Every year hundreds pass out from engineering colleges from across the country. It's been a long 4-year haul for these fresh graduates and time to kick-start into the big league. The question constantly preying on their minds is 'Will we, wont we'? Like bees to a honey pot they're drawn to the software industry. If it isn't a campus placement, it's sending out dozens of CVs in response to vacancy ads in newspapers or job sites. The lucky ones make it. The rest hang on to the slender thread called hope. The wait seems endless. That's life.
Deepa Shenoy and Smitha Vijaykumar must feel like winners of the KBC lottery. Smitha found a job at Digital straight out of college, just before the slowdown slammed on the industry. Same was the case with Deepa, though she had to linger around a bit. Both belong to different places, different backgrounds and there's just one common factor in their lives. Inspiration to join the IT industry came from their respective brothers.
Deepa is from Belgaum, in Karnataka and her brother was with Digital (then known as 'Digital Equipment') and he passed on her CV to the management when they were recruiting freshers. It wasn't a case of influencing, but familiarity helped. Besides, Deepa, armed with a Computer Science degree was bright and possessed the required skill sets to get the nod. Smitha spent her school years in Palghat, Kerala and completed her college from neighboring Coimbatore, in Tamilnadu. Her brother worked with Infosys and that sort of inspired her complete her MCA and she sent in her resume through a friend. She was interviewed, selected and has been at Digital for the last two years.
We city slickers fantasize that big metros are 'the real thing' and every other place is small and therefore, people from such places are dodos. We think that all girls who come from smaller cities and towns must be from highly orthodox families. We think that girls from these smaller cities and towns must have narrow approaches to life and not 'hip'. We think we are damn smart thinking the way we do. Well, learn to think again!
Deepa and Smitha were quite a revelation. Both 'pooh-poohed' those theories and beliefs. "Belgaum has two big colleges, an engineering and a medical college, and people from Malaysia, North India and other places come there to study," says Deepa, in strong defense against the city-slicker's cockeyed theory that smaller places cannot be as cosmopolitan as say, Bangalore. In fact, she even goes to the extent of saying that there's 'nothing great' about Bangalore that she hasn't seen in Belgaum. Both share this view that their families aren't exactly orthodox. Their outlook is much broader than what people think. Ten out of ten point rating for that strong statement.
Young, extremely confident, bit shy when they posed for pictures, but otherwise quite unfazed were Deepa and Smitha. They weren't unduly perturbed by all that slowdown talk, though at some point there was this lurking fear of 'What if'? Both are sure of one thing - they find themselves quite secure working at Digital. "The culture is generally friendly. No fighting. No politics," say Deepa and Smitha in sync.
Deepa and Smitha came through strong on team spirit and defended their views. It was like watching a performance in synchronized dancing.
Note: This story was written when the company was known as 'DIGITAL'.