Engineering Chronicles: The Squad of Seven
Monday Morning brings to you the story of seven ‘F.R.I.E.N.D.S’, TCS, Wangdu, Singham, Tesla, Mr.Cat, Jr. Bansal and Crazyg. As they step out of the gruesome coaching of two years of tiring studies and factories of Hyderabad and Kota, these teenagers are finished products ready to be shipped to the finest engineering colleges across the country. And this is where our story begins, where this group of 7 individuals enters an institute of international repute, ‘National Institute of Technology’ situated at a distant corner of Odisha.
There was once a boy who when born said, "Goo Goo Goo" (translates to I'm going to become an engineer when I grow up). He grew up to be Tesla, an extraordinary student at NITR. His primary concern was to get practical experiences from the classroom knowledge. He was regular to class, listened patiently to the lectures and was very sincere while performing experiments in the laboratory.
In his first year, he joined FSAE and spent numerous sleepless nights in the Central Workshop. However, he was unsatisfied with the classroom teaching and found some of the courses to be irrelevant. But that couldn’t stop him from his hunger to acquire knowledge. In his second year, after realizing the restrictions imposed by NITR curriculum, Tesla started following several journals to dive deep into the ocean of knowledge. He started using those concepts in several ventures of his club which truly justified his choice of engineering as a carrier option. He was a guy with not only high CGPA but also tremendous practical knowledge.
As a constant climber on the graph of career, Tesla kept on prospering and prepared himself for the real-world challenges and then in the final year, his primary aim was to crack a core automobile company. What seemed like a complex puzzle to others was a mere cakewalk for him because of his interest and involvement in the field over the past three years. And hence he achieved his target and was well-placed in one of the leading automobile industries of the nation. He took extreme pride in calling himself Er. Tesla.
Almost 31% of the graduates every year follow in the footsteps of Tesla. These people are the ones who not only make their alma-mater proud but also take a step towards a better future by developing sustainable technology to make lives of mankind easier.
The Prodigal Son:
When Wangdu got to know that he was to join NIT-R, he couldn’t have been any more excited. After all, his passion had always been engineering. First few weeks passed in a daze, the continuous cycle of introductory classes, orientations, inductions, etc. However, nothing interested him. Hoping that it will be a great addition to his CV, Wangdu joined Microsoft Campus Club. Nevertheless, he was happiest in the lab shaking test tubes and calculating moments and finding conclusions from the ocean of the books in the biggest library he had ever seen.
The sophomore year puts the pressure of starting early. While most of his batch mates went for research-based internships simply to add to the work experience, working in the same was pure bliss for Wangdu. “Is research my future?” he riddled to himself while he waited for the spectrophotometer readings. With the onset of the pre-final year, Wangdu had made up his mind. Engineering may be his interest but research was his passion. He had his plans chalked out. While his friends donned the formals for the prestigious internship interviews, he stayed up late for lab work and prepared for GRE.
He did go to some of the interviews for the sake of all those he cared about but the dismal environment of a job never interested him. Wangdu graduated with 5 research papers and an acceptance letter to MIT. Wangdu decided to pursue research in his field and is doing that right now, away from monotonous jobs and inside exciting laboratories.
Just like Wangdu, 22% of the NITR graduates take a flight of their dreams to their dreamland where they not only turn imagination into reality but also make their nation proud by bringing various medals and laurels home.
Just as passionate as his name sounds, Singham was one of those selected few individuals who got into a course of his choice based on his passion and not due to ‘Sharma ji kya kahengey’. His parents, relatives, teachers, even Sharma ji, were happy when Singham joined NITR. His first few weeks at NITR passed within the blink of an eye. He joined a few clubs and worked sincerely for them. The first year curriculum really tested his will power and his ability to push himself. True to his name, he came out with flying colors.
As the second year started and the branch specific subjects rolled in, Singham started assessing his career options. Even though he studied the subjects he wanted to, he could not envision himself after 2 years in the core sector job. Instead, public administration started interesting him more. He was confused if it was the sheer lack of interest in his subjects that inclined him towards UPSC or if it was the repressed wish in him to serve his country. Either way, he started his preliminary preparation for UPSC examinations, taking advice from here and there, joining clubs like Bureaucrats, etc., his round to library had begun well in time to put the seal of a civil servant on his name in the first go.
The pre-final year started and he could not escape the norms of NITR. Keeping in mind the selection rate of the examinations, Singham went for the most preferred internships. He also sat through most of the placement interviews, but couldn’t give it his best. As he donned his graduation cap, Singham was leaving for Delhi and looking forward to giving his best in the upcoming UPSC examinations in the month of August. It was his second chance and stakes were high. Singham came to a conclusion that Engineering wasn't his forte and he'd rather serve the country. You can find him in your local Civil Services study circles, preparing for UPSC.
Nearly 12% of the NITians are interested in serving the nation and leading a life like Singham's.
The 9-5 Owl:
TCS was an indolent kid when he entered NIT Rourkela in his freshmen year. He took it up because he was always among the herd of trend followers but little did he know about engineering. His decisions were always based on multitude opinion and lacked any specific goal of his own. His first year was completely swept off in the trend of taking a run towards academic excellence.
