5/31/07

My journey to PhD

There is a very strange correlation between my academic qualifications and academic achievements. My journey of elementary school started from Kaporthala, Punjab, India, where I completed my second grade. Thereafter, I went to my home town, Kalipatal, Baglung Nepal. I completed my III grade schooling from there. So switching from Hindi & Punjabi medium to Nepali medium was exciting.

My father who was serving in Indian army had the one and the only dream to highly educate his son. Due to the lack of higher educational institutions, it was quite difficult to make the dream come true in my home town. Out of the realization, he took me again to the neighboring country, India. It was, once again my reconnection to Indian educational system. I was admitted to Christian school, Jhansi, India, where I studied up to grade five. Actually, since army personnel moves from one place to another place after 2-3 years of their services in Indian Army, my father also moved to a new place; so did I.

My next educational mission was interestingly in Ferozepur, Punjab, India again. This was the time when I learned Punjabi Language. I was good at mathematics and science. Slowly my interest started spurting towards science. But there appeared one more turning point in my academic journey when my father got transferred to Himachal Pradesh, India. There, I joined government school to complete my SLC grade. I could not give continuity to my inner interest, as the syllabus was very easy for me, as a result I lost the attitude of hard working. From that school, out of 75 SLC attendees, I succeed to score the highest score though it was just 61%.

Likewise, my bachelors’ degree was in commerce & management, i.e. B.Com. I specifically mentioned B.Com, because there is a very interesting story, how I become bachelors of commerce. After completing my SLC, I could not get proper counseling. My father has barely received any formal education; however, he was passionate to educate his son. In that situation, I asked a guy who was assumed to be an intelligent. I asked,” Which subject do I have to choose to become an Engineer?” He replied,” Commerce is the best subject to pursue the further education in”. At that time, I could not differentiate that commerce is a management subject not the engineering one. In the very first day of my lecture, I was about to faint when professor started teaching about Dr. and Cr., Profit and loss, oh my god! Henceforth, I just enjoyed my youth, I was very fun loving and sporting guy instead of scholar.

Anyway, one thing is always common in my life; I never get afraid of taking challenges, so I decided to pursue my higher education in management. However, because of the lack of interest, I could not stand the top in the class. I was just a mediocre student. I graduated from the same state university. As soon as I graduated, I was standing alone on the road without any friends, searching for the destination. I was in such a perplexed situation that I even could not decide my next step.

Then another journey, I mean a physical journey from Himachal Pradesh to Pune, India. What a city! The city of intelligent people with good English language proficiency; but Debu was just a moron, a commerce graduate without any aim. All of a sudden, while roaming with my friend, my eyes happened to come across an advertisement. It was about Job guaranteed computer course from NIIT. My habit of accepting challenge and the lure of guaranteed job pulled my legs to the doorstep of NIIT. That was the turning point of my career. While in NIIT premises, I underwent a lot of complexities as I lacked proper education in high schools, and thereby I had many inferior feelings. Maybe readers will get surprised to acknowledge what happened there. Well, once again I found myself knowing nothing about computer. I was surprised when I saw a TV screen with keyboard, I asked myself whether I will manage to handle big robots and get excellent job in India.

It was until 1991 we could not see any fancy Microsoft windows; we had just the black screen with white character and some blinking cursor. I wondered about what the hell these MS-DOS, COBOL, SEMINAR, and PRESENTATION are. As I quoted in my website, “challenge is my motivation”. Every time I found myself standing way behind to others; but my desires, which were burning inside me inspired to penetrate any challenge ahead and thereby to realize the goal!! I then felt with passion to improve my two weaknesses, English language and Computer skills. And the passion guided my career to a complete new world switching from commerce to IT.

My father retired in 1992 and we came back to Nepal. The killing instinct was still nursing inside me. Consequently, I practiced and practiced to overcome the weakness. And my practices are still on. After all, I succeed to conquer my fear of public speaking, and so did in the areas of English language and computer programming. I completed advanced diploma in computer programming & Networking from NIIT. Consequently, I worked in many places as a Computer Instructor, System Administrator, Asst. Manager Technical, Group leader technical (NIIT) and so on. I later joined NB Bank in Nepal. And at the same time, with the hunger to enhance my further academic qualification, I joined MBS program with specialization in MIS, and passed with first division regularly. It was a good achievement indeed.

Then I found, my desires or hunger to earn and learn more, it brought me to South Korea. Once again my passion, determination and hard works lead me to PhD in industrial engineering. I am assured that this course finally synthesizes my knowledge of computer, mathematics and English. I can say that it improves my presentation skill a lot. I know the day when I will receive my PhD degree, one person in this world will be very happy, even happier than me and that is no other than my Father.

This is my overall journey from elementary to PhD, I started as a SLC topper, then mediocre commerce graduate, and about to be a doctor of philosophy in Industrial & Information System Engineering (of course, scoring high grades with many publications). Even though this is a remarkable achievement for me, it is not the final accomplishment of my goal. The life is an ongoing process; the process of learning from cradle to grave. It has to go on and on......

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