Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Knowing your alumni: Ms. Essa Mahapatra

By: shiny choudhury
[Interview taken by Miss. Aayushi Jajodia]

Aayushi : Hi Essa! Good Evening!
Essa: Hi.

Aayushi : How are you today? ; You having a good day so far?
Essa: yeah. Absolutely  :)

Aayushi : Great to hear that, so should we start with the interview?
Essa: yeah, absolutely

Aayushi: Starting with, the whole of Cet is so proud to have you as a part of its constitution! Firstly, all of us would like to know, what did you study in C.E.T.?
Essa: I did my B.Tech in I&E from CET. I had joined IT though...but I changed my branch to I&E in the 2nd year. 

Aayushi : Oh! Instrumentation and electronics! That is one great branch! So, how was life in CET back then?
Essa: It was great; A mixture of experiences. There were good times, and there were bad times, but when I think about it today, my life in CET was great; A great learning experience.

Aayushi: From your past record, it seems that you were amongst the studious bunch of people in campus. Is that so?
Essa: NO NO. Not at all! :p I had a decent cgpa, but I was not among the toppers. :p Infact I was also not that much sure of getting into M.Tech

Aayushi: Haha okay! So when did that decision come about? And when did you start preparing yourself for it?
Essa: It came around the campus season. That year the campus scenario for our branch was really bad. I had decided to study really, crack gate and get into a good PSU (IOCL/NTPC). I screwed up my NTPC application, couldn’t register for it because of some stupid reason...I still remember it was 26th of Jan and our gate exam was on 2nd Sunday of Feb, 2012. Our semester exams had just ended (thanks to bput strikes) and we were left with hardly 15 days for our final revision for GATE. Those 15 days I had desperately tried hard for GATE.

Aayushi: Ohkay! And then IISc happened?
Essa: Yeah. I was expecting an AIR below 50 for sure. But my rank was 17. It was a dream come true :)

Aayushi: That is Superb! If I may say so, you should have really worked hard, and you got what you deserved! 
Essa:  Hmmm. Thanks. I do accept; those 15 days before GATE-2012, I had spent sleepless nights for the 1st time in my life. :P

Aayushi: So, tell me Essa, you completed your masters from IISc B’lore.. How was that experience? What is your take on the quality of Mtech degree of an IIT as compared to that of an IISc?
Essa: Comparison of an M.Tech degree from IIsc and IIT is tough if a student is interested for a job afterwards. I had a same dilemma, to choose between IISc and IIT-B. But I went for IISc after talking to many seniors and professors. I still remember my conversation with 1 of my CET seniors in IIT-B. She told me IISc is the best and the toughest place to be in. That single line made me take my decision. I always wanted to be in the best place...no matter how tough it would be.  So I went for IISc.

Aayushi: I can very well see that, and this brings me to my next question, that is, What are the trends of Jobs after pursuing an M-tech degree from a premier institution such as the one you studied in?
Essa: It depends on your branch, for CS/Electronics people the job opportunities are many the same is not that good for electrical/mechanical or instrumentation students. There are many companies who would also say IIScians are over-qualified for company jobs, and that’s the reason they don’t want to recruit Masters/phds from IISc. Instrumentation in IISc is a research-oriented branch; So companies hardly come for them.

Aayushi : That's scary. And so, your advice, as a mentor, for future MTech aspirants from the college would be?
Essa: My advice, M.Tech in a good college like IISc, IITs is like a 2nd chance given by God to experience what really research is(trust me, it’s exciting) at least it was for me. Once you get a really good rank...you'll always be distracted by PSUs. I have seen it and experienced it myself. But M.Tech life is different. So don’t let it go. Jobs, you can get easily, not the 2 wonderful years in MTech and about cracking GATE, just focus on your basics.

Aayushi: And, if we are really ambitious of getting into a good college for m tech, from when do we need to start preparing for it?
Essa: Take your 3rd year and 4th year courses really seriously because that is what is going to be there even after joining an M.Tech. Start from 3rd year.  You don’t have to prepare rigorously...but just be clear in the 3rd year courses. A good proportion of GATE syllabus is from 5th and 6th semester courses. For electronics students, AEC, DEC and EEM also matters a lot. Instead of trying to finish the entire syllabus of GATE make an intelligent decision and choose the subjects which you can finish and revise thoroughly.

Aayushi : Okay, thank you so much for this valuable advice. Our readers including me would be thoroughly in need of it! 
Essa: And I must say here, you people are really doing a great job. The concept of CET rising is really nice. Building this bridge between alumni and the current students was really necessary.

Aayushi:  Thank you Essa!.. That means a lot coming from you. Speaking of which, The College Alumni association getting into picture is a big plus for us to know our glorious Alumni placed at different firms and organizations. Do you think the establishment of College-Alumni association would benefit the current batches?
Essa: Of course, in fact we had a meeting in Bangalore for it and it was decided to build a really strong alumni association for CET.

Aayushi: Yup, the bangalore meet was a successful one. Are you optimistic and enthusiastic about the Global Alum meet that is expected to be organized this Winter here at the college campus?
Essa: Yup. We need more publicity for it I suppose. Maybe having another round of meets in every city before the big one will help a lot. If you can share the database of people in a city then we can arrange a meet and involve others too. If we are doing it this winter, lets do it big.

Aayushi: Yup, we are working on it right now, and it is really a blessing for us to have such cooperating alumni such as you. We will keep you posted on the happenings. :)
 Looking Back, how much do you think has C.E.T. played a role in helping you achieve whatever you have achieved till now?
Essa: A lot. As I have already said, CET was a learning experience for me both professionally and personally.

Aayushi: Have you been to this college in the recent past? What changes have you observed i the college? Which area do you think has scope for improvement?
Essa: Yes, I visited college last June. I had seen and heard a lot about the efforts our students, student clubs are giving for the college and that is really commendable. But I was shocked by the infrastructure. Except for the new buildings, the old buildings were in a mess. I talked to few professors who said the govt has increased the seats without taking care of proper infrastructure. A proper infrastructure and lab facilities are very much required I think the college and government should focus more on quality than quantity.

AayushiYup Di, I agree with you in this context. This is one area we still need to work on.  And, tell us something about your hobbies.., were you passionate about anything in particular. Such as dancing? Or painting?
Essa: I never had a particular hobby. I always felt n still feel that hobbies restrict us to doing one thing. And, so whenever I get time I get involved in whatever comes to my mind 1st. I could be reading a novel, singing on my own, dancing, exploring a new place or could even be reading a journal paper.

Aayushi : (gasps) you never fail to amaze us.
Essa: (laughs) LOL :p

Aayushi : :D lastly, It has always been a privilege to listen to the success stories of our seniors who went through the similar processes while in college. Is it possible for you to come down to the college for an inspirational talk anytime when you are in town?
Essasure...anytime, I don’t know about inspirational talk tough as I am a very bad public speaker. But I would certainly interact with the students; would love to. It would be an honour for me.

Aayushi: Okay!.. That would be much more of an honour for us.. With this, we conclude our interview!..
Essa: Thanks Aayushi!

Aayushi: Thank you Essa!. It was wonderful talking with you. Hope that we keep in touch.
Essa: Sure we will!

And with this we conclude the AWESOME interview!


1 comment:

  1. Incredible initiative from the current student/ alumni volunteers.
    I think the current students do find Essa's perspectives inspiring - especially given her having graduated no long back. Hope they do make it a point to visit these pages.
    Heartiest wishes to Essa for her future!