Entering the ‘sophomore’ year, he decried students' infatuation towards clubs and began attending orientations of varied kind of clubs, not sticking to any particular kind. TCS was inducted in several clubs and he enjoyed his sophomore year ecstatically until he came across the barrier of internships. Being a part of various non-technical clubs, it gradually illuminated in his mind that his interest in engineering was tending to zero while the time of sophomore year left was also racing towards zero.
TCS sat for campus interviews, got into an analytics company and now works the day through from 9-to-5, trying to wring his way up the corporate ladder.
The Cool Cat:
‘CAT’ was an extrovert and his friends meant the world to him. Back in 12th grade; Maths, Physics, and Chemistry were his cup of tea and it wasn’t a big deal for him to secure a decent rank in JEE Mains. Observing the trend among Indian students, he didn’t think twice while opting for NITR. He came with a lively circle of friends and in the institute ‘CS’, Mini Militia sessions fascinated him more than the boring lectures. He preferred missing a lab to give his hand in volunteering an event for Innovision. When it comes to semester, last minute preparations and decent scores used to suffice him. With such traits, he started doubting his choice to pursue engineering and claimed himself to be an accidental engineer.
In his second year, CAT was totally involved in his club activities and one could hardly find him in his room. He worked for fests and used to spend sleepless nights at SAC, which even dragged him to the verge of a grade back in a few subjects. Life was way different than what he expected it to be while choosing engineering. In the middle of his third year, seeing half of his friends preparing for various MBA entrances, CAT gave up his career as an engineer and decided to go for an MBA after B.Tech. He started aspiring for it and would spend hours lost in the aptitude and reasoning questions.
In the final year, his placement was just a formality and it didn’t matter to him as much as his CAT preparation did. He passionately worked for it but was not much sure how much he would love the life in a business school because he believed in the contagiousness of it. If the perception of larger masses was affirmative about it then nothing would have caused him to dislike it. He managed to get a decent percentile and joined a business school after finishing his studies at NITR. Mr. CAT is one of those black suited MBAs with lofty pay packages.
Together they constitute 30% of the population who change the direction of their sail as the wind blows.
The Rebel Artist:
And of course that one friend we have who just takes up Engineering because it’s the best option available and probably the only back up he has, our very own Crazyg, a free-spirited and a free willed soul.
Crazyg was a person of his own dreams and his universe revolved around the things he liked. Unlike his namesake neither did Mathematics nor did the equations interest him because engineering was his backup and his true interests lay in something diametrically opposite. He never understood Geometry but was intrigued by angles, apertures, shutter speeds and focus. Obviously, Cinematics and Third Eye were his places to be because celluloid was more interesting to him than cellulose! As he sailed into the sophomore year struggling with his attendance and grades, Crazyg sharpened his skills behind the camera and in acting. With his hand made videos in his kitty, he probably was the coolest ‘wanna-be-like’ guy on campus but seldom people realized that unlike them he had decided to make his passion his profession and not the other way round.
Crazyg was still as much crazy as he was because he kept the fire of passion burning strong inside him. While many people led mundane lives, his life was a memorable one and quite eventful not because of his struggle with bare minimum grades but because of the risks he dared to take to keep his passion alive. And now here he was at the cross roads holding an envelope with a letter enclosed in it while everyone around him was waving the name of the company and their package high in the air, he stood at one corner capturing those memories in his lenses. He was not dejected because of not getting the letter from a company but was extremely happy because it was from Satyajit Ray Institute of Film studies for engineering was the minimal threshold to cross and now he was prepared for a higher flight.
Crazyg, irrespective of what happened in the four years of his engineering decided to continue his interests in the field of visuals. Already into a reputed institution of film making, he has always marched on the path he liked and will continue to do so till the thirst for his art is quenched.
Only 2% NITians dare to take the road less traveled by and venture into a completely new field after completing what they call as the threshold level engineering.
The Freedom Monger:
Jr.Bansal cracked JEE Mains with a fairly good rank, in his perspective, and entered NIT Rourkela with no great hope for anything except his parents' wish to see him as an engineer. He ran a rote learning machine in his head to gain more CGPA because everyone was behind it. He attended orientations of several clubs and got inducted into some of them because the trend was all about it. He finally, emerged out of this small pond of hardship called the ‘Freshman' year only to enter the ‘Sophomore’ year as a trend follower and not a trend setter!
The sophomore year was nothing more prioritized than the first year for Jr.Bansal. He kept focusing on gaining a better CGPA until he came across a new startup in his institute. He interacted with the team members and started enriching his knowledge about the startup culture. Impressed with it, he started associating with various startup projects. Gradually his priorities changed and he moved out of all the clubs he got into in his first year in the search of his true calling
After the long journey of three years filled with projects, internships, and examinations, Jr.Bansal finally realized that his arena of interest lay in entrepreneurship rather than engineering and started finding sponsors for his new business idea. He finally answered to his idea of selling things rather than creating.
Jr. Bansal decided to sail into the dangerous world alone, as a captain of his own ship, as an entrepreneur. His latest product can be found in your nearest convenient stores.
He accounts for a meager 3% of the NITR junta.
As the time passed by and seasons flew past, these seven seeds flowered into trees bearing different fruits. Even though their roots remained grounded to the common soil, they spread their foliage in different directions, skyward. While for some, their career paths were crystal clear, for others the haze had shredded increasing the visibility, while simply following the trend because larger masses never decide wrong things. As the boys turned into men, they grew up as confident and successful ‘engineers’, owing their respective Four-year transformation to their alma-mater.