It has been quite the rise for Tijo Jose who went from being the son of a farmer in hilly Idukki to being the highest-paid campus interview recruit ever from an engineering college in Kerala, but the youngster is not keen to take all the plaudits for himself. “Hard work is what has got me this far, it has been due to God’s grace and solid support from family and friends. I could not have done it without them,” he says.
Tijo, an MTech computer science student from NIT-Calicut, has been offered an annual remuneration of Rs 70 lakh and a place in their Mountain View headquarters in California and they did not even wait for him to complete his course. “I still have a year to go in my course and I am planning to take up the offer next October. Right now, it is back to studies for me,” he says.
The offer comes at the end of a rather unorthodox route that not many engineering aspirants would dare to take. Tijo, despite securing a high rank in entrance exams and being eligible for admission in some of most highly regarded colleges in the state, chose to shun them all in favour of a self-financing institution nearer to his house. “I gained admission in Viswajyothi Engineering College in Vazhakkulam, which is at a commuting distance to my residence. But it is a misconception that one has to go to these so-called ‘top’ engineering institutions to have a good career. They may have been more famous but the college I studied in had facilities and faculty that was as good as any in the state. What matters more than the reputation of the institution is what you do there,” he says.
He chose not to plunge into his career after his BTech degree, opting to pursue an MTech at NIT-Calicut. “I decided it was better to not have a break in between two courses. I did not want to make the transition from student to a professional and then back again,” he says.