Episode Zero: Rumour to the rescue

So where were we ? Ah yes, I had already left for college, where the real story begins.
Note: For people who haven’t read it, this is a continuation of a story, so reading the previous post will help you enjoy.

Episode 0: Rumour to the rescue

Just like everybody else, I stepped into the 7th semester with a conviction to work harder than ever. But then, the moment I saw my friends again, I forgot about all that, and started enjoying life as usual. Only when the first notices from the visiting companies were out, we started to study. The marathon had begun.

One day, I saw Harry reading a novel called Dork. Intrigued, I asked what it was about. It turned out to be a series of diary entries, composed in a witty and funny manner, about the life of a guy just graduating from a management college and going through his interviews. Now I really wanted to read this.

Meanwhile, we were looking for aptitude questions, lateral thinking puzzles etc on the internet. It’s a lot of fun,  honestly. Very few things in life are both fun and useful.

The day I finished reading Dork, I was fascinated with the idea of working in a consultancy. It’s not that the book showed consultancies in a good light. I just wanted a non-tech job, in a consultancy. I had decided that.

The first notice was that of Grail research. With a package of 4L, and exactly the profile I was looking for, it was heartening to see they required a minimum gpa of 6. Plus the office was in noida, where I’ve lived nearly 14 years of my life.

Two other notices were out too, namely EXL (4.5L) and Evalueserve (3L). Someone had spread a rumor, that these were the last 3 companies visiting in the non-tech area.

Obviously, that was scary, as I knew there was no way I could get a tech job, and I just didn’t want to enter the IT sector anymore. So despite the lousy package, I applied for Evalueserve (Evs) too. EXL wanted minimum gpa of 7, so this was the picture: Grail & Evs, as per rumor, were the only companies I was interested in.

But just a few days before it all started, Grail announced that they were raising the gpa bar to 7. I reacted as if I’d been rejected in an interview. Gloomy-ville.

So still riding on the rumor, Evs was going to be the last company visiting our campus, with a profile close to consulting. This stark realization hit me hard, and shook me out of my moodiness. Around two weeks were left to my judgement day, and I finally became serious. And I’m telling you, being serious in college is rare.

Borrowing the career launcher packages, learning more shortcuts from my friendly CAT aspirants, might give you an idea of how desperate I had become. I also applied for Nagarro Software, just to get the aptitude feel, which was two or three days before Evs.

Evs Eve:

I learnt the guess estimate problems from Lovneet & Rahul. Shruti taught me how to make a business plan on a one-hour phone call. And there I was, like a literary glutton, just absorbing everything I heard.

As night fell, my cluster (group of 11) were going out for dinner. I refused, saying I really needed to study, blah and blah.

And instead of doing blah blah, I switched on the TV and watched Liverpool vs. West Brom, in which Torres had finally cracked and scored the winner. (Yes this is relevant to the story.)

Later that night, Shruti and I were on gtalk. I remember just two things she said in that chat:

1. Don’t expect to clear the written without cheating, as everyone does it.
2. It’s your first company, so don’t have too many hopes.

I didn’t cheat. No matter what people say about the non-existence of concepts of honesty, I did not want my job to be based on a lie. And telling her that, I slept. Peacefully? Yeah right.


Next morning, in the auditorium, I was seated in the thick of my friend circle. This bothered me a lot for some reason. There were more than 200 people in the audi, and I foresaw innumerable potential distractions. At the very last moment before the test started, I got up, and went to the outer edge of the crowd. Here it was much more silent. So when the question papers were being distributed, I felt relaxed.

The test was of half an hour, and I finished it 2 minutes before time. Apparently, the set I got (there were four) was the easiest. It was 2.30 pm, and the result was to be announced around 4.30.

And I waited. By 3.30 I was cracking stupid jokes. By 3.45, I was skimming through the HR interview questions. By 4.00, my head had heated up, and I had fever.

I heard music. My cell had started to sing, and joining the band, was my heart and its beats.

I’d gotten through. There was about an hour left before my interview, and the cold water from the shower pacified me completely. Anxiety had changed to excitement. 90 people were about to have their interview.

And that moment onwards, I had but one feeling throughout myself: I am going for my first interview! It did not matter anymore to me, what the result would be. I forgot everything else, put on my Arrow apparel, relishing the fact that, no matter what happens, I’ll never forget this experience in my entire life. (reminds one of the SRK speech from Chak De – Sattar minute)

Outside the placement cell, people were nervously walking in and out. The people coming out were obviously being interviewed again, by the people yet to go in. I just eavesdropped a bit once or twice, nothing more.

The clock struck seven, and they called out ‘Pisapati Kishore’, mispronouncing my name, like most people. Despite the attitude I had built up, the heart rate has a nasty habit of jacking up when you expressly don’t want it to.

And with a wide range of feelings, mostly positive, I opened the door and stepped inside.

8 thoughts on “Episode Zero: Rumour to the rescue

  1. (eagerly waiting for the next episode!)
    Man!! You actually had all that going through your head at that time?! – can only imagine what the Deloitte process would have triggered in ur head!

    Do post the next one soon!


  2. @K^2: well it's one messed up head. 😀
    Next one might take time, my laptop's display is gone.

    @dk: I see you didn't know my name till now. And I'm telling you, I've made the most out if its uniqueness.


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