Engineering Is A State Of Mind


It was only a month after I graduated when I got stressed because of being unable to land up with a job. I had been looking for job throughout the final year but efforts went in vane. Having passed all the 8 hurdles, I mean the semesters, I was expecting at least one good offer in hand before graduating. Well, any above average student would expect that to happen but life just doesn't work the way we want. Somehow, after a pathetic final year I gained my senses and started seeing things normally. [Pathetic doesn't refer to academics; I have always been academically strong; one of the top contenders.] With no single company visiting the campus for us (the mechanical engineers) and my hilarious interview with Wipro [shall write a separate post on that!], the only way out of the misery of bad placements was the off-campus.

But, if getting a job through campus is difficult then getting job off-campus is even more difficult especially when you don't have any uncle or aunt working there... And there it was, 'an opportunity' knocked at my door that too a month before the final results came! The job was of an HTML developer in a major KPO. I didn't know what exactly an 'HTML developer' was but I was aware of the fact that I knew HTML and might make it through. I went for the test thinking it to be of HTML but it came out to be of XML because the post also required knowledge of XML. I really didn't know how much different the XML was but used the logic of HTML to write it. And I passed it! :) I passed the subject I never studied [Note: I knocked off many Computer Science engineers in this round] :) That's something, the engineers are good at. Then came the interview. The interviewer handed me my resume' and asked me how I'd design it in HTML instead of Word. I answered all his questions and the five minutes productive interview got over. As soon as I came out of the room, the HR came and told me, "You have been selected and you need to come tomorrow for documents verification, joining is on 15th."
Huh! That's it?, I thought, "So easy! Off-campus is not so bad after all!"

But I was in dilemma. "Do I really want this?" I kept thinking on my way back to home, "I am an engineer! How can I work in a KPO? And I do not want to be an HTML developer!"

"Why did you go for the interview then?" My mom yelled at me after listening to my problem, "First you search for jobs, then you go for the interview, get selected and now when you have the job you don't want to do it!"
"I don't know what to do! I'm just so confused..." I said, "I just don't want to do HTML!"
"Why did you go there then? To check if you can get a job or not?" She asked again.
"Yes! Umm! No!!" I replied in a perplexed state, "I really wanted a job but I guess I won't be able to survive there."
"Chetan, you wanted a job but you were not expecting to clear the interview and now when you have got it you are just not able to digest it. You thought you'd come empty handed again, didn't you?"
"Ma! They'll be paying only 18,000 a month! I do not wish to get exploited with such meagre package!" I gave another silly reason, "I have got really good marks-no backlogs-and my technical knowledge is not so bad either! I do not deserve such a poor package!"
"What technical knowledge you're talking about? You know how to build a car or know how to repair one or you remember all the formulas?"
"But I'm an engineer! How can I work at place where other graduates will be working at similar posts?"
"Engineer? If are really so good at engineering, why didn't anyone pick you up from the campus?"
"There's nothing so special about engineering! Why do you always consider yourself as an engineer, you are just a 'graduate!' Stop running after your so-called engineering jobs."
"Engineering is only a state of mind!" She added and paused.

Her statement stunned me. I spent four years of my life so seriously, tackling some stupid subjects, year-back, backlogs, tutorials, practicals with quite decent marks just to call it a state of my mind? But...she was right, what engineering I had studied? Concepts were limited to the pile of books weighing in Kgs and practicals were limited to the labs. Building a car was not engineering but my knowledge of a few subjects and CAD was not engineering as well. I couldn't blame the education system again nor I could blame the economic slowdown. But I badly needed an 'introspection' to check what I really wanted, I thought.

"I can get a job like this again if I'm that deserving, till then I'd like to focus on getting into a D-school or maybe an Mba in the worst case," I spoke after a while.
"As you like!" She said and left.

I could not sleep that day and kept pondering whether I should join or not! Ultimately, I did what I wanted. I didn't join to wait for a better...tomorrow.




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