Tag Archives: university

A good lesson to learn during Bachelors program

10/10/2006 : The day our classes officially started for Bachelor of Technology at CU ( Calicut University). Information pours in slowly but definitely, in that time, when mobile internet was slowly penetrating the serenity of Malabar.

We had plenty of time to expend on a rather long vacation after +2 (higher secondary school). That was the best months of vacation, waiting on something unknown, uncertain, and having nothing else to do. The months before the tests/exams of +2 was had a  sense of war-time emergency at personal level for my batch. Hence, the vacation was a special invitation for some, who particularly put up with the stress of studies and prepared rigorously.

October approached, and we were in for some initial foothold in the next steps of study. Everyone wanted to get into engineering. This was understood for the return of investments and the scope of an engineering degree rather than the personal interests as such. This could not be elaborated further because what were some of the career explorations students at that time did? I had no clue. Newspapers, family, and their extensions were the go to source of information. Internet was available, but information? I do not know. With limitations in sources of information, it was a blessing in disguise, helping to eliminate unwanted distractions and stick to guaranteed investments of 3-4 years in college. It is easy to choose when we have the complete picture of valid available sources.  The long wait was closing in and we were in the process of enrolling in the colleges for whatever we have picked. This waiting period taught one valuable lesson to wait to get. Unlike the current times (year 2017) of clicking and getting whatever you want. Waiting to get something was a lesson. And later, as time progressed, for our batch, Calicut University wanted to give us a definite time for first year examinations (2007). Moreover, some students went to CU. Some striking, some to see what a strike is like for the first time, some to see what CU looks like. It was first time outside home and hostel for a solid mission. To be there. Later, as situation was handled excellently by CU administration, it was learned that there were no physical strike, not a single person had the madness to through a stone at the windows of the windows, for fun or seriously, this would have caused chaos. Their combined dignified demeanour saved the day. Period of uncertainty cast a shadow on the academics. What will be the actual dates of examinations? On what basis are the studies to be planned with an uncertain date? What possible distractions could be avoided? There were truckloads of uncertainties and unknowns! When it came to passing backlogs for some that was another avatar of uncertainty. In addition, at the dusk of the program recession hit, thanks to Lehman Bros. The Indian system of campus placements to get job re-assured that it was not worthwhile for companies to visit campuses for placement. In sum, the cumulative uncertainties prepared everyone in our batch to mentally prepare ourselves to face the yet incoming uncertainties of the bigger world, called ‘Life’. That 4 years of preparation toward life was the most valuable course in the program never advertised or assumed in those years.



My batchmates may or may not agree to all these. These are my personal opinion.




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Posted by on August 27, 2017 in Lesson, Uncategorized


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My experience at the Orientation week, UB

It is one year since. This will happen one year hence. I have been lucky to have met the director of a- IIT, thanks to my previous job at CDAC, who is also UB alumni.

The name of UB spreads far and wide. How does one use it. It is not too sure in the beginning. Especially during the orientation week at UB. There is lot of fun and activities going around. Tonnes of people come to UB, esp. North Campus, and it reminds one of how empty the universities such as University of Calicut and CUSAT are. The crowd resembles that of any shopping mall. And people are pretty serious about shopping for courses.

It is so true, that even Open MOOCs like CourseEra are now paid services

Earlier what read as “My courses ” under dropdown on top right corner, now read “My purchases ”


That is all right as a business model , if you are sure that you are providing services that are needed and has a market. The way of Apple and Steve J of customers not knowing what they want is limited in the educational business model. This is because of the direct link between job market and the student’s (customer) requirement.

There are a few who want to ride their own horses and make their own way. They eventually drop out of college. It was also interesting to note that an IT service provider for K12 schools came up with data analysis that predict the success of a student by analysing data on the collected database. This works best with right feedbacks and control. Great to know this !

