In My Final Years


In My Final Years
Well, to all my engineering friends, the alarm starts ringing in the final year: What after engineering? Should I join a company? Higher education - a better option? OR Oh my god, I`d better get married!!! (No jhanjat no pareshani Rasna Nimbu Pani.)
If you really know what you want to do, and are sure about it so early in life, then you are actually blessed. But, in most cases, the tender mind keeps wandering between options, fluctuating with indecisiveness about what to do and gets influenced more by what others have got than what one really wants.


If I were a cobbler, it would be my pride
The best of all cobblers to be; 
If I were a tinker, no tinker beside
Should mend an old kettle like me. 
Career Parents
The ideas expressed here are from my point of view. It differs from person to person. This blog is not about career advice. Its more about decision making and sticking to what you really want based on the present scenario.
Step 1. Know what you want.
This is the starting point and very important. Many people dont know what they want or realize it very late in life. So the first step is to know what you want. If you don't know this, take a piece of paper and write down the most important aim of your life in the next five years. For few of us, its the family that matters more than anything else in the world irrespective of the time period. Some of us may want to enhance our knowledge by going for higher studies. But for most of us, its earning money that takes priority : either to support families or as a means of becoming independent.
Example 1:
Most important aim is: I want to be with my family and make a decent earning. Money does not matter to me. I am happy if I am with my family
Example 2: 
Most important aim is: Working for XYZ technology. I love it! I have always cherished it! The company ABC offers jobs in this XYZ technology. I want to be a part of it
Example 3: 
Most important aim is: Getting a degree from IIM or IIT or any foreign university to improve knowledge OR getting a degree so that your market value increases in some or the other way.
After this, write down your second choice and then the next one. What I mean by second or third choice is not that you decide a different aim but to make some alternatives. Example is, more than one company may be working on XYZ  technology. Write down the other choices meaning those other companies that have XYZ technology.
Career BlogStep 2. Consider half the work done now. Once you know what has to be done, you should find out how it is to be done. Though its a pretty straight forward procedure but its easier said than done.
If you want to go for higher studies:
1. Find out about the eligibility criteria and the entrance exams. 
2. Search for some students who have done it. Please avoid asking failures how to pass the examination, they will tell you a way not to fail which is very much different from a way to pass. 
3. Do a survey on what is the cut-off required by various institutes which you are interested in. 
4. Look for the relevant books. The questions in most of the entrance examinations, at the PG level are not difficult, they are little different. They basically test your fundamentals. So, find out a book which deals with it. (I found R. K. Kanodia for GATE ECE very helpful, and am not getting any money for this recommendation I swear). 
5. Find out the number of attempts you can make for the exams. Some of the entrance exams allow only 3 to 4 attempts. Rules keep changing.
6. Establish contacts with people who are studying in those institutes. Ask them if its really worth going there. Do not depend on a single opinion. Consult few. opinions differ as river differs from person to person. Remember, positive opinions should always be given a preference over the negative ones.
7. Allot time for the exam. Its now or never!!!! Make yourself disciplined. Stick to the deadlines. Reward and punish yourself on reaching or failing to reach your deadlines. (One good reward is buying yourself your favorite chocolate or a small drink, trust me, it works. A good punishment is not using the cell phone for next 8 hours or not facebooking for next 2 days or similar. Be honest to yourself. There is no one to monitor you).
Suppose if you want to work for a company/firm. 
1. Most of the above steps remain same. Find out the selection criteria/cut off and make sure you meet it. 
2. Talk to people who are already working over there.
3. Search online for previous entrance papers or interview questions. Concentrate on how to solve them rather than the answer/solution.
Entrance ExamIf you would like to join a college in Karnataka, along with PGCET, a very good option is GATE. The GATE candidates are given the first preference when it comes to seat selection. Once all the GATE qualified candidates have finished selecting a seat, the chance is then given to PGCET candidates.
If you want to pursue higher education in premier institutes like IITs or IIMs, it requires top marks and loads of hard work. Prefinal year is the best time to start the preparation. Even in the final year, you need to work very hard to clear the cut-offs. The hard work is not just about memorizing standard results, its also about taming and training your brain to the expectations of the exam. Remember, its the state of your mind which decides where you belong. If you belong to those premier institutes, build a mind/heart/attitude of that kind.
If you are joining a company, consult the employees to know the nature of the work that you will be doing there. Some of the lot is unhappy with the kind of work they do. In some of the companies a software engineer does the job of editing an excel sheet or just documenting some thousand lines of code. Ask yourself if this is what you want to do with your life. If yes, then prepare yourself mentally. Do not get frustrated and disheartened after joining the company.
Some of the companies/institutes send their employees for higher educations as a sponsored candidates in quality improvement programs. Find out, it will be like best of both worlds for you. Ex: Infosys has tie-ups with IIIT-B
Once you have joined, do your best, no matter where you are. If you have chosen it, then you should be able to manage it. Don't be an ordinary worker/student. Excel in your field and stand apart. Repeating it because its very important: 
If I were a cobbler, it would be my pride
The best of all cobblers to be; 
If I were a tinker, no tinker beside
Should mend an old kettle like me. 
Death BedMost importantly, before you do something, ask yourself: When I am on my death bed, will I regret doing this or will I say I have done what I always wanted to do?
All the best my friends.
PS: I invite the readers to post their comments and let me know their experience and thoughts. This is definitely going to help someone. Thanks
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