Long time since last post. My apologies.
The news not-so-new: I have joined the Indian Institute of Science for a PhD in aerospace engineering. It has been more than three months since I became a student again, and in this post, I would like to summarize the events in my life since I started working.
Two years of corporate life was good. In fact, I enjoyed it thoroughly, along with all the shocks and shakes it offered. Right from formally dressed business consulting at one of the big four to casual campus like life as a technical consultant, I liked it all. 'Like' not in the literal sense of it, but for the lessons learned at those places.
I took up my first job as if it was another team project at college. It did not take me long to realize that corporate world was nothing like college. Team mates and seniors were not like the ones I saw at IC engines lab at IITM. Every one had his own interests and did not care to hurt others feelings and even trample others careers to advance their own. Of course it was painful, but taught me a good lesson when it came to dealing with people. I learned to start with no expectations when it comes to professional dealings.
But there were good things as well, that my first job gave me. I learned the importance of networking and how important it was to stay connected with people. The best thing was the financial freedom it brought along. Not that I lived in dire poverty till then, but I have this feeling of independence and the belief that if I want to drive a bike, I should be able to earn for petrol myself. Once I joined office, not only did I buy a bike and went around Hyderabad, but was also able to pursue reading which I liked most. My weekend pilgrimages ranged from Himalaya Book Depot in Punjagutta, Hyderabad to Visaalandhra in Arundalpet, Guntur.
Six months into job, I realized that what ever I was learning was like the icing on cake. However, the cake was missing. There was no field or area of business in which I could claim experience nor any useful tool that I could master. I started feeling suffocated. Lucky that the tipping point, the event which made me decide to move out came early. And so, after eight months of business analysis, I moved back to a core job in Chennai and started to bake the cake.
I approached my second job with all the pessimism acquired from the first one. It did not take me long to realize that I was wrong. The people here were angels, in the literal sense. Every one, including the managers were very friendly and good, that I started feeling as if it was college again. Till then, I could never imagine an office that had such a good work culture and people that were excellent human beings. And there was a clear demarcation between work and personal life. Getting back to Chennai was another big advantage. Firstly, it had Insti, the place where I studied for four years. Secondly, it was the kind of place that suited me best – temples, vegetarian hotels, Moore market for books and beyond all, hot sun that never let me catch cold. I got time to read all the books I bought in Hyderabad and to visit juniors and friends in Insti.
This job gave me all that I could ask for. It gave me a good feel of automobile technology which I like so much, great friends to play badminton in the evenings, money to spend, and more importantly, time to pursue my hobbies, time to go home once a month and attend friends' marriages. But sometimes, good times come to an end too soon. Recession made things hard and I had to start thinking again of what to do next. So, I came back to do what I like the most, studying.