Back to UB, this semester, I believe to see the same kind of eager crowd. Sometimes uncertain, sometimes over-confident. Free of prejudices and focus span all these groups, irrespective of the background. They all have this brightness in their face, to achieve. It is importance to keep up the face throughout this short battle of a foreign study. Whatever the reason of arrival, higher studies, better opportunities, international exposure to work and lifestyle.

I have met and talked to people from Canada, USA, Honduras, Costa Rica, Haiti, Brazil, Argentina,Spain, Germany,  Italy, Greece,Bulgaria,Turkey, Morroco, Angola, Nigeria, Gabon, Tunisia, Kenya, Egypt, Sudan, Somalia, Iran, Georgia, Ukraine, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Srilanka, Burma, Thailand, Taiwan, China, Indonesia, Malaysia,Singapore, Vietnam, S.Korea in UB. It is a great international exposure.

Events (Regular)

The best way to meet all these internationals is at International Tea Time. Make sure to keep checking

This is always kept updated. So it is beneficial to get all the benefits

During orientation it is about meeting new people, remembering names and attaching it to faces. Talking about different cultures and more essentially finding people who are taking the courses that you are interested in. I have participated in some Focus group study about orientation in UB. The officials were full of praise on how organised the Graduate Indian Students’ Association(GISA) is.  This is unlike many other nationals is what I learned. As an Indian there is this auto-tuning towards the languages you are interested in , be it Telugu , Tamil or Hindi. Then there is another group formed based on the language. I find , from this that it was so natural to have the states in India formed based on language.  Then, there is this massive orientation schedule.

Here are things to do:

  • Maintain a calendar.
  • Feed in all the sessions you need to attend = priority 1, getting a UB card – gives you access to libraries  ( Capen and Lockwood in North campus, Abbott in S. Campus) .
  • Get appointments with professors and talk to them about your areas of interest and possible research
  • Attend your department orientation – very important – to get information from professors present there
  • Go through the course offerings throughly

Talk to senior students . ( In UB ” senior ” refers to final  year bachelor’s student. the sequence is freshman – 1st yr, sophomore – 2nd yr, junior – 3rd yr, senior – 4th yr). So , I meant senior as in Indian context, those who came early to UB and are already pursued some of the courses that you want to attend. See also other department offerings. Also, see for dependencies,e.g. pre-requisite courses for the spring or next fall may be offered this fall semester.

  • Food– Feed in all the free food sessions – so you pack less food to university

When I came in there were Bagels and Coffee for the incoming students along with fruits. I did not know how to eat a Bagel or spread what seemed like cream ( cream cheese) on it.

  • Water– Bring an empty bottle /mug

UB has plenty of water fountains, it may be difficult in the beginning to drink from a water foundation , the american student way, which evolves into american way. There are water fountains everywhere in the US. If you prefer water cans, then go to


UB student union is the most happening place, with piano and food court with all kinds of food and coffee shops . This place is always bustling with activity , especially during orientation week.

  • Locate oven in the buildings of interest.

Oven Locations:

  • Knox hall – ground
  • Student Union – 2nd floor near intercultural diversity centre
  • Davis hall – near the elevator (lifts are called as elevator)
  • Furnas hall – if you have access to CBE dept. lounge there are 4 ovens there.
  • Friends’ lab – if you know any friend who works in a lab as PhD or MS student then chances are there will be oven in their lab. Mostly, a refrigerator and coffee maker. But be assured that there is no guarantee on the food kept in the fridge.



UB has many clubs. You get to enroll in their mailing list by visiting their respective online presence or going to the Students’ Association Office, 3rd floor, Student Union. You can also run for the office or e-board positions of interesting clubs. Eventhough you are a new student.




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Posted by on August 21, 2016 in Uncategorized


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One Year in USA and studies

Today marks my one year in USA. A different country, but not too different now. Thanks to the summer extension. It is not too different.

