When I was young, I was always advised to prepare for the Civil service exams. However, at that time I never took them seriously. Fresh out of IIT Kharagpur in Aug 2017, I joined an MNC as a Data Scientist. But a book (Choices by SS Menon) and a video (Eenam Gambhir’s) motivated me to prepare for Civil Services. I left the job in Dec 2018, and took a break of 9 months. My parents were very happy, they were to be happier only in 2021 again.
Meanwhile, the girl I was in a relationship with since 2016, her family members were pressurizing her for marriage. Here, I was jobless, broke, in love and helpless to alter her destiny. But she was strong enough for both of us. She stayed strong in the face of family pressure, supported me financially. We got married in March 2019 with support from her mother, but boycotted by the rest of her family. My parents stood by me, firmly. But we decided not to tell anybody else on my side, because I was studying in everybody else’s eyes.
In Sep 2019, I joined a startup and continued my preparation alongside my job. I was able to manage both (well, barely, most of the times) !! My boss was an American NRI. He had himself cleared the exam in 1996, but was allocated Allied Services. He opted to not join and instead left for US, and was working as VP at Bank of America. He gave me the flexibility to WFH even before COVID hit. It was because of this that I was able to clear Prelims, mains and reached the interview stage.
At this stage, I had given up on the UPSC dream and applied for job at McKinsey Knowledge Centre (McKC). I prepped for the UPSC Interview, alongside the Senior Data Scientist role in McKC. Mu UPSC Interview was on 20th August 2021, and I joined McKC on 30th August 2021. Mentally, I had made my mind that I am not going to waste my and my wife’s life on this anymore. But she was hopeful (and somewhere deep down, I was too). When the results were declared, I didn’t want to check it. But she said, she will record this moment… after 4 years of this jugglery.
AIR-233!!!!! I fell silent…
Total Work Experience : 4.1 Years (Deloitte Consulting USI, Zivanta Consulting, McKinsey Knowledge Centre)