All of us go to college to learn something new, something we're passionate about, or at times, to find out what that passion is. My story is no different. After high school, I got admission in one of the premier BCA (Bachelors of Computer Application) institutes in India. I was really excited to learn new things in computer science, which I was already passionate about, and to work in the IT capital of India, Bangalore.
Soon after my first semester, I realized that my college wasn't helping me achieve the goals I wanted to. The syllabus was outdated and most of the teachers who taught me had never really made a real application or software. Because of this, I was never motivated to sit in class and learn the things which I believed were obsolete.
So I started a college start-up called Codians with my classmate and friend, Fabian. Together we worked on many projects. People started recognizing us in college for our work. But it all came at a price. I was so busy working on my projects that I didn't focus on studies and ended up with poor attendance. As a result, I was not allowed to write 2 papers at the end of the second year and my parents were called from Jaipur to Bangalore. Why? Because I had 0.7% less attendance than required!
In all of this mess, the only thing that I did right was to work on projects - lots and lots of projects. These were nowhere related to my academic syllabus but the technologies that we used in building these projects were very much sought-after by startups.
In my third year, I had 3 backlogs and poor attendance so I wasn't allowed to sit for placements. For the first 4 months of the third year, I was totally blank about my career. That's when I got an idea to create a portfolio website.
I gathered screenshots of all my projects, uploaded code which I did in the last 2 years on GitHub and showcased it on my website. I spent a lot of time in designing and writing the content to make sure that I got my message across clearly.
When I made the website, my only aim was to join BeardDesign, a design firm based out of Mumbai. Instead of sending them an email, I sent my resume and cover letter to them via post. I was excited that my hard work would finally pay off and I'd soon get my dream job but alas! I waited for a month but there was no reply from the company. I thought I lost again.
Assuming there would be someone who would recognise my skills as a developer and designer and offer me a job, as my final attempt of getting a job before college came to an end, I shared my portfolio on the group, Bangalore Startup Community, on Facebook. I posted about it on a Saturday night and got 4-5 interview emails that same night.
By the next morning, I had 20+ companies reaching out to me for an interview on my email, Facebook and phone. I was overwhelmed by the response and felt lucky and blessed! Most of the offers I was getting were much better than the ones that my friends had got from campus placements.
I decided to give it another day. By the end of Monday, I had 62 offers from various industries/startups!
I finally got a chance to not just a get a job but choose the job I wanted! Here are a few messages that I got:
I shortlisted 15 offers and scheduled interviews and finally joined Playment as Frontend Developer. It has been the most amazing journey working with them!
Recently, BeardDesign reached out to me too!
We go to college to learn. Degrees, marks and certificates are really not more than a piece of paper today. Knowing and doing what you love is what matters at the end of the day.
So, if you're a management student, plan a business from your college budget. If you're an artist, make more art. If you're a computer science student like me, make apps and code. Because when college is over, your knowledge will be more important than your degree.