This one year and its realization has strengthened the motivation to come here, to learn and to experience, the most sought after environment of the world. The melting pot may still be hot but what kept the momentum going is the abundance of natives, Indian Indians here. So, there is this common connect, stories of the past, glorified for the present, at occasions not so welcoming for a story but passes without a pause to occupy the same. This is wonderful where we discover the art of telling stories. Pieces of life bottled and well rounded to present to native speakers in native tongue. This is cool. Besides, there is this awe-some stories of the other land presented to the native native, US Americans and other internationals who came here to Buffalo, to study and to achieve their goals. This is fun.

Let me now focus on Buffalo for the time. I joined University at Buffalo one year back for Masters in electrical engineering. And there were too many things to think about in the first few weeks.

Regarding courses, I did not know much on how to choose. I had a very broad general idea, whereas in the offering there were so many special courses available. So, I had to attend all the interesting classes, schedule myself in Google Calendar and try and attend atleast  one of the possible two classes for sampling it and talking to professors. Some professors were crude, some odd, some smart, some great, some eloquent, some very helpful.  I had no clue about the scheme of Individual Problem/Study/Project. This is a 3 credit alternative to a course. This helps to work in the lab of the professor on some topic and get closer to the subject and possible reference and thesis option from professor.

It was tough to keep up with the events in the campus. There were so many that I had to put that up in calendar and choose wisely to get the most out of each. There were lot of free food especially pizza, which back home is considered to be kinda food for rich. but essentially junk. For a vegetarian you always get Cheese Pizza if your stars are not in great position. Week-ful of pizza and events makes one tired, the focus may even shift away from the job at hand , which is course selection and professor interaction , than free stuff and part time on campus employment.

The primary aim of part time on campus employment is to get some money in exchange of time, this is not going to give any thing great other than first hand experience in customer service, food preparation and a bunch of good friends to work with and talk with that alleviates the work load in the form of friendly conversations. There is this chicken an egg problem to be solved. To get a job, you need SSN , some jobs ask for NY state license. But to get SSN you need job. So it is natural to go to the easiest method to get SSN , job and money. That was Campus Dining job at the time of my orientation. There were more than 100 people waiting to get a job. The managers here are great in satisfying the crowd who came seeking job. They are very helpful and understanding. This helps in getting along with unfamiliar environment. In fact, in UB Campus dining there is a referral program that existing employees can refer new employees to get referral bonus. My friend had declined for he did not want that that bonus. I do not know why. Then there is this option of UB bullseye career services which posts many campus jobs. Also, talking to people in different offices helps to start useful conversations.

As an average Indian, I went for the budget options of Lycamobile $29 for mobile. Had the handset from home. Went to the local credit union for banking. Relied on the roommates for wholesaling shopping prices and stuck with cooking to reduce the cost of living. On top of this I needed a laptop. I would suggest bringing the laptop , whatever condition it is in, to be used for atleast the bare necessities of checking the  courses and email-ing the professors, because the library facilities would be crowded. The mobile has a small screen to accommodate such comforts.

Before long, I was grinding for the assignments and part time jobs and the household work. This in the beginning was the usual student stuff , that resembled that of a typical Indian student in India. But, here the addition is part time job, the compromise of which can be calculated in dollars. Even if you are not used to quick arithmetic of USD to INR conversion, money is money. It can push you, pull you and break you, if you are not careful. The focus on studies was built by studying with friends and maintaining a calendar. This gives some kind of focus which is incrementally refined till all the exams appear to collapse it. This happens just after the week-long break that can break you for another two weeks if the break is not properly utilized.

Slowly, it dawned upon me that people do not meaning anything more than “Hi” when they say “Hi”, ” How is it going?”, “What’s Up?”, ” How are you doing today?”, “How are you?”. The person who starts this esp US Americans, will be gone a mile as you try to answer/ reply. That was strange. Outright crazy. But in time I came to terms with it.

