The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Laozi said it right. I have always liked to believe that I was on one of those journeys and every small event in my life led me to the place I wanted to end up in. Everyday a lesson was learnt or experience was gained. Every hardship was soaked in and analyzed, nothing was to be left to chance.

This blog will take you through the humane and ordinary journey of an engineering student, how he found his way and where he ended up. Well the last part, we just have to wait and see.

I was part of the generation of students who had only 2 choices after 12th grade; Engineering or Medicine. Thanks to my 2 wretched years in Bengaluru, where I disappointed my family academically, I forced myself to give up my interest in film-making and take up Engineering just to prove things. Whether it was the right choice, only time will tell.

When I started my under graduation, like many others at that time, the only thing that was on my mind was to find my passion over the course of the next few years. A job that would be fun and where I would enjoy my professional career than end up feeling stuck all month only to feel content on my payday. The quest within, had begun. The first couple of years were spent exploring areas such as photography, psychology, film-making, content writing, programming, cryptography, aeronautics and so on. I attended workshops, interacted with people already working in those fields and I finally decided the risk involved in switching careers after your graduation was going to be too heavy for me to handle. However passionate you are, you will need to muster a lot of courage to go beyond your comfort zone and step into those less chartered territories. I just couldn’t do that.

Having chosen Electronics and Communications in my engineering I realized I was wandering far away from what I was currently into and so I pivoted my efforts towards electronics. I dug into embedded systems, VLSI and microprocessors but soon understood that all that wasn’t my cup of tea. These subjects didn’t interest or excite me, the sparks never flew. If you want to explore subjects online courses are the way to go, MOOCs helped me a lot to explore each subject beyond the classroom and find out if I saw myself being a part of that community in the future. The internet is really what you make of it. (Thanks Chrome)

The next couple of months were spent worrying if I’ll ever find where my passion lies. Many blogs also suggested that finding your “calling” was overrated and not everybody finds it. Under their influence, I tried to move away from this quest and focus on my much neglected academics but I just couldn’t put a leash on my heart. The following semester I took a course called Communication Engineering and also ended up writing a paper on Wireless Communications. This was the first time in more than 2 years I felt like the clouds had started to move away and the sun was finally shining upon me. Don’t follow the herd, spend time thinking what exactly you want and I assure you, you will find it. Remember, good things come to those who wait.

Introspection followed, I realized that Mobile n Communications Technology was always on the back of my head. I remembered an instance from high school where one of my classmates, being in on a conversation about mobile phones and the tech behind it, told me he was impressed with how much I had to speak about the same. These words had stuck with me throughout my growing years.

The memories of spending hours going through mobile reviews, tech blogs and trying to understand the new cellular technology that was taking the world by storm came rushing. Many of my college days in Bengaluru I used to rush to mobile stores to have a look at the new phones launched. The next year in Hyderabad, I was so excited to be among the first ones to try out 3G. May be this was why I chose Electronics and Communications in my Engineering. The past is an excellent book to go back to. Sometimes all the answers you want rest in those pages that you have already lived.

I spent two years looking for something that was already walking right beside me. It was when I decided to take up Telecommunications as my field of choice. Next step was being able to get into that Industry. Like countless other Indian Engineering Students I failed to understand how the theory thought in the classrooms was helpful outside it. I was advised to find an internship in the relevant field and take up a mini project which would help clear out most of my doubts. Most engineering students in India take Internships casually. Don’t! They can be your enchanted glass orbs, give u a glimpse into your future. Not only you get to learn a lot but you will see how your professional career will be and so u can prepare yourself for it.

After sending out many applications and a summer filled with confusion and constant rescheduling I ended up at BSNL. At first, I was disappointed for not being able to take up the internship at Airtel which was clearly a more corporate Set-up but the sheer infrastructure at BSNL, Ghaziabad took me by surprise. The next few weeks was equal parts enjoyable and tiring. Each thing they taught me to perform was personally reassuring that this was the right field for me. I fell in love with what I was doing and felt that the future in Wireless Communications was so bright and I was excited to be a part of it. Never be disappointed with a missed opportunity, grab the next one you get with both hands and make the most of it. You never know what things turn out into.

So, it took me three long and confusing years to figure out what I liked and what I dip my hands into. If you are an engineering student or a student general your first task has to be to figure out what you are gonna specialize into. Each domain is an ocean out there and like they say it’s better to be a master of one trade than be the jack of all.

The journey is long and I just took my first step. What happens next will follow…

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