September 20, 2011

My Biggest Strength-My Stammer

I have heard lots and lots of pws say this time and again that their stammer has been one of the biggest boons in life.I too,most of the times try to see the positive side of my stutter(which does exist,believe me) but yesterday was the day when I couldnt be more grateful to this disability.I am in my final year of engineering( branch- civil engineering) and in India in the final year,you have companies coming in to your college,conducting tests,group discsssions,interviews,etc and on that basis select the candidates.So what happened was that yesterday,a reputed company which does financial analysis for top firms came to our college looking for suitable caandidates.I being a civil engineer,had no interest in the company whatsoever.I also dont know anything about finance and stuff,and am a litle weak on the technological know-how as well.The company was open for all the branches of the college,that meant that competition would be very fierce as it was a dream company for most.
But still I gave the written exam just for fun.A total of 300 students sat for the test which was mostly aptitude based and somehow I cleared it.A total of 80 students were selected(including me) which had just 9 from our branch.The next stage was Group Discussions.I checked out the names in my group.I was the only one from civil engineering and the rest were from higher branches(Computer Science,Electronics,etc.)The thing is that I study in one of the best engineering colleges in the country and could only manage to get one of the lesser preferred branch-civil engineering there,so regarding knowledge,everyone was better than me,(or so I thought).The G.D.started,our topic was-Should youth indulge in politics ??? Everyone else in the group started without wasting a second,and they were such seasoned players,that they were not even sparing a second in between.So,I couldnt speak until the 3rd person from our group(our group had a total of 8 members) finished.But the thing was,everyone spoke in favour of youth joining the politics.I made a smart decision there and then to speak against it.Imagine,I combating against the other 7 in the group discussion,that too while stuttering.Here,the experience I got from the workshops of The Indian Stammering Association(TISA) played a huge role.What I have learnt there is that communication is 90% listening and 10% speaking.So,unlike many who just wanted to speak without caring about what others had to say,I gave sufficient chance to others and listened to their points with proper eye-contact and showing genuine interest.Also,whenever I blocked,others started to cut me off at which I would say-"Please allow me to finish my point" at which they had to stop talking and allow me to talk.Also I maintained my composure even when everyone else were against me and tried to oppose me in every way possible.One guy was literally ready to jump out of his seat and punch me(He obviously didnt get selected).So to cut a long story short,I got through.I thank TISA for that and I wouldnt have met TISA if it wasn't for my stammer and hence wouldnt learn such essential things about communication.So,that was the first incident through which I realized the power of my stutter.A total of 30 students out of 80 were selected for the personal interviews with 4 being selected(including me) from my branch(the total strength of my branch is 60).In terms of knowledge in the financial field and current affairs,I have to admit,I was the worst.My interview panel consisted of 2 people,one was from HR(Human Resources) and the other was Technical.In my CV(Bio-data) I have mentioned myself as a volunteer for TISA and a facilitator of the Self Help Group for PWS in my city(which I am).Also in the written test,we had to write a short essay about a life changing incident,in which I wrote about an incident about my stuttering.The guys were quite impressed with write-up and inquired about my disability at which I mentioned everything ranging from my past mindset and the transformation in me that followed.Then they started the technical questions in which they asked me questions ranging from estimating the number of air conditioners in the city to the India-China conflict and the the popularity of the i-phones.And I stuttered considerably during my interview but never did I once stop or apologized,I went on and on. Looking as a third person,my technical knowledge was average. Still,My interview was one of the longest lasting about 45 minutes.I came out of the room,reasonably content,not expecting to be called for the next interview.After all,I didnt know much about the finances and stuff and going by my competitors experiences in the interview,my answers sucked.But when the list of the students selected for the final interview came,my name was there,right on the top.A total of 14 students were selected for the final interview and I was in it.There was only one person besides me from my branch.I gave the final interview which was mainly technical based,and I again was average in it,not knowing many questions.In the end only 6 students were selected and I wasnt in it.But the fact is,I didnt deserve to be in that company because I knew nothing about their field of specialization and would be the worst financial analyst if was selected.But the bigger picture is that I managed to come in the top 14 out of the 300 students that appeared,even when I knew much less than most of my competitors.And why was that ????? My G.D. was cleared because of TISA,and my first interview was cleared because of my ability to show my disability in a positive light and project myself as an optimist with a never to say NEVER attitude.I even educated the interview panel about stuttering about how it has no cure and what needs to be done in India regarding this disability.So,hopefully I helped a future well deserving aspirant who stammers to have better chances in the company.So,people complain about not getting a job due to their stammer,but I on the other hand am praying to God to not cure me until I get a job in college so that I have my super-power during my interviews.Like Superman,Spiderman,I sometimes felt like Stutterman during my interviews.And before I forget no one from my branch got a job in the company,so I can boast to be the best in the branch.:-)


J P Sunda said...

Awesome Dhruv!!! U rock buddy :-)

Zeshan Ahmed said...

Wow.... Dhruv bhai.... you done very well....:)

Er. Umesh 8529982551 said...

Awesome dhurva!! your courage really inspired other pws.

lalit said...

HATS OFF DHRUV....,iam sure after some time u make a post saying "u recovered from stuttering mind set" of luck :-)

sachin said...

Wonderful! Picture perfect! Thanks for crediting TISA..
Can you write a little bit more about importance of listening attentively, rather than just talking fluently, especially during Interviews? Also about how to be self-assertive, as you did when interrupted by fast talkers.. This will benefit many young readers..

Ashish Agarwal said...

Maza aa gaya padh kar Dhruva!

you have experienced something very very natural & logical, although very surprisingly for stammerers like us.

The interviewers generally used to be good in cracking candidates oversmartness & they always admire someone's real positive talent despite of special characteristics like stammering.

So they admired & respected your talent,honesty & confidence.

You deserved it brother :-)

Sumeet said...

Grt Buddy, Dnt u worry next year be prepared , i am cuming to u for tips of GD... personally :))

Anonymous said...

really it was good.
i am also stammerer, i felt sad about that. but now i hope that i can win in interview.