She Failed Her Infosys Test & Believes That’s The Best Thing That ‘s Happened To Her Career

Every year, thousands of fresh engineering graduates apply to work at the IT giant that is Infosys. With over 10 campuses and training centres, and nearly 2 lakh employees across India, it’s one of the biggest IT companies not only in India, but across the world. A job at Infosys comes with a brand name, an above average salary, opportunity to get a project abroad, and perks of a global MNC. So, when a handful (and by that we means a few hundred) of those applicants are selected to work in the company, it’s the career equivalent of hitting a jackpot.

However, before the selected candidates can officially call Infosys their employer, they must learn the technologies Infosys works on. For this, the company provides an on-campus, residential and paid training program for 6 months.

Infosys training
Infosys training centre, Mysore | Image: the Hindu

The training is arduous, and the qualifying test at the end of it is not easy, so not everyone gets through. Failing the test can abort one’s dreams of working at the tech giant. Some people go as far as to consider it as the end of the road for their careers. But when a person asked on Quora if there was “any hope for his future after failing Infosys’ training exam”, this one answer stood out.

Priya Swaminathan was one such Infosys aspirant who’d been selected for the company’s training program but failed to make the cut.  Her detailed reply to this dejected candidate is something everyone who’s faced failure in life should read, Infosys or otherwise.

“As a fresher and an engineering graduate, the dream of all the students in our batch was to join one of the IT giants. I tried hard, attended off-campus interviews, cleared the aptitude, GD, HR rounds and finally got placed in Infosys. No coding /programming tests.

First job with an IT giant, good pay for a fresher, 6 months training, and all this right here in my home town. I was on cloud nine.

But wait.. Did I tell you something? – I hate programming. It hated me too. I suck at coding. Years of no passion for something cannot be changed by 6 months of training. Their training program was good, I don’t deny it. But it was not working for me.

So when I took up the two exams at the end of 6 months – I flunked big time.

According to the policy, we should be terminated. About 20-25 of us were called to the HR cabin. We were all so ashamed to even make eye contact with each other. One of my batchmates and I who had become good friends during the 6 months training, were amongst them. The HR asked us to surrender our ID cards, gave some motivational speech like “failure is stepping stone to success” .. blah.. blah… and asked us to leave. That’s it. It was all over in a day. 6 months of effort, all gone waste. I had missed a lot of interviews from other companies as I was attending Infosys training for 6 months.

We were unemployed freshers, yet again.

That’s it. It was all over in a day. 6 months of effort, all gone waste.

After bidding goodbye to our batch mates, most of them who had pitiful eyes, my friend and I took the local train to return home. She was crying a lot. I was sitting there, confused. As the train kept moving, we spoke about how happy our parents were when we bought them gifts with our first month salary. How happy we were that we no longer had to look for a job.

Suddenly, my friend tells me “I am a failure. I am going to jump out of this moving train”. I was so shocked and scared. It took me a while to talk her out of it and we got down in our station.

I came home and broke the news. My parents were little shaken as I had been a very good student with excellent grades throughout school and college. They were worried about how I was feeling more than anything else.

My dad told me “Take a break for a month. Then try to do something you like”.

There were many hardships I faced for the next one year – becoming a recluse, nosy relatives wanting to know why I was chucked out, attending 4-5 interviews everyday (non-programming). The next batch of Engg. grads were in the race by then.

Today, I am in a profession that I love – a Soft Skills trainer and I love it. I would have never enjoyed working as a programmer even if I had cleared the Infosys test. My friend who wanted to jump off the train now works for an MNC as a graphic designer. She loves it too. Sometimes, we talk about that day (Dec 18, 2006)  but end it on a positive note that both of us made a lot of good friends in those 6 months. In fact, she is now married to one of our batch mates she met during Infy training 🙂

Take this failure as a blessing. Go find your true passion.

There is lot more out there than being a Software Engineer at Infosys.”

Priya found her calling in life though a rejection in Infosys – a company she had believed to be her path to a perfect life. But little did Priya know then that failure could be the best thing that would happen to her. Priya’s response reinforces that when all seems lost, life does indeed have better things planned for us, and only a positive approach can help us realise that.