Regarding Electrical Engineering. We were given option to take two courses outside the department. Tempting courses are available all across the departments, ranging from Introduction to VLSI , Robotic Algorithms, Computer Architecture – CS department; High Performance Computing – Physics Dept.,  BioMEMS fabrication lab – BME dept., Six Sigma – IE dept. this will enable you to apply for UB TCIE internship in summer.

VLSI guys that I know went for:

Analog electronics,Introduction to VLSI, Analog IC Layout – 3 subject to learn Cadence Virtuoso; Embedded systems – experience ARM Cortex M3, VHDL,  Computer Architecture – Basys 2 and Verilog; Digital Communication System design – gives Mentor Graphics tools and teaches Verilog . Dr. Albert Titus has Analog and VLSI lab in BME dept.

DSP specialists get to learn 3 courses from the great Dr. Adly Fam, with many options to take Individual study with him. There is application of DSP in Power electronics courses too.

This fall 2016 there is Quantum mechanics for engineers which seems to be a great course.

last fall there was this awesome course on fundamentals of solid state devices a prerequisite for magnetic materials for this fall. This is not for the light-hearted in math.

MEMS lovers go for – MEMS, BioMEMS and lab on a chip, Wearable and implantable systems, RF1 and RF2 – not for the light – hearted. Optofluidics – which has a project. Microfabrication lab – an awesome lab facility you can see from outside in Davis hall and from inside if you taken the course.

Photonic and Optics group is very strong in UB. With many nice professors and courses of variety. There is plenty to discuss among Non- linear optics, Optofluidics, Photonic devices, nanophotonics, photonics lab, consumer optoelectronics and lasers.

With all these great courses, it is common for students to audit some courses to learn the stuff but not to earn credit. That said, any course you take more than 4 courses (12 credits) is free. you do not have to pay. I personally know a person who took 6 courses in final semester. This is a good strategy. Like Football formation you have to split the 10 courses (30 credits required for MS) into some format. 4-4-2 is a no-brainer; 5-4-1 and 4-5-1 is to save money from a course. Applying for reduced course load is permitted, but only once in the complete program, where international student can take minimum of 3 courses in a semester. People use it in different ways :- 4-3-3 , 3-4-3. People who want to finish fast take 5-5, bang for bucks and save almost 6k$. Another option is to get a Co-Op in third semester. This depends on your job application. And then the lesser pursued path is 4-3+thesis-thesis . A thesis credit could range from 1-6 , people use it wisely.

Ideally by end of Fall you have good projects and some GPA in hand which enable one to apply for summer internship. Application of which starts from fall. This may be seemingly too long , but no. And people who did not get internship here went to India and did Internship. People went home just to be home. Also, people achieved fall internship in the second fall, but you need to manage your courses accordingly.


(May be continued)












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Posted by on August 15, 2016 in Uncategorized


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Got the visa for CANADA from Buffalo

I am a student in University at Buffalo (UB). I have been to the Niagara Falls, USA on the orientation trip @$12 organized by UB. That was is August 2015. And then at that time the driver of the chartered bus used to caution us not to go too near the river as the flow rate is too high to survive safe. Also, we were the caution of not to cross the bridge come what may. Because then, as an International Student on F1 visa, without documents , If I went across I cannot enter back USA; and start my studies!

Buffalo and Niagara Falls are so close, also the visa to Canada is kind of affordable, many Indians (Bharathiya) came with it when they entered the USA. Better late, I could apply for it from here, Buffalo. It is the summer vacation. And there is enough time to engage in such indulgence. The Canada visa centre in Buffalo is closed and the processing goes through NYC (or LA if you choose to). Buffalo, NY is so close to NYC , LOL!

How I applied ?

