AMS Verification Engineer

Quoting the famous writer, Mark Twain “Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life”. Amidst the grind of graduating through college, everyone aspires towards acquiring a decent job as a means of sustenance and work gratification. Many of these graduates miss on the latter and work only to meet their daily needs and provide for their families. As an electronics engineer, it was my dream to work in the same field. But only few companies come forward during the campus placements that provide core electronics opportunities. I had skipped all the IT services placements in wait for a core electronics company while watching all my friends getting a job offer before me. It was the winter of 2014 or summer all year round if you’re staying in Mangalore. The college distributed the circular intimating about Karmic visiting the campus for placements. It was the day before the placements and I had attended a cultural fest at a neighboring college which culminated in a Sunidhi Chauhan concert at night. In the excitement of the fest, I had forgotten about the Karmic interview dates. After the concert, I haphazardly sorted my resume at the hostel at 1am, kept aside a pair of neat formals and headed to sleep. I ensured that I made the best of the college life while keeping up my grades which qualified me to attend the Karmic placements. Alas! The day of the interviews and I was very nervous since it was my first crack at the placement process. Karmic management gave a presentation about the company and the services they provided. We had close to a hundred applicants entering the first round of written technical tests. Post the first round, I was among the thirty applicants that were shortlisted for the next round of interviews. I was able to wipe away the sweat from my brow and breathe a sigh of relief. But then started the butterflies in my stomach about the impending interviews. Would they grill me till I was sapped dry? Would they open up my weaknesses and push the dagger in deeper and pull out my heart? The mind races through all the absurd and surreal possibilities all as a means to comprehend the fear of the dreaded interviews. It was my turn to enter the chamber of torture. With hesitant steps and my heartbeat elevated I entered to meet my dungeon masters. They gave me a friendly smile and offered me a handshake which was enough to wipe away my fears. I was at ease as if it were a conversation with friends at a coffee table. All the while they were assessing my tone, body language and keeping the conversation professional and technical. Whenever I did not know something I acknowledged the same and this is something they appreciated a lot. At the end I wished them well and came out of the chamber feeling jubilant as I felt the conversation had gone well. The HR interview was more friendly and engaging. I had noted that one of my hobbies was singing to which they requested me to sing for them. I gave my best rendition of the Coldplay song, ‘Yellow’. This instant crescendo emanated from the confidence I felt at giving my best in the interviews from the previous rounds. They thanked me for being part of the process and told me that the results would be declared in a few days. Ding! Mail notification from my placement coordinator. It was to inform the results of the Karmic placements and I was one of the three candidates who was selected in the process. This was a humbling moment for me that I got a job offer from a core electronics company and my dream job. This moment was built up from the days of my upbringing with my pillars of support being my parents and faith in God and his blessings. With a job offer in hand, I got to focus on the final semester of college and graduate with distinction in June 2015. First day of the job! It was a hot and humid July the first morning at Manipal. I got down from the rickshaw and stared down at the office for a moment thinking that this is the start of a steep mountain to climb towards my self-growth. I got to speak with the HR and the rest of my twenty batch mates who collectively formed the KDPL 27th batch of recruits at Karmic. Each of us were freshly pruned and churned products of the education system with zero or less knowledge of the industry expectations and standards. On my way to the mess, we had to pass by the Texas Instruments embassy building. Every time I passed by I would think to myself that I need to work hard in order to succeed and work at the embassy. My resolve was very high that I would not look at the building of the embassy until I was worthy enough to enter through its gates. As per the standard norms, the trainee engineers had to spend their probation period of six months at the Karmic Neelavar campus. The Neelavar base of Karmic was nested in the forest region outside of Brahmavar town. There are staying quarters, classrooms and very hospitable support staff. We would have trainers visit us during the days and we would spend our nights working on the assignments. Over the next few months my batch mates were being selected for work at the TI embassy. I was patient and was always under the impression that the time would come for me to work. Until then I was focused to work hard in training and improve my technical knowledge. Karmic at the start of 2016 was going through a turbulent phase and the Chairman-Emeritus at the time, Late Dr. Mahant Shetti decided to take the reigns and takeover the training program at Neelavar. He brought along with him the students from Sirsi, the ‘N Series’ engineers. These students came from poor backgrounds and those who were not able to start their graduate studies. Interacting with these engineers reinstated the fact that we are more privileged than many around us. This lack of privilege was something Mahant