. Firstly Congrats buddy. Its awesome to get into two major Indian Based Companies.
    Nice options. Consider this in a simple way and ask people who have worked in Infy. Besides, Infy is like 9th sem. You have exams, viva and all that crap. Lots of pressure. But if you get through, you’re in the biggest company.
    TCS is simple, pressure is okay okay types. Fun environment and stuff.
    Ask your seniors about the work environments

  9. If i were you, i would carry out a thorough research on all the options available to me, find out where my interests lie,what i actually want out of life and once the decision is made, stick to it no matter what….there’s nothing to worry even if you make a mistake because time is on your side and such things will only add to your experience…..whatever you do, Good Luck…

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