Every form of addiction is bad. No matter what it is, once you let it control you, it's difficult to regain control.
Utkarsh Gupta, hailing from Gwalior MP experienced it firsthand as he wasn't able to get out of the PUBG loop.
His addiction got out of hand and started affecting his career, and academic deliverables. But with a strong will to overcome this mental demon, Utkarsh enrolled himself in Masai, and with our rigorous 9-9-6 schedule, he's now a developer.
In a recent interaction with Utkarsh, he admitted - "I still play PUBG but now I control when I want to play, and often it's for short periods".
Here are a few more excerpts from the same conversation where he talked about his overall journey and placements at Masai -
How are you feeling after placements?
Awesome, great! Can't explain.
What did you do before Masai?
I did my graduation in Electronics & Communication in 2020.
My eyes were set on cracking the GATE exams for which I tried twice in 2020 and 2021, but to no avail.
To be honest, I didn't even know how to operate a computer before Masai, I didn't even know how to copy-paste. I had zero experience in Computer Science.
Just two months before joining Masai, I purchased my first laptop. I was pretty nervous as to how would I cope with the curriculum, how would I keep up with my peers, and a million other questions were ringing bells in my head.
Addiction with PUBG
PUBG created a ruckus in my life. I started playing in 2018 and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get out of that shell. It sent me almost into a depression-like state.
I was playing 6-7 hours a day and wasting the most productive years of my life. It was indeed, an addiction.
My family kept telling me to get rid of my habit, and even my conscience knew how fatal it could turn out for my career, but as I said, it was out of my control.
How did you join Masai?
I bumped into a YouTube ad by Masai and immediately sensed some hope. To verify, I checked alumni reviews on different channels.
I also got to know about other alternatives like Newton School and talked to their alumni as well. But something clicked with Masai, I felt positive vibes.
I remember an alumnus named Vikas who helped me a lot throughout the joining process. He cleared all my doubts.
The ISA agreement
The first month at Masai was easy. After the first unit, I was in a huge dilemma, whether to sign the ISA agreement and proceed or not.
The learning I received in the first unit was sufficient enough to sign up for the course. But it was a big decision to take.
“What if I wouldn't be able to clear the units?”
“What if I decide to leave later in the course?”
As the ISA agreement states - once you decide to leave after having signed up for the full course, you have to pay a certain amount.
In the end, I eliminated all the what-ifs and signed up for the rest of the program. And I'd say it has turned out pretty well.
How did Masai help you build your career?
I wouldn't say Masai has done everything for me. I worked hard for everything I have achieved. But simply put, I wouldn't be here if not for Masai.
Masai has molded me into a professional. It made me realize my inner powers that were lost somewhere in a loop.
I experienced a huge mindset shift at Masai. Rather than being a pessimist, I started looking at things as opportunities to grow and improve.
I went from - "I won't be able to do it" to "I can do it" and that was the change that triggered my comeback/success.
If there was no ISA, would you still have pursued this career?
Not a chance. I didn't have the resources to pursue a high-growth career like web development, given I was from a non-CS background.
What has changed after Masai?
I realized that if you're not successful, even your family members won't respect you. One of my family members had told me that I wouldn't achieve anything in life.
But as I've gotten placed, I've regained the lost respect. They have trust in me now. This is the most significant change I have experienced.
How did your college placements turn out?
College wasn't worth it. Out of 120 students in my batch, only 15 odd students could receive job offers. More than 100 students are still unemployed to this date.
What’s your opinion on the conventional education system in India?
The education system in India has many flaws that need to be addressed. Apart from IITs and NITs, none of the colleges can fulfill their promises.
I went into college with a positive mindset but that changed very soon. In my 4 years, I didn't get any practical learning. Students were just copying the assignments and clearing semesters.
You'd be shocked to know that many of us didn't even understand Diode or Transistors which are the basic concepts in Electronics.
Lecturers seemed to just do their job without any incentive for dedication to teaching.
How was the whole experience at Masai? What were the challenges you faced?
My journey here was full of struggles. I got an Async twice in the 2nd and the 3rd unit. But the whole Masai team was exceptionally supportive and encouraging. They kept me intact on the mission.
When a student is unable to clear a unit, they get an Async i.e. they are asked to repeat the unit by joining the batch behind them. This is to make sure that students master every unit and then move forward.
I think, getting Async worked in my favor. I got to learn twice and that strengthened the concepts in my mind.
How did the Masai placements go?
In the beginning, I wasn't shortlisted by a few companies. My peers were getting placed and I was waiting for my opportunity. I didn't have a package-specific goal in my mind. I just wanted to get into the IT industry and start building my career.
Towards the end of the first week, I got shortlisted for my first ever professional interview.
Owing to the structured learning and a couple of Async, I didn't have much difficulty in cracking the interview rounds for ThinkSys, an IT-based company that creates B-2-B solutions.
What was your parents' reaction to the news?
My father was so enthralled as if I had become the owner of the company. His reaction was out of this world. I was elated to be the reason for his happiness.
At the same time, he was also worried as I would be leaving my hometown for work for the first time.
Is it worth paying 3 Lakhs for the course?
Definitely, worth it. If I compare, my college charged 4 lakhs for a 4-year course and it didn't get me anywhere close to success. Masai promised placements and delivered big time on their promise, equipping me with all the skills to work in a tech job. With Masai, it's like a partnership where both parties work towards the development of a student.
It provides a launchpad for students with limited resources or limited career options and shares the risk of a student's failure by not charging anything. This shows that they're not in it for the money, but for a bigger cause.
I consider this ISA payment as a contribution to this cause.
What's your opinion on the Pay After Placement setup?
A lot of students in India are hindered due to the lack of financial resources. Even if they have the talent, they are unable to project it.
Pay after placement is a boon for such people.
Since it's still a new concept in India, many people don't believe it at first knowledge. Even I had doubts about its legitimacy - What if it's another one of those thousand frauds that go on in the name of education.
But Masai changed my opinion. It's great that now we have an institute that prioritizes talent before money. Pay after placement is going to change a lot of lives.