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‘Don’t stop dreaming if you don’t make it to JEE Top 100’

Debajyoti Dasgupta, alumnus of Apeejay School, Nerul shares how he secured a top spot at IIT Kharagpur. In the interview, he provides preparation tips for JEE aspirants

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Soon to join the Uber office in Bangalore as a Software Engineer, Debajyoti Dasgupta’s life mantra is to strive hard and push boundaries. He is a student who believes in having a strong academic base. Even in his free time, he is often spotted with his college friends at IIT Kharagpur, trying to build games and apps for recreational purposes. Edited excerpts from the interview:  

Please tell us about your educational journey.  

I completed schooling from Apeejay, Nerul in 2018. I appeared for the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) examinations the same year and secured a seat in IIT Kharagpur. I am currently a student there, enrolled in a dual degree course i.e. Bachelors in Technology and Masters in Technology. I will complete my education this year. To become industry-ready, I have interned with Uber for about 2 months. Currently, I am looking forward to joining Uber as an employee. I have been offered a position there.

How did you prepare for JEE examinations?

I along with a group of friends prepared for JEE examinations in school. We gave many mock tests and Olympiad exams to equip ourselves for the papers. In the JEE Main exams, I secured an All India Rank of 154. The JEE Advanced paper was of total 360 marks and to be able to secure a rank amongst the top 1000 students, I had to score at least 210 marks out of 360. However, I overestimated my preparation and ended up attempting those questions in the paper which I wasn’t sure of. And so, I faced a heavy penalty for it. My final All India Rank came down to 5504. A 50 mark penalty was levied on me, and at that time, it was a big blow.

So, how did you land up in your preferred course of study at IIT Kharagpur?

It was tough. In my rank, I could not get a Computer Science course in any of the top five IITs. But I didn’t give up. I decided to join IIT Kharagpur and opted for a course in Metallurgy. I worked really hard in the first year of my college and I performed exceptionally well. When the results were declared, I was among the top 5 students. And so, I requested for a branch change. This is something IITs allow, only if a student is a top performer. I leveraged this and took the course I wanted to be in. Many people think that if they haven’t done well in JEE Advanced, their dreams would end and college life is over for them. That is not the case!

Please tell us how life is as an ‘IITian.’

Once a student qualifies the JEE examinations, life does not become any easier. Those who are your college mates are high-achievers who have performed exceedingly well in the same papers. So, there is tougher competition. To successfully complete your education from an IIT too, one needs focus.

However, this does not mean that IITians are constantly studying. Life as a student in such a prestigious institution is very balanced. There are a lot of clubs in the college for recreational purposes. Most of the IITians are very talented in fields outside academics too.

What would your role at Uber entail?

My responsibility will be to handle app services, software and technological matters to further Uber’s business in India. 

Your learnings at Apeejay School, Nerul?

My time at Apeejay was simply amazing! Whenever I visit my school, it hits harder that how many good memories we made at that time. I found a motivated and positive set of people in school. I still cherish my bonds with them. The best thing? I loved the birthday charts we used to make in the class, and remember each other’s birthdays and wish them. It was a very special feeling! School taught me to become a good human being, above all.  

Some life advice for students?

Keep growing; don’t be scared about the future. Explore your horizons!

Mrini Devnani is a Senior Correspondent and Marketing Coordinator at Newsroom. She covers student achievements, interviews and contributions for the website. She was a former Correspondent covering Edutech for the India Today Group, and has passion for Social Media and Digital Marketing. You can reach her at [email protected]

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