sir did not make his studentsfeel. He strengthened them with the armor of knowledge with which they could face the world. The one man army - Mahant sir, the founder of Karmic was a strict disciplinarian. He would never compromise on quality and always expected more from his engineers than what they could produce. The classes at Neelavar would start at eight in the morning and would continue while we would be having breakfast. These sessions would continue past midnight on some unlucky days and if you happened to ask him doubts at that time. The technical aspects he covered would always hover over our heads and we would get blasted for not asking doubts or answering his questions. Mahant sir did this as a means to harden us from mangers we would face in the future and how to react in those situations. This was also a way for him to bring down a person with ego and drill in humility. Respect would need to be earned, he expected us to study hard, be humble and help each other. Little did we know at the time, but Mahant sir was battling an illness. This was aggravated by his rigorous travel schedule. Being the person that he was, he never let the illness stop him from running the company and impart training. After four months under the training of Mahant sir, he divided us into groups and gave us a project to implement a prototype model and give an IC design layout within fifteen days. This assignment was a test of dealing with pressure and balancing work schedule. This is something that the Karmic engineers are acclimatized towards, balancing and handing in work within the deadlines. Before the submission deadline, we were able to build a working prototype of a solar tracker model. Upon demonstrating the model to Mahant sir, I saw a smile from him which was rare. He exclaimed, ‘Wow! It moves. Excellent work’. Even though he did not tell it directly, it was for me a moment of recognition from sir for the hard work we put in. He celebrated the success of the projects that night by giving us all ice creams after class. This exercise helped me deal with pressure dealing with deadlines and not compromising on the quality of work. Few months passed and Mahant sir moved back to Sirsi. The most fruitful and meaningful training sessions had passed and I am always be indebted to him for that. I was into my second year, and there were no projects. Karmic continued to keep me trained and gave me my salary regularly. It was a test in patience as I watched the months pass by without work but the engineers were kind and helpful when it came to training and friendships. Sports served as a means of escape and keeping active. Karmicians are always involved in sports and we would spend our evenings playing cricket and volleyball. This is an important aspect of Karmic where sports was encouraged along with work. Welcome 2017! We have a new batch of engineers join the company. As my seniors provided me technical help and knowledge, I was grateful to do the same. This sense of knowledge sharing and helping is at the core value imbibed within the Karmicians. I would spend my time sharing the knowledge that I had which in turn helped in strengthening my concepts. This is something that had to be imparted freely. The reward would be a sense of gratification and increase in technical knowledge. At this phase in my career, I could see my younger naïve self while I was interacting with the juniors. Each phase of our careers provide us a new learning experience and we need to embrace these learnings. Time for work! Closing in on two years on the bench, you tend to sulk and lose motivation. I was notified that I would be deputed for work at Analog Devices Bangalore from May 2017 onwards. This was an excellent working opportunity and it was my first project where I was determined to work hard. My seniors in the team bestowed on me enough responsibilities and I had to repay their faith and work to the best of my ability. The managers at Analog praised and recognize the value that Karmic had added towards their projects. Building a good relation with client and providing quality work increases the trust and faith from the managers towards the engineers. This is something that the Karmic engineers have earned over years of service among the clients. The darkest day in Karmic. Mahant sir’s illness had taken a toll on him and he was hospitalized at Belgaum. As few of Karmicians had done before, I decided to pay sir a visit in August. We entered into his ward and saw him on his bed, pale and on life support. I was overcome with shock seeing a man of his stature reduced to this state. All I could do was sit at his bedside and ponder about the Guru who had such a profound impact on my life. This would be the last time I would see the great man. He sadly passed away two days later on the same bed, on the anniversary of the day the company was founded. It was a tragic loss mourned by all of Karmic at the time. I heard this saying once which goes like ‘A person is truly dead when he or she is forgotten among the living’. As long as the memory of Mahant sir remains among his dear students, colleagues and family, he will continues to live among us. Karmic being my first employer has given me the tools to sustain in a cut throat industry which will devourer even the best engineers. The sense of humility is at the core values propagated at Karmic. An example of this would be where one would wash their own dishes. No profession is belittled, however meager the work. The legacy of Karmic is something to be endured and cherished. I was just a small part of the journey and we have had seniors with their own tales expanding close to two decades. I hope anyone laying their eyes on this article gets an essence of what Karmic is about and what it means to me being a part of this journey.