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He Just Didn't Give Up

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They all said, "You won't make it there!" That's what they always told him as he grew up. Ever heard someone say something similar? I know a guy who made it half a world away from his home running after his dream.

I have known this guy for some time now. What I like best about him is his "Never Give Up Nor Give In" attitude. Like most other international students at JSOM, he came here to LEARN and EARN. Now LEARN is great. Every student wants to do that. However, the EARN is what I think makes him different from the rest of us. We all want to earn our living, while this guy wants to earn respect. Respect through his work, commitments, experience and above all, helping society by improving people’s lives by making the world a better place to live.

Real crazy guy. I bet you have seen this guy smile and joke all the time, one of the most jovial guys who currently studies at JSOM. Most people think that he has no worries in life, so he has time for almost everything. So did I, initially. But as you look deep down into him, you realize that it’s different, very different indeed.

His journey to UTD was not all smooth. As a child he would come home and cry because his schoolmates bullied him, and he was in the bottom five in fifth grade. Now that guy trained himself to be stronger and sharper with time to secure admission to one of the best high schools in his hometown, followed by one of the best undergrad technical institutes in his country; and that followed by a job in one of the biggest information technology multinational companies.

Most people would have been content with this, but he strived for more. He decided to learn things better and signed up for GRE and TOEFL courses, prepared his statement of purpose and made all necessary preparations and finally secured an admission to UT Dallas. Despite very limited resources, he dreamt big.

However, he left his job before he was able to finish making all the necessary preparations. Even with insufficient funds, he thought that he would make it to UTD for fall 2014, but his visa application was rejected. All his efforts now seemed useless. On top of that, he had a breakup. So he was in bad shape both on professional and personal fronts.

But he wouldn't give up, as always. He deferred his admission to spring 2015 and started to work as a free-lancer to make money. Three months got him some pocket change, and the Dean’s Excellence Scholarship got him enough funds for the visa. So far, so good.

Then this: He got to UT Dallas and finished off all his money in two semesters, as he took too many credits by the end of summer 2015. No money and no on-campus jobs left him with insufficient funds, and he had to borrow money to pay his tuition for fall 2015. He still smiled and slogged on.

Now he is a TA and is well set for the rest of the semester. He got enough money, he thought. But as always, there is never an end for problems. His car broke down, and he spent all the money on it.

For now, he will manage his living with his earnings till the end of this year. But at the end of it, he will again have empty pockets. He isn’t sure what he will do, 63 credits to complete and not enough money. But he still smiles. He still makes it to the orientation for peer-to-peer mentors, doing every bit to help someone. And he has that unshakeable confidence that "things will work out!"

There was a time when I felt homesick, wished I had to spend less time here in U.S. and so on, but when I think of this guy, I also get the confidence that "things will work out!" This guy has motivated me more than anyone else at UTD. He is the one who taught me that helping people selflessly will always reward you when you feel there's no way, you will see a ray of hope.

So I found my inspiration in him. Did you find yours yet? Can you guess who this is?

Sayan Nandi

Sayan Nandi is an MS ITM student at the Naveen Jindal School of Management. He originates from India, and is now proud to be a UT Dallas comet. Read more articles

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