Four years ago, I sat behind Engineering Hall on campus at the University of Illinois and the enormity of my fuck-up struck for the perhaps the first time. Over the course of a long year and a half I had made a series of bad decisions that ended up in my dropping out of one the best ranked engineering programs in the world, returning to India and starting all over.
A week from now, that exercise will finally be over. While BML Munjal was far from the perfect college to spend my undergrad at, I’m grateful for the time I spent there - not only did it lead to two incredibly solid friendships, but the lack of academic rigour (which seems to be fairly universal across private colleges in India) gave me plenty of time to invest in my skills - first in embedded systems and more recently in software development and machine learning.
For now, I have a good job, doing work that I enjoy at Gramener in Hyderabad; I’m learning a fair amount in terms of how professional software is shipped, and the pitfalls of working with large data sets in a non academic setting. I might go in for a PhD in the future, however, I’m not sure if academia is right for me - fundamentally I love building things and working is just a ton of fun.