Microsoft DreamSpark Yatra 2012 – Hyderabad: The success story

Abey yaar” was my reaction when I got the official notification regarding details of Microsoft DreamSpark Yatra 2012. Phir se? Probably yes.

One year ago:

MSPs of Hyderabad and the surrounding areas were pretty excited and pumping up to their best when they all were selected as MSPs (yours truly included). They were all smiles when the Open Day was held. A month later at out very first MSP meet, hardly twenty turned out from the official count of 54 MSPs. Moving ahead, we had our regular dose of meet-ups/live meets etc. in preparation for DreamSpark Yatra 2011. And they all went well. The two DSY events at Warangal went off really well. We came back to Hyderabad only to find that we are short of dates and a venue for our very own DSY event. We fixed a date, finalized a college as the venue and marched along. It went well except for a few glitches (I won’t talk about) which later turned out to be bigger than we had expected. Coming to a personal side, I was a bit offended over the proceedings and the way things were handled post the DSY event given the amount of hard work and dedication I (we) had put in them. And this had has stayed with the old MSPs until recently.

“It all depends on how much willing you are to leave the past behind, move ahead to help create a difference at present and create history in the future.”


We (AP MSPs) were on ground zero and raring to go. This was an absolutely fresh start for the DreamSpark Yatra 2012 event. We wanted to make it BIG. We wanted it to be heard across everywhere. We wanted it to be talked about in the circles. We wanted it to be an event par-excellence. And yet, we were still on ground zero. There was a need for an initiative. I jumped on it and from there on, we began sailing. Warangal was again host to two excellent and splendid DSY events. But coming to the Hyderabad version, we had to be very very careful since this was where we had erred a year ago and we did not want any repeat.

I was very ably supported by my team, i.e. AP MSPs who understood me very well. We got two great speakers from Microsoft for the event, we got a great college auditorium for the event, we had a fab agenda for the day, covering topics such as Windows 8, Windows Phone 7, Kinect, Windows Azure and a live demo with a robot integrated with Kinect. Everything was perfect on paper. Never in the history of DreamSpark Yatra have registration tickets been sold out so fast! We literally had to pause the registration process in the middle as more than 700 tickets out of 1000 were sold in 8 hours flat without a single poster being distributed! Yes, that’s a record.

As the D-day arrived, I could feel the jitters. And as I slipped into my bed to wake up the next day for the DreamSpark Yatra Hyd event, I suddenly got a flash recall of the previous year; all those memories started trimming in my head. I remembered how I had lost my voice during the middle of my session due to excessive session-talk in the earlier two DSYs. I remember how I had left my house at 3:37am for Warangal while the whole of India was busy sleeping. I remembered the smile on my Dad’s face when he saw the memento I had received for being a speaker at the Warangal DSY event. It all was to happen again and the culmination of all our hard work had trimmed down to one day: TOMORROW!

And boy! What an event it was!! Excellent!  The chief guests from Microsoft were all in awe! The attendees wore huge smiles as they left with their certificate and DreamSpark key. And those pain-staking efforts were justified by that smile as that was our only motive, to let the student community know about the latest technologies.

After the event was over and when the workers started running in and out, emptying the chairs and the carpets, I suddenly realized that yes, we had done it. We had exceeded our expectations. We had worked hard and the fruit was right in front of us. That, according to me, is the best feeling in the world.

The post-event appreciation made us pat ourselves on the back. DreamSpark Yatra Hyderabad 2012 was one of a kind. Oh yes, it was heard across everywhere; it was talked about in circles.

There is

One thing to be learnt from all this: No matter what, believe in thyself. We started from nothing and achieved something. That’s speaks a ton. It indeed does.

Huge thanks to my fellow MSP colleagues without whom it wouldn’t have been possible, for a sailor needs a supportive crew and not just a ship.

Tomorrow when a senior faculty member asks me about my experiences during my Harvard admission process for my MBA, I can happily recall my DreamSpark Yatra 2012 Hyderabad experience for I feel it’s worth it.

“Be Yourself” – Syed Asrarullah