I applied online at Canada Government website. There is fee to be paid  almost $78. I do not have any relatives or friends in Canada. So as support document, I attached why I wanted to visit Canada, to visit the Niagara Falls from Ontario, of course. After a few days the website sends email updates on status of application. This turned to “Passport requested”. And then I searched on net, where and what to send. This took some time to understand. This is because the Visa Application Centre(VAC)  for Canada in NY is through CSC, not the embassy. And there is a fee to be paid $ 31 (no card payment online, the CSS VAC website for details, or call them for more information). Here, the fee along with proof of payment, copy of consent form and application number goes to the CSC centre in Pittsburgh, PA, while the passport , signed consent form, passport request document need to go to NYC. This has to be in Prepaid Airway Bill, which is prepaid post (Indian English). US postal service (USPS) people know what the former is. In UB Bookstore, the USPS personnel know about this, because all the time someone would apply to get the Canada VISA in this way. The Prepaid Airway Bill comes with a tracking option. Priority Mail is written on the hard envelope. One envelope to send the passport, another is folded and kept inside it with the return address mentioned. This is the prepaid post! The total postal charges was $ 14.

I had forgotten to add some of the mentioned documents. The NY VAC will send details on missing documents if any. I send these via email to them. And in about a week and half (15 days) I received the visa on passport in hand.

Total charges for the visa (including postal charges from Buffalo) = $123.

This may be cheaper in India, depending on the location from which you are applying. Please check the corresponding process for visa application in India. Probably a good thing to consider once you get the USA visa process done.

I read the following blogs for reference to Canada side of Niagara Falls. This may become useful soon.

A good post of USA vs Canada side of Niagara Falls

And someone solidly vouch for the American side

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Posted by on June 5, 2016 in travel


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Election Campaign experience in University at Buffalo

The election is over. It is summer vacation. People I meet still ask about what happened to the election. This shows how much busy they were during the semester that made them spring. So, this post comes as a natural extension of those discussions. A note of that memory, goes here.

The Graduate Student Association (GSA), University at Buffalo sent mail to everyone, every eligible graduate student about  the opportunity to stand for election. This, I found was a good experience to have. For the fun of it. That day, the first thing I did after reaching the university, was to get the election candidate packet. The GSA office has two full time employees and all other positions are for elected and nominated members. So there is no part time position that available. All right, the GSA elected President and Vice President earn good money for the work. So that was another motivation for my candidacy. As part of the election I have to get the election petition signed by 25 supporters. That was easily done. I know lot of faces who were happy to sign the petition. There were a few who asked ” What do I gain by signing the petition?” , and some other who said ” I had done lot of this crap in undergrad, I don’t want to get into politics now”. They naturally did not understand what I wanted. May be my bad communication. I was determined to work on it. Because, later if the petition is signed by enough people I get to ask for votes top all random people on campus. So, I was ready for the challenge. I was the first person to submit the petition with more than enough number of supporters. I have many friends in the department who stood in actual queue and signed my petition. And there is my business team, most of them, eligible graduate students, who could sign the petition without asking. My job of collecting signature was easy. I did not stop at getting just 25 signatures. I got more than 8 from same department students, just in case they also signed for another candidate. I went further, because I had to tell people, now, that I am a candidate for election and they should consider voting for me. Also, as part of election I was to attend two senate meetings. This comes with the normal student perks of free pizza and soda. This was again fun to sit through, mostly due to the free food and the motivation to go on stage when elected. In the first senate meeting I found my competitor, who still needed a lot of signatures to complete the petition, while I was almost done with the required 25. I made a quick acquaintance. I did not have much time to indulge in a ton of conversation with anyone, remember this is in a busy spring semester, lot of assignments, project and part time work to do. So, I also had to keep conversations to the bare minimum, to save time and cover as many people as possible.

