A.S.E-T - Asst Systems Engineer Trainee is the title one got through campus placement in TCS. TCS placements in our college reminded me of a Navrathri function - it was almost like a celebration that lasted for a week,with thoranams for different interview panels,tons of litres of coffee supply ,hostel rooms buzzing with mock interviews and other 'technical' discussions and most of all 700 & odd bright young souls that survived the week on mere anxiety & excitement.
The day arrived - more than 690 of us passed the aptitude test easily(for obvious reasons which my fellow GCTians would know).Next, the technical and HR interviews- both of which were quite uneventful for me. I still think I screwed up the HR interview because the interviewer whoever he was,had this ostentatious way of speaking and blew me off saying "You speak too fast, slow down". I had to argue my way out when he said that with a biotech degree I would never be an asset to the company. After realising that I had clearly jeopardized my chances of getting selected, I cried over the phone to dad. Dad was the perfect big brother that day-after years I heard him say "Azhaada da kanna..." By early evening the results were announced and on that big day I, Vidyalakshmi Jayaraman was added to the proud family of TATA.
Your first job is always special. It gives you an unbeatable sense of achievement. It kind of makes life worth living.It moulds you from a naive youngster to a smart professional. Its a stage in life when you dont really care about the salary,hikes,incentives,functional role,onsite opportunities,job profile or anything.All I cared about was that I was considered worthy of doing something-I had been given a golden chance. I could now buy mom that Ahimsa silk saree with polka dots even it meant 4000 Rs. I could buy all those novels at Odyssey gift shop which never cost less than 200 Rs each. I could play the caring elder sister and give my cousins their pocket money.
It was in October 2007 that I was transferred to Chennai from Kolkata. I was told to report at the Velachery office. After Diwali and two blissful weeks of 'bench' (a period of dormancy for every I.Tian who is hunting for a project within the company), I was allocated (pardon my IT jargons). Met my first ever colleague Mr.Duraimurugan. He kept a stoical face and seemed quite uninterested to respond to my hi-wassup-smile. I concluded that I had just met a grumpy senior at work.
It was a few days later when Durai confessed that he was too scared to talk to me, it hit me that he was my peer. He has been one of my closest pals at work.
The team expanded in a very few days like the crowd at T.Nagar during aadi thallupadi. Soon, there were a lot more peers,a few work supervisors and that one big boss. Work had started in full swing. A lot was expected from me at the very inception. This is attributable to the serious reaction that I give when any task is assigned to me.I worked hard and had always wanted to.
What I liked the most about working in TCS is that we were a wonderful team. It was quite a big team consisting of 15 people. We helped each other even if it meant staying up very late or coming early. We broke our heads and banged our fists on the wall together. We always ate together and most of all never gave up on each other.
I have some of the finest memories with them. Those one-hour lunch breaks, the awesome tea sessions that were chattered away,the cute gifts & happy birthdays celebrated, the IPL matches watched in the cafeteria when there was a deadline swirling our heads, the lunch-out-fridays, the 5 AM shifts, the absolutely vetti chats on the instant messenger, the bugging moments spent on debugging, the long hours on onsite calls,the giggles,smiles & winks exchanged during meetings - everything is special to me.
It was here that I learnt to manage my time & temper, learnt to adjust & accomodate,learnt to strive for excellence and excellence only. It was here where I discovered what I was capable of. It was here that I realised that TCS is a decision that I would never regret.