And match for a great ca­reer graph

POLES APART For stu­dents who study in one field and work in an­other, it’s a happy ex­per­i­ment, a fresh change and a rare chance to en­hance their skills

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - HT Education - - Front Page - Aparna Bhowmick HT Ed­u­ca­tion Cor­re­spon­dent

Com­bi­na­tion cour­ses, though very pop­u­lar abroad in the field of ed­u­ca­tion, are hard to come by in In­dia. Such cour­ses let you study science and take up an arts sub­ject along­side. Or maybe com­bine science and com­merce sim­i­larly. Ac­cord­ing to Karan Gupta, ed­u­ca­tion con­sul­tant at Karan Gupta Con­sult­ing, there is no spe­cific list of col­leges in In­dia that of­fer com­bi­na­tion cour­ses, but all engi­neer­ing col­leges en­able stu­dents to ex­e­cute projects out­side of the class­room, which are like in­tern­ships.

“The In­dian ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem at the col­lege level is the­o­ret­i­cal. Some fields in engi­neer­ing such as elec­tri­cal, me­chan­i­cal and com­puter engi­neer­ing have re­lated projects that stu­dents have to do as part of the course. Such projects are some­times at par with those of­fered abroad”, he says.

But this doesn’t seem to stop stu­dents from ex­per­i­ment­ing out­side. Those who have had enough of rote learn­ing tend to take up jobs only in tech­ni­cal fields, and there­fore ig­nore cre­ative fields as ca­reer op­tions. Oth­ers have found that spread­ing their nets wide only re­sults in a bet­ter re­sume when they start look­ing for a job.

“I nter nships, re­lated or un­re­lated, help stu­dents gain prac­ti­cal knowl­edge about the out­side world. I don’t think stu­dents are pres­sured to take up an in­tern­ship only be­cause it is re­lated to what they are study­ing. In­tern­ships which are un­re­lated to their study pro­gramme al­low the stu­dents to ex­plore some­thing new, while the re­lated ones give them a chance to ap­ply what they have learnt in class. In any case, all in­tern­ships help stu­dents to get an idea of how to work within an or­gan­i­sa­tion or of­fice,” says Shraddha Kamdar, vis­it­ing fac­ulty at sev­eral Mum­bai col­leges.

Harnoor Kaur, 20, com­pleted her BSc in or­ganic chem­istry from KJ So­maiya Col­lege of Science and Com­merce and loves writ­ing. She has been in­tern­ing as a writer at Fes­ti­val Sherpa, an on­line mu­sic magazine, since De­cem­ber 2016. “I chose to write be­cause it makes me happy. Af­ter a point, ev­ery­thing, whether cre­ative or not be­comes work and then you push your­self through it. But writ­ing is some­thing that doesn’t kill me from within,” says Kaur.

She plans to pur­sue he Masters in foren­sic science and crim­i­nol­ogy for her ca­reer, while hold­ing on to writ­ing in some way.

“I wanted her to con­tinue study­ing science, get a gov­ern­ment job and only pur­sue writ­ing as a hobby but the more she tried, it only de­pressed her. Now she is happy and says she wants to con­tinue study­ing”, says Narinder Kaur, Kaur’s mother. EX­PLOR­ING OP­TIONS Hardik Mal­ho­tra, 21, an elec­tri­cal engi­neer­ing stu­dent at Birla In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy and Science (BITS), Pi­lani, hasjumped to and from sev­eral ven­tures, sim­ply be­cause the sub­jects ap­pealed to him. He has in­terned in the fi­nance do­main, mak­ing al­go­rith­mic strate­gies to trade and then as a data an­a­lyst at Hash­tag Loy­alty, a dig­i­tal loy­alty plat­form. Fur­ther on, in 2016, he did two in­tern­ships, the first as a re­search in­tern at In­sight Data An­a­lyt­ics Cen­tre, Ire­land, in nat­u­ral- lan­guage pro­cess­ing and trans­la­tion where he was in­volved in trans­la­tion of on­tolo­gies (a branch of meta­physics). The other was at Cen­trale Su­per­lec Univer­sity in France dur­ing his un­der­grad­u­ate the­sis. There he de­signed an ef­fi­cient par­al­lel al­go­rithm for clus­ter­ing of huge data that can be used for mul­ti­ple ap­pli­ca­tions in­clud­ing bi­ol­ogy and e-com­merce.

“Ev­ery­thing th­ese days is mov­ing to­wards smart tech and ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence, and this is what ex­cited me about th­ese in­tern­ships. Even in fu­ture I see my­self more in­volved in soft­ware end of the tech­nol­ogy and mak­ing an im­pact in the world with the same”, says Mal­ho­tra.

He found an in­ter­est in pro­gram­ming and took on th­ese op­por­tu­ni­ties to make the best of them as com­pared to elec­tri­cal engi­neer­ing, which is es­sen­tially about hard­ware and does not seem to be his cup of tea.

