The Training and Placement Cell of VSSUT, Burla organised an Alumni Talk titled “Career Beyond Campus” on 29th March 2015 which witnessed many eminent and successful alumni snooping down from various corners of the country to visit their alma mater. The aim of the talk was to encourage students to start thinking about what career would interest them and what career options they should be choosing.
The event was presided by President Alumni Assosciation Honourable Vice Chancellor Prof Dr. E.Saibaba Reddy, Vice President Alumni Assosciation- Asish Padhy, Secretary Alumni Assosciation- P.K.Pradhan, Dean Student’s Welfare incharge- Prof. P.C.Swain and Dean Training and Placement- Prof. P.Nanda. Member of Legislative Assembly, Sambalpur- Dr Raseswari Panigrahi inaugurated the event and in her speech highlighted the importance of the youth in shaping the nation’s future.
The Alumni talk commenced with the speech of Bijoy Kumar Mohanty followed by discourses by Niladri Bihari Puhan, Devi Dutta Satpathy, Swaraj Pradhan and Debasish Mohapatra
Bijoy Kumar Mohanty graduated from UCE in 1989 with a Mechanical degree before cracking the highly coveted civil services examination in 1994. Currently he is serving as Accountant Head of the state of Chattisgarh. While speaking he emphasized on the importance of having a clear perception of one’s goal to succeed in life. Mentioning his interest in writing, he urged the students to follow their passion.
Niladri Bihari Puhan who secured AIR-6 in the GATE exam is now serving as a faculty at IIT, Bhubaneswar. He stressed that dedication to studies and respect towards teacher are the two essential ingredients to succeed in life. Recollecting his experience at VSSUT, he attributed his success to his teachers.
Debidatta Satpathy emphasized the importance of hard work and highlighted the role of railways in the development of India’s economy asking students to consider Indian Railways as an alternate career option. He cracked the prestigious IES exam and currently works as a Divisional Mechanical Engineer in SSC Railways, Raipur.
Swaraj Pradhan said that one should never stop dreaming and strive tirelessly to attain those dreams. He put forth his own unconventional career as an example. After obtaining his B.Tech degree he went on to obtain his M.A in sociology from JNU, New Delhi. Further he did his M.Mcomm from IIMC, New Delhi before securing his PGDPM from IIM, Lucknow. He finally cracked Civil Services examination in 2013- the thing that he had always dreamed of.
Debasish Mohapatra also encouraged students to have a clear cut idea of what they want to do in life. He also emphasized that students should have a plan B in case plan A doesn’t work. He started his career by joining coal india limited in 1992 before joining DTTIPL as manager in 2003. He’s now serving as a Senior Manager at PWC.
After the talk ended the panel started taking questions from the students. The questions and the panel responses have been summarised below:
Q. (To Niladri Bihari Puhan) How did you motivate yourself to go into the oft neglected teaching profession when the interest among people to teach budding engineers is dying?
Ans: I believe if a student studies under the guidance of a good teacher then he’ll surely be motivated to follow the footprints of his teacher. That’s what happened in my case. I was real lucky to be vetted by exceptional teachers at VSSUT. Also the teaching line provides me with ample freedom to decide what research I want to carry out and how I teach students. All these factors strengthened my resolve to join the teaching profession.
Q. (To Bijoy Kumar Mohanty) What was the turning point in your career? What qualities do you believe are necessary to cope with the stress of personal and professional life?
Ans: The day I realised that I didn’t know what my aim was was the turning point in my life. When I passed out from this institute and joined a steel plant I realized that I didn’t like it. Then I joined Civil Services. But my heart was somewhere else. What I really wanted was to be a writer and I’ll be one either today or tomorrow.
I urge you not to take yourself seriously but consider your intentions seriously. Ponder on what you want to be. To cope with personal and professional life you must know how to compartmentalise your life from your job
Q. (To Swaraj Pradhan and Debasish Mohapatra) In your speech you inspired us to follow our dreams. But we often face stiff opposition from our family if we try to pursue them. How do you advise us to deal with such resistance?
Ans: (Swaraj Pradhan):Middle class families often seek job stability. That’s why students often face opposition from their families. Being firm in your decisions and planning out your career goals well before hand will help
(Debasish Mohapatra): It’s very important for you to prepare a plan to achieve your dream. Your plan should also be backed up by a fool proof backup plan. Also respect people having views contrary to that of yours because once you understand from what perspective they are opposing you, you’ll be better able to address your flaws. Make a roadmap and have discussions with your family then. You’ll be able to convince them easily.
Q: We often are lured by many career options. Pursuing them all isn’t possible. How can I decide the best option for myself?
Ans: (Bijoy Kumar Mohany)It’s human tendency to get lured by the glitter. To decide what’s best, you need to prioritize your goals and dreams. Dreams are not those which comes while we are sleeping, but dreams are those when u don’t sleep before fulfilling them. Try to figure out what is tugging at your heart. Once you realize that do that work with all your heart.
(Debasish Mohapatra): Also decide your dreams quickly. You all must be over 20 now. If you keep dreaming till 30 or 35 then when will you chase your dreams? So start planning and implement your plans as soon as possible.
Q. What steps we must follow in our engineering career to hone our personality to get through personal interviews?
Ans: Your personality is your behaviour, sense of dressing, style of talking, knowledge, views, belief and faith taken together. Read whatever books you can lay your hands on. Form reading groups and study together. It’ll help you in gulping down more information in less time. Also in an interview don’t fake. If you lie, you’ll be immediately caught and it would create negative impression in the mind of the interviewer.
Q. What according to the panel is an ideal college and how close is our University to being one?
Ans: There’s no such thing as an ideal institution. Every college has its fair share of merits and demerits. A college’s rating is well governed by its infrastructure, faculties, placements, study environment, etc. But in the end it all comes down to the students. You are the people who can make your university ideal. So strive hard to improve yourself.
Most of the students who attended the Alumni talk found it extremely useful and worthwhile. The alumni asked the students to contact them in case they needed any academic guidance. The department of training and placement plans to organise more such events to help the students plan out their career goals.