‘Yippppppeeeeeeee!!! I got selected via campus recruitment!! Mastek, here I come’, read my facebook status as soon as the selected students list was put up on my college notice board. A whole bunch of 23 students were selected from our college alone. I was rhapsodic. College was finally over and I was about to enter my corporate life. ‘Corporate is no college...’’People can no longer be trusted ‘Money matters...’ etc were the warnings and comments given by my family members and friends who had already tasted the cake of corporate life. All these comments failed to unnerve me because I loved taking up new challenges. I was a confident young girl, exceptionally good with my academics and extra-curricular activities as well. I was a teacher, a hobbyist writer, a scrabble player, lead singer in my college band, a dancer, a voracious reader, a gambler (I was heavily into stock market) and an actor. But, I must say, I was afraid that my corporate life would not be as fulfilling as my college life had been. I feared I would become a desktop pumpkin coding my way to my bank account. I wanted opportunities to display my talents and get appreciated for the same. But the sceptical comments from everyone around managed to subdue me.
Now let me take you directly to my first day at Mastek. I was standing in a line along with all new trainees waiting to get our visiting licences to enter Mastek premises. We were a bunch of excited youngsters all waiting to experience the big bad corporate world. After we got our visiting id’s we stepped into a different realm. On our first day, we were all busy filling up various forms of all shapes and sizes. Since I am a religious girl, I wanted a place to pray namaaz (Muslims pray namaaz 5 times a day). This is the first time I experienced Mastek culture. Open Atmosphere and Respect for Individual. Everybody, irrespective of what religion they followed, was eager to help me out to find a place to pray namaaz. Some people even introduced me to people who prayed regularly so that I could have company. The holy month of Ramzan followed after that and I must say our L&D manager was considerate enough during that phase also. I was enraptured. Nobody judged me by the way I dressed or by the religion I followed (I wear a burqa*!!).
The reception of my ideas and the opportunities given to me was prodigious. I was a part of the scrabble workshop and also a part of the organizing team for indoor sports. I won the intra corporate tournament in both the single and double categories and I was appreciated for the organizing work too. I represented Mastek at the inter-corporate Scrabble tournament held by IGATE. I was recognized for bringing laurels to Mastek. I was appreciated for my writing and I was awarded for the same. Here, I came across people who went out of the way in encouraging me to pursue my passion. I was never treated as a fresher. I was treated with respect and was always recognized for my achievements. Sometimes I was lashed for my ebullience too, but that helped in my growth. My team, other colleagues were always a constant strength in all my endeavours. Thanks to Mastek I can now say to my peers, ‘ I know corporate is no college, I think it’s better’(I get paid too!!:p)..
A small poem in tribute to my amazing journey in Mastek:
Some days, confident, some days I feared,
Some days sad, some days I cheered
Every memory I made, all the memories I shared,
I will keep it near; I will hold it dear,
Once a mastekeer always a mastekeer...
Some days vague, some days were clear
Family was far but colleagues were near,
No regrets are there and there was never a tear,
Now I know for sure, we make magic here
Once a mastekeer always a mastekeer!
**Burqa: A religious overcoat worn by Muslim women