A mentor is irreplaceable, and that if you gain quality mentorship in the early years of your career, you are blessed. A mentor is a person, who never leaves their mentees to fend for themselves, but rather illuminates the path ahead for them and walks through the said path with them.
As it is the norm, like millions of science students in our country, I also opted for the course and college that was available on the basis of the results of my entrance examination. It would not be wrong to say that I just went with the flow. After taking this leap of faith, there was no looking back. I am Suraj Menon, currently working at Intuit, and this is the story of my professional journey as a Software Engineer.
College life was a turning point for me. I was without the knowledge of coding, but whatever little I knew was enough to ignite the spark of inquisitiveness. While my peers already were well acquainted with the basics of coding, I was just starting out. But I never let this become an impediment, and took it as a challenge. Yes, it took me about a year to get back on track, and initially I could not enjoy it because of the academic pressure. But, my inquisitiveness and my problem solving acumen took over, and soon I fell in love with coding. I would spend hours cracking codes, and eventually, everything fell into place.
In my third year, I started working under PhD scholars on an interesting project revolving around Diabetes detection using infra-red images. This project was a highlight of my college life, it showed me how my work could improve the lives of others, and also was instrumental in making me understand the importance of a mentor.
I grew up in the small town of Jabalpur. My time with computers was primarily restricted to playing games and listening to music. In fact, the first time I learned how to work on the internet was to give the online entrance exam of BITS. I really think it's remarkable how my journey has shaped up since, especially when I look at my current work profile.
I currently work at Intuit, as a Senior Software Engineer and am responsible for delivering complex projects; my daily schedule is quite hectic, but my job and the responsibility it entails keeps me going.
I work in the development arena, and frequently compare and contrast the evolving features of our products, aiming for their betterment. Ideation, brainstorming and analysis form an integral part of my everyday work. I feel that most of the coding takes place in the initial stages of a project when I usually spend 70%-80% of my work time coding, before testing the product for bugs and quality assurances.
I think my association with Scaler goes back to college, because I am an alumnus of IIIT Hyderabad, and the founder of Scaler, Anshuman, was one of the seniors who we really looked up to. The mentorship program caught my eye, and I was keen to pursue it. I felt that I could add value to the lives of students through my experience, as they wanted to expand their endeavour to learn beyond the four walls of a classroom.
The dedication shown by the mentees, and their successes keep my spirits up. The struggle I underwent in my college years has taught me that a mentor is irreplaceable, and that if you gain quality mentorship in the early years of your career, you are blessed. This lesson I learnt the hard way, has been my guiding motto and is the reason why I took up the role of a mentor at Scaler. A mentor is a person, who never leaves their mentees to fend for themselves, but rather illuminates the path ahead for them and walks through the said path with them.
As Bob Proctor said, "A mentor is someone who sees more talent and ability within you, than you see in yourself, and helps bring it out of you.", I think that a mentor’s role is to help the mentee amplify their abilities and help them give their best efforts. My role as a mentor is something I will cherish for life.