“He has al­ways dis­played a strong will to pur­sue what he is pas­sion­ate about, prov­ing that where there is a will there is a way, says Sangeeta Mal­ho­tra, Mal­ho­tra’s mother. CHERRY ON THE CAKE In­tern­ships in fields that they are not pur­su­ing aca­dem­i­cally have proved to be a way of sup­ple­ment­ing their knowl­edge­with­prac­ti­cal ex­pe­ri­ence. And the rea­son could be just any­thing, say ex­perts. “Many stu­dents in In­dia are ‘forced’ into aca­demic disciplines by their fam­i­lies. How­ever, they com­pro­miseon­their pas­sions and in­ter­ests. Ea­ger to ex­plore their pas­sions, but still un­sure of their paths, they seek in­tern­ships in var­ied do­mains,” says Vibha Kagzi, founder of ReachIvy.com.

Cha­roo Agar­wal, 21, afi­nal year Bach­e­lor of Man­age­ment Stud­ies (BMS) stu­dent at Jai Hind Col­lege, is cur­rently in­tern­ing at CNBC, a news chan­nel, since Fe­bru­ary 2016. Her pre­vi­ous in­tern­ships in­clude work­ing for AVIAREPS, a me­di­at­ing firm for for­eign air­lines and travel agen­cies in 2014 and at House of Blondie, a fash­ion house in 2015.

“I chose BMS be­cause it is one of the few man­age­ment cour­ses that give you an op­por­tu­nity to work on your pre­sen­ta­tion skills and the sched­ule al­lows you to get hands-on ex­pe­ri­ence of the cor­po­rate world. CNBC meant event man­age­ment and me­dia in a sin­gle in­tern­ship, since I got a chance to work on events where em­i­nent busi­ness per­son­al­i­ties like Mr. Moti­lal Oswal were present”, says Agar­wal.

Her mother, pre­vi­ously un­sure of her daugh­ter’s de­ci­sions, be­came sup­port­ive once it was clear to her that ex­celling at in­ter­per­sonal skills is of ut­most im­por­tance in the cor­po­rate world. “Ear­lier I wasn’t sure if th­ese in­tern­ships would re­ally help her be­cause they were nowhere close to her ma­jor in fi­nance. It was later that I re­alised that it’s about learn­ing to deal with peo­ple and be­ing in real-life work-re­lated sit­u­a­tions that mat­tered and not the area of work”, says her mother, Van­dana Agar­wal.

Even ed­u­ca­tion ex­perts be­lieve that it is nec­es­sary for stu­dents to go beyond the walls of class­rooms and­get ex­posed to the pro­ceed­ings of the cor­po­rate world.

“Prac­ti­cal learn­ing is very im­por­tant for stu­dents to un­der­stand con­cepts. Some uni­ver­si­ties abroad of­fer sand­wich and co-op pro­grammes in which stu­dents study for one year and then work full time for an­other year andthen get back to their stud­ies. Such cour­ses are very pop­u­lar and in great de­mand­for ob­vi­ous rea­sons. The In­dian ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem must im­bibe prac­ti­cal learn­ing, in­tern­ships and co-op op­por­tu­ni­ties for all cour­ses”, says Karan Gupta. But he also feels that an in­tern­ship not re­lated to what a stu­dent is study­ing, holds no value when it comes to look­ing for a full-time job. The Univer­sity of Strath­clyde, Glas­gow is invit­ing ap­pli­ca­tions for BEng (hon­ours) bio­med­i­cal engi­neer­ing course start­ing in Septem­ber 2017.

BEng (hon­ours) in bio­med­i­cal engi­neer­ing is a mul­ti­dis­ci­plinary pro­gramme that will en­able stu­dents to ap­ply engi­neer­ing knowl­edge and skills to re­al­world clin­i­cal prob­lems.

Stu­dents will learn about the com­plex­i­ties of hu­man anatomy and phys­i­ol­ogy along­side core me­chan­i­cal and elec­tri­cal engi- neer­ing sub­jects. Vis­its to lo­cal clin­i­cal cen­tres and lec­tures from in­dus­tri­al­ists and vis­it­ing ex­perts from the UK and over­seas are an in­te­gral part of the course. Stu­dents will also have the op­por­tu­nity to meet many in­dus­trial and clin­i­cal col­lab­o­ra­tors who can give ad­vice to help fur­ther their ca­reer.

Stu­dents will study core con­cepts in math­e­mat­ics, me­chan­i­cal engi­neer­ing, elec­tri­cal engi­neer­ing, anatomy, phys­i­ol­ogy and molec­u­lar bio­science pro­vide fun­da­men­tal engi­neer­ing and bio­med­i­cal science knowl­edge. Stu­dents will take the ma­jor­ity of th­ese classes along­side other engi­neers and bio­med­i­cal sci­en­tists. Spe­cial­ist classes will de­velop bio­med­i­cal engi­neer­ing fo­cus. Stu­dents will ap­ply their knowl­edge in spe­cific ar­eas of bio­med­i­cal engi­neer­ing (eg biome­chan­ics and bio­med­i­cal ma­te­ri­als).

The f ee for the course is £ 19,100 per year. Last date to ap­ply is till Au­gust 2017, how­ever ear­lier ap­pli­ca­tion is ad­vised

For fur­ther in­for­ma­tion visit www.strath.ac.uk/engi­neer­ing/ biomed­i­calengi­neer­ing or email: biome­deng-ug-ad­mis­[email protected] strath.ac.uk

I LLUSTRATION: SID­DHANT JUMDE

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