How Vetrivel stepped out of his kitchen to become a professional Coder

Masai School
4 min readMay 26, 2021

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Vetrivel, 22, was born and brought up in Tamil Nadu, India. As a young boy, he dreamt of becoming a chef and even went to a culinary school for a diploma course in cooking to polish his skills. However, he could not follow his dream due to financial constraints as he had a single mother and had to drop out of the course in between and look for something else that would ensure him a stable career.

Following this, he opted for graduation in an in-demand field like UI & UX from a private college to excel in designing and development. However, he soon realised that the faculty here wasn’t up to the mark and that he will have to find his own way into understanding things. Being a fast learner, he somehow managed to do all his assignments without any external help and this amazed his batchmates. They started approaching him to do their assignments as well for a petty sum that got him some monetary relief. While doing the assignments repeatedly for himself and for others, he realised that he liked working with HTML.

However, fate didn’t favour him for long as in the 3rd year of his college, he struggled to find himself a job during placements. After getting rejected in a lot of interviews, he finally got a call for an internship from Masai School, a new venture that was on the lookout for young talent in the first year of its inception.

During his interview, he met Prateek Shukla, Co-founder & CEO of Masai- who asked him if he knew anything about Data Structure or not. While he did have theoretical knowledge about design and development, he didn’t really possess the skills that an industry professional would be proud of. He expressed his inhibition to Prateek, who then gave him a problem statement related to development instead. It took him just 3 hours to complete the test and get the internship offer.

After he joined as an intern the very next day, the first thing that Prateek taught him was the basics of Data Structures and helped him clear the basics of programming. Within a few weeks, Vetrivel realised that whatever he had learnt in his college and from other external sources wasn’t very practical in terms of industry standards. At Masai, he began to unlearn what he had learnt in the past and instead focussed on the ‘science of learning’ itself- digging deeper into the world of Coding with each passing day.

Vetrivel felt intrigued by Masai’s ISA- it allowed every student to pursue the course without paying any fees unless they would land themselves a job of more than Rs.5 lakhs per annum. As his internship was coming to an end, he realised that he could also apply here as a student to learn more about the fundamentals of programming. Moreover, the team at Masai had become his family-

“In schools and colleges, they don’t take out the time for each student and ask about their family or their well-being. However, at Masai, our mentors cared about each student and employee like one would care for their loved ones. They made sure to make everyone feel like a family member and would go beyond their responsibilities as a mentor just to make sure that we are doing well in life as a whole, not just in academics,” he says.

Apart from this, the other reason why he opted to study at Masai was to curb the financial crisis at his home. His single mother, previously a businesswoman, had been working as a maid in order to make ends meet and educate her son. Vetrivel knew from the very beginning that her earning of Rs.12,000 per month wouldn’t be able to sustain them both in the long run and that he had to do something to ease her sufferings.

In accordance with his previous experiences at private colleges that charged a lot of fees from students to provide them with education, he was highly impressed at the quality of curriculum that Masai provided to its students. The Nine-Nine-Six schedule inspired him to wake up at 6 every morning and remain determined to study for 12 hours a day without any problem in his sight.

While Prateek helped him improve his Mathematics, Yogesh helped him polish his soft skills related to communication and personality build-up. He also wants to thank Nrupul, for mentoring him throughout the course and teaching him all the required technical jargons. “Coming from a non-Computer Science background from a non-English medium school, my self-confidence had never seen a high- the mentors here truly helped in changing my life in a span of just 1 year,“ he says.

Today, he is currently working at Masai School with the product and engineering team and is living a decent life with his loving mother. He feels very deeply for all the aspiring students who wish to change their career path and suggests that they should not feel afraid or doubtful about Masai School. He says, “Having ups and downs are a part of life. You should not give up and stay focused on whatever it is you are pursuing- for there are things in life worth living for that are beyond earning money- it’s actually the little things like dedication and hard work that will take you to heights you won’t even think of.”

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Masai School

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