A Ride from Kota, to Engineering, to Management of Technology

You are never too late to do what you love to do

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Arjun Shah

I was an average student in school, and very confused. I was never sure about what I wanted to become in life. My attitude was simply ‘go with the flow’ and work with what life brings your way. My teachers used to tell my parents ‘Put him in engineering, his mind works logically’. So, my parents decided to send me to Kota for IIT-JEE preparation, and I was happy, thinking that my parents have chosen engineering for me so I must be good at it.

I studied for 2 years in Kota, and though I got to learn a lot from my experiences, I could not crack IIT-JEE. I decided to pursue my B. Tech from Ganpat University, a college near my home city, Ahmedabad, Gujarat. The time came to decide which major to pursue in engineering. My parents decided that I should take up Mechatronics engineering, a combo of mechanical and electronics engineering, since it was new and in, it was what the world was going after. So, well, I took it up. I scored good grades initially, but that’s because you learn subjects from all engineering disciplines in your first year. Second year onwards, when the specialisations begins, my grades started to decline. I started losing interest. I surely loved to learn about machines and how they work, but I just couldn’t put that knowledge to practical use. It was now that I became aware that I have made the wrong career choice. Yes, you read it correctly. It was my fault, not my parents’ fault. Why did they make choices in my life?

They did so because I couldn’t choose anything for myself. A chill ran down my spine. Was I too late? What will I do in life now? I was very sad and depressed during the next 2 years of my college. I had to experiment a little to find my area of interest. I selected Operations Management, Statistical Analysis and Supply Chain Logistics for my elective subjects. Those subjects solely depended on Mathematics, which was my first and foremost liking. And then it hit me! This is the area in which I want to study further. A few internships in some companies made me realise I was good at it. I researched online and found that operations management and analysis is a department in every company that exists on Earth. There was a lot of scope in this field. I plucked up the courage (I needed it since this was the first major decision I was taking for myself) and went to my parents to tell them what I wanted to do. They couldn’t be happier! They were so glad that I was starting to take decisions myself. I always wanted to study abroad for my masters course because the education and practical training you get is excellent, and also because I have been a travel freak all my life. I completed my B. Tech in 2015, gained a year of experience through internships and also prepared for GRE and TOEFL (prerequisite exams for studying in US). I scored decent – 313/340 in GRE and 106/120 in TOEFL and selected Management of Technology as my major. I got selected at Arizona State University, one of the most prestigious universities in the US. So, since August 2016, I’m studying in Arizona State University, and believe me, I’ve never been happier. I’m finally doing what I like to do, and I’m killing it. I’m the top of my class and have a 3.8/4 GPA. Life has been a ride, from Kota, to engineering, to management of technology. I don’t regret any part of it though. All the confusion and wrong decisions led me to the right decision ultimately. If I have learned one thing in life, it’s that you are never too late to do what you love to do. You have only one life and everyone has to do something to earn bread. But if that something is of your liking, life becomes much easier.

Arjun Shah

Student of Management of Technlogy

Arizona State University, USA

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