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My journey, Madurai to Microsoft.

I was born and brought up in Madurai, a small city in Southern part of India. As a local saying goes, a mule raised in Madurai never leaves the place, I completed even my higher studies in Madurai. The interesting part to describe would be my education journey. A journey it was longer than it should have been. From my 10th grade till my under graduation should have typically taken 5 years but it took me 9 years in all. I had to repeat a few years on the way and it did not bother me much. I never thought of taking up a regular job, I thought I could get into the family business. Talking about family, in spite of my total negligence to my studies, they never treated me with disrespect. Not just my parents but also my older siblings and my grand parents. They probably hoped that I would realize my carelessness and become more serious with my academics. Well, this wish of theirs did not come true till I completed my under graduation. My family wanted me to continue doing post graduation. This did not seem a possibility because I was not interested and my under graduation marks were really low. There was a friend who encouraged me to do masters in Computer Science. He gently reminded me, if I did not take my studies seriously, I will end up not getting job. This hit me like a rock. This when I realized I had wasted so many years. I got admission in a local college to do my masters degree. My realization of the past and my friend's encouragement made me take my academics seriously and this time I passed out with 75% overall. Now came the next big challenge, looking for a job. The year I completed my post graduation was the year 2001. This was the year some of you can remember was the year when economy went so low, especially IT market went down. There were no hopes of getting a software related job. Probably there is not any software company in Chennai did not receive my resume. There was one company that called me for an interview and it went well too. I was called me in person and they told me that I had done well in the interview, but the major issue that prevented them from offering the job was the gap in the years of education. This came as a big blow. I realized I could not go back and change the past. It was my life. I thought working in a big, well known software company is going to be a dream. Something that just can't happen in my life. By this time my wedding was fixed, so the pressure to get a job was more than ever. Each morning I would wake up and watch others go to work and my eyes filled with tears. But my friend did not give up on me. He was still encouraging me and asked me not to loose hope. Finally I got a job in a small company and my wedding went well, but still my enter a MNC became a dream that would never be reality. I was trying to settle in this life and limiting my dreams and wishes to mere possibilities.Again my friend strongly encouraged me to apply in a big MNC. I applied, I was shortlisted and also offered the job. I really couldn't believe. I thought I'll just hold on it and be happy. It was 2004 and my son was born. Working in a well known company was dream come true, but going abroad on work was definitely not in my vicinity. But happened! I was sent on my first assignment to Australia and then to Singapore and then to USA. Though USA was long term and I was not very keen on it. It had two attractions, one being, the city I had to go was the same place my brother lived and the other was the assignment was for Microsoft. Working in Microsoft as a full-time employee was still dream that I thought would remain a dream. But my friend who has been my source of encouragement all through, gently forced me to apply for a job in Microsoft. In 2010, my daughter was born and in 2011 I did get a job in Microsoft. It is almost 6 and a half years now. Now I look back and see my path, I do not deserve the life that I lead now, nor am I worthy of it. But my friend has been my source of hope.