Rachana Nandan at ISM-Dhanbad on Wednesday. Picture by Gautam Dey
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It’s taken a girl, Rachana Nandan, to set for her alma mater ISM-Dhanbad the record for the biggest pay cheque ever. The BTech (computer science) final-year student will get Rs 56 lakh per annum from her employer, Facebook, from next year once she finishes her last semester in March 2013.
She qualified in the Facebook online test on July 22 and flew to New Delhi with three others, all boys, for a face-to-face interview on August 4.
Now, word is out that the Guwahati girl who came to Dhanbad for her BTech will head for sunny California in the US.
Chiranjeev Kumar, who’s an associate professor of computer science as well as ISM’s training and placement officer, is understandably thrilled.
“Rachana’s achievement has created a huge buzz. Junior students are taking tips from Rachana for appearing in the test next year,” Kumar smiled. “Though the placement session for 2012-2013 at ISM will begin from September 25, we allowed Facebook to headhunt before as a special gesture, given the company’s credentials and the fact that it was making its debut here.”
ISM director D.C. Panigrahi couldn’t stop praising the student. “The entire institute is proud of Rachana. I’ll share the credit between Rachana, her teachers and ISM. The best part is that it will fuel the ambitions of other students, who’ll work harder now,” Panigrahi told The Telegraph.
As celebrations burst around her, Rachana is trying her best to stay poised. But she knows she has set a tough benchmark for her cradle.
The Nandan family hails from Patna, but Rachana and her two siblings Rashmi and Abhishek grew up in Guwahati where dad Rajeev, a mechanical engineer, is posted as an HPCL senior manager. He and his wife Rina, a homemaker, stressed on sound academics for the three siblings — Rashmi, Rachana and Abhishek.
“I must thank my family and teachers for this day. My family supported our technical aptitudes. Rashmi completed her BTech in electronics engineering this year, while Abhishek is in Class VIII. He’s the baby of the family, but is technologically wired like us,” said Rachana.
She’s been bright throughout — getting 90 and 91.4 per cent marks in her X and XII from Kendriya Vidyalaya, Guwahati. But Rachna is no nerd. She likes dramatics and dance. She was involved in Kartavya, the students’ outfit of ISM that educates over 10,000 slum children.
“She’s busted the myth that social engagements hinder one’s career. Rachana was involved in Kartavya from the first year as a member of the finance team. I am proud of her achievement as very few Indians work in Facebook. Plus, she’s got a huge package,” said final-year mining engineering student Navneet Chhabra.
What is Rashmi telling juniors clamouring for career guidance? “I tell them that you needn’t put on a serious face and snap all your social and family ties to study. Manage your time well. Identify your aptitude and work on it. That’s what I believe and that’s what I say,” she said.
That there’s nothing put-on about her is evident.
“I was slightly depressed over not getting into an IIT. I got the All-India Rank of 5,064 in IIT-JEE 2008. But my dad cheered me up. And the years at ISM have been simply wonderful,” she said. “I’ve never been abroad, so to be working in California next year is definitely exciting,” she beamed.