I go by stampede, the UB run bus. This helped me get some contacts. Also, being a regular at wellness center, Intercultural Diversity Center and Office of Student Engagement, gave me more contacts. My lab mates and at-work colleagues fellow-students started calling me “Vice President” already. They were very confident of the majority of the international students, especially from India (Bharath), would vote for me, because I am the only Indian standing! and only engineer! and only man! in the entire candidate list considering President, Vice President and Treasurer. This made my campaigning easier in the sense, when my friends call me “Vice President” the person who doesn’t know would ask in curiosity and then I could pitch in and say ” Vote for me”. Another good thing about the campaign is that the GSA would reimburse upto $20 for election campaign. I got some business cards with “Vote for me” written. I also know some excited friends who started writing on the UB Spectrum, the university newspaper, “Vote for Ajeya”. That was crazy. And I did not know it until someone posted that in one of the common whatsapp groups. I was wondering if that would be an election code violation. But other than I , me and myself I had no regular campaigners. I had folks who said they ask their friends to vote for me and so on. I had turned in the election packet containing petition papers and proof of campaign expenses to GSA. Whoever I met I could go ahead and ask their votes. If they were undergrads I would ask if they had any grad friends. Many did, and said they would ask on my behalf. Some undergrad friends were disappointed that they could not vote for me. That was great. The momentum was on.

Some of the friends wanted to vote for me on the condition that I know that they voted for me. They would call me up and vote (online)  in front of me. That was good proof. Some graduated friends who had the UBIT still working tried to cast the vote. They were so excited. But the system is fool proof, they were not eligible to vote.  I was almost planning on what pizza to order on the day of results. I could attend some conferences, workshops, networking events, GSA meetings, Turkish GSA meeting, post in GISA (graduate Indian students association) about my campaign. Some student presidents of other department GSA had told me that they like my honesty during the candidate debate, but I should consider coming up with Election Manifesto. I had no serious intention to come up with manifesto. Because, I hardly knew what was happening in GSA. How it work is still a mystery. Other than being a volunteer webmaster for the electrical engineering graduate student association , I had no contact with the GSA body. But there is no time to learn, and I do not know whom to learn from. Because the incumbent Vice President was also running for the post this semester! Anyways I had all the studies and part time work to do. There is hardly some time to squeeze in. Buffalo winter makes you wear jacket. I had the cards for campaign in both my jackets, whichever I chose to wear, in my bag and pockets. I was in the game.

Election lasted 3 days. The election result day arrived. I didn’t check it till the end of the day. The result came afternoon, is what I learned. For results and campaign blog page, campaign links, results click here.

I came second. Just a few votes short of victory. The Incumbent won. Surprisingly, getting the same number of votes she got in previous year election. And then many people contacted me saying “Hard luck” and “so close” and “Better luck next time”. Hopefully, there is no next time , and I would be graduating from my Masters’ program.i would consider it as a victory considering that I had hardly put any effort into real campaign. I had no candidate meet and greet program, I had no election manifesto, I was kind of lousy in replying to some voters in my Facebook campaign event page. I would consider that number of votes as victory for sure. I made a lot of acquaintances in this process. Some who later said that they forgot to vote! Then I realized that I was so busy those days that I too had.. !


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Posted by on June 1, 2016 in Uncategorized


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Experiencing the REALM, University at Buffalo

The number of options a a student gets to engage in University at Buffalo (UB) is great. The REALM Experience is one such. REALM stands for Real Experience and Leadership Mentoring. This involves application for the program through office of student engagement, student union. The process takes one to the interview process and then the candidate has to attend the information session for the target REALM program – NYC or Buffalo (2016 offering). Then we attend the awesome workshops recommended by the office of student engagement and conducted by career services. This helps one to prepare for the range of possibilities for the one day REALM program. These workshops are beneficial for intern and job search too.

The preparations lead one to attend the actual event . Here, we start to appreciate the gravity of organizing the event that starts with networking breakfast. As the day begins to dawn us, we will be in the target office already with our assigned mentor. Hence, the information session on the day is very useful. This gives practical tips for the day. I personally spend the day at Baxter with a group of students who were each assigned a mentor just as me