Knocking myself out of my contented cocoon has been my way of living life. I find delight in pushing myself through adversities and frenetically embracing them all. Hello everyone, my name is Ishita Sisodiya and I currently work in the finance sector of an Investment Bank. Getting this far in life was an unanticipated adventure for me, embedded with its share of challenges and difficulties.
I date back to my childhood days to tell you all more about myself. Although I was born in Dehradun, I spent my childhood in a place in Uttar Pradesh called Badaun, which was not that big of a town for quality education. And then came a huge change in my life, I moved to Noida. I enrolled in a prestigious school. The initial phase at the school was very demanding and taxing for me as I hailed from a different environment. My English and grammar were not strong and not on par with the other students in the school. This made me feel left out because communicating in Hindi was my comfort zone and I was judged badly by my peers for that. Making friends at school was difficult, and so was approaching teachers with questions. But with time, I managed to overcome my hesitancy and, after a while, mastered it.
Another hassle in my life came in 12th grade. I got diagnosed with typhoid and while recovering from it, I got paratyphoid again. Because of that, I was weak, my back hurt a lot, I had hair fall issues, and I missed my classes. I could not study the whole year and, to make matters worse, my elder sister was to get married right a month before my board exams. I only got a month to study for my exams, but I still managed to score very well in them.
Then I got admission in DU, since it was difficult for me to commute to college, I shifted to a PG. It was certainly a challenging experience to live with girls of different backgrounds all alone, with no one to take care of you. I started reflecting upon my career at this point of time, I aspired to become an IPS Officer. After graduation, I thought of taking coaching for the same, but it wasn’t financially viable for my family, since the fees of the institutions were very high. I was then determined to look for jobs, to have something concrete in my hands, earn my own money and pay for the institutions’ fees. And while all this, do self study for the exam.
Fortunately, I procured a job in a big company and the project I was assigned was a pilot project for which I had to go to New Zealand for three months. While I was getting my passport and visa ready for New Zealand, little did I know that this instance would soon turn into a moment of dilemma for me. I got another job offer in auditing from a company which had a very big name in the financing sector. At that juncture, I had to decide whether to go to New Zealand or to take this job here. I made up my mind to take the other job offer since that was more of a big opportunity.
With this job my life altered entirely, the college life I was living was more easy and breezy than this professional life. I had to work for 12 hours at a stretch; it was gruelling to meet deadlines. From the second year onwards, as I got more settled with my job, I started taking UPSC coaching. I used to work on weekdays and took coaching on the weekends. I worked for this company for 3 years until I needed a change in my life. I wanted to break my shackles and try my hand at new things. I thought of taking the UPSC exam or pursuing Master’s. But then COVID happened and the exam was postponed to October. I wanted to apply for Master’s as well and had concluded that if I were to go abroad for it, it would only happen if I got a scholarship. Otherwise, I’d do it from an Indian university.
I applied for a UGC funded scholarship to Europe, which is fully funded and includes everything from tuition fees to flight fares to stipends to manage expenses. But obtaining the scholarship was no cakewalk. I had to take an examination, face an interview, and then other criteria such as job experience, etc were also considered for overall scores. Luckily, I soared them all and got a fully funded scholarship to a Hungarian University. And then I was struck with another dilemma of my life; whether to go ahead and seize this opportunity of scholarship or to give my UPSC attempt, which was in October. It definitely put me in a tight spot to choose between a once in a while opportunity and a desire of mine for a long time. I thought about it and finally went ahead to pursue my Master’s in Finance.
Living in Europe has been a rollercoaster ride for me, from facing challenges to relishing this new experience of life. Europe is a new voyage for me, meeting folks from all around the world, adjusting to living with them, getting insights into their culture and traditions is a lot of fun. Cultural encounters with people from different countries have broadened my perspective as a human being, it has made me grow. While doing my master’s, I was simultaneously doing internships to manage my expenses here and now proudly state that I have already got a job in an investment bank.
Personally, I have transformed a lot. From being the youngest and the most pampered kid whose life was dependent upon her mother, to an individual capable of being self-reliant and managing everything on her own, I have seen myself, evolve positively. I made my own budget, I cooked for myself, I cleaned everything for myself and I studied hard to achieve everything that I ever aspired to have. The one thing that I did in my life and will advise all the readers to do is to ‘PUSH YOURSELF’, never get confined and stagnant in life at any point.