The cost of mediocrity is disappointment. Think big and go after extraordinariness

Vaibhav Verma
6 Min Read

There is nothing more fulfilling than the idea of getting your mentees placed in a company of their choice. I have grown not only in terms of mentoring students towards impeccable interview experiences but also towards being an extraordinary interview myself when my job warrants it.

I was born and brought up in the national capital that is Delhi and so as a consequence, have lived most of my life wandering through the city throughout my schooling and even higher education. Most people live in the delusion of understanding Science as something that nerds go after, however considering that I was just an ordinary middle bencher looking for average grades, science for me meant a window into comprehending the truths and technicalities of life. Programming was a subset of this vision.

Surprisingly, I wasn’t even acquainted with the machine that is computers up until the 10th standard. But, the fascination towards them always existed as a part of me. Resources were scarce and computers existed as a luxury back then. I believe it is only this fascination that steered me towards the course of picking computer science as my graduation major. And so, even if programming came into my life after a considerably long waiting period, I always knew that this one aspect of engineering is here to stay.

My college life was filled with me looking for opportunities for exploration outside the box. Consequently, I got into the realm of practicing and developing programs from the very initial days. I was always ahead of my classmates looking for newer avenues to try my skill sets through. Even though my college was a tier-three college with average placements and learning schedules, I have to say that some of my college professors made the learning worth it. Our professors suggested that I try out the dimension of competitive programming while pursuing the course and that one piece of advice changed the game for me.

One of my fondest memories from my college life has been creating an intelligent search engine that worked based on semantics-based searches with my then batchmate. It was a notch higher than any of our batchmates and, the adrenaline rush that came along with completing this project at such a nascent level is unparalleled, still. This project went on to become one of my major selling points in all the interviews to come and I still am thankful for having gotten started with it.

I am currently working at Microsoft which is also the first-ever company that I joined as a programming fresher. I left the company to explore better opportunities in the past, but now that I have come back to it after all these years, I guess life always comes back as a full circle, after all. My best contribution in terms of value addition in my current role has been my fail first, fail fast approach. My thought process now leans towards the idea of taking risks and fighting the problems that come on the way fearlessly and, this ideology has given me nothing but exceptional results.  

Cracking interviews has always been a drug of choice, which made me realize that interviewing as a practice is nothing but psychoanalyzing the interviewer and understanding what they want. This understanding gave an edge to my experience in the world of technology and through the practice of teaching, I have been trying to share this experience with my mentees.

Scaler was the home run that my career desired. It acted as a connection between the people who want this mentorship and the people who can provide it and that in itself is a feat to be reckoned with. From the very moment Scaler reached out to me, it has been nothing but an incredible journey, which made it much easier for me to take the notion of mentorship as a function I can be committed to.

The progress of my mentees and the relationships I build with them continue to motivate me to keep doing what I do for my mentees. Ten years from now, when my mentees will be thinking about their time of struggle, they will always remember me in light of gratitude and that is a beautiful realization. My investment in their success is invaluable and that is motivation enough.

Some of my most important tips for young learners at Scaler will be Consistency and Belief in oneself. It is notable to work on your strengths before your weaknesses because being extraordinary at one thing in life is still weighed higher than being average at everything you do.  

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