Chasing Dreams: How Rishi Overcame Adversity to Become an SDE-1

Rishi Kumar - A Masai graduate now working as SDE-1 at Newgen Digital
Rishi Kumar - A Masai graduate now working as SDE-1 at Newgen Digital

Rishi Ranjan Kumar is an inhabitant of Patna, Bihar. After pursuing a Bachelor’s in Computer Application, he dreamed of being employed in the IT field, but a sea of rejections made him realise the great skill gap that exists in the tech industry.

Refusing to give up, he was determined to make his dream come true. Enter Masai, where thousands of students like Rishi have upskilled themselves and succeeded. Now an SDE-1 working for Newgen Digital, Rishi takes time from his busy day to share his inspiring journey with us.

How did you discover Masai?

I graduated in 2020 and immediately started looking for gainful employment in my field. However, as months rolled by I remained in a draught of good job opportunities. That’s when I realised that just my degree and current skill set won’t be enough for the industry.

And so I started looking for opportunities to upskill myself when an ad for Masai popped up on my YouTube feed. That instantly sparked my interest and so after hours of researching the institute and reading success stories, I decided to sign up myself.

How did your parents react?

Actually, I didn’t inform my parents when I decided to join Masai. The reason being I wasn’t sure if I’d even get selected in the first place, but after I got in, I finally revealed it to them. They weren’t opposed to the idea, as my father told me they’d support me as long as I truly believe in what I’m doing.

Tell us about your Masai journey

Before joining Masai I’d never dedicated so much focus and time to studying, so it took some time to adjust to it. But a few weeks in I was already used to the new schedule and learned how to manage my time more effectively. After that, the same classes became much more enjoyable.

My favorite part about Masai is both the way they teach as well as the discipline they inculcate in every student. To keep growing in the tech industry you need to keep learning too. It doesn’t end after Masai.

The curriculum taught us not only how to master a concept but also how to keep learning on our own as learning never stops with tech.

What was your experience with the construct week project?

We get our first taste of construct week and what a developer’s life may actually look like in Unit 2. Early on it’s more basic, involving HTML, JavaScript, etc., but as the units go on it starts involving more interesting topics like React.

And it’s literally so helpful not just as a student of Masai, but even in my current job role I’m creating projects which share a lot in common with the construct week projects I built previously. So not only can I depend on the experience of building the project but also of working in a team.

Tell us about your placement experience

When I entered the placement process I sat for a number of companies, I think around 4-5, before successfully landing a job with Newgen Digital, as an SDE-1. I found that the technical rounds for each company, though intensive, weren’t something I was nervous about.

The curriculum at Masai had prepared me well for any question that may arise. And though it took me some time to land the right job I kept getting ample opportunities till I found the right one.

Having a degree background yourself, what do you think Masai is doing differently from other institutes?

What I’ve found is that traditional institutes rely a lot on theoretical learning consisting of age-old syllabuses. Plus, ‌placements is major. If you come from a Tier-3 college, the possibility of you landing a good package in your field is incredibly slim.

And what I learned from my experience of trying to find a job right after college was that I didn’t have the skills to get hired. Even though I had a college education.
This is what Masai is doing differently, from having an up-to-date curriculum with actual practice-based learning and getting you a good high-paying job of CTC 5 LPA or more before you even start paying your fees. It really affects people like me who want to upskill themselves to meet industry standards but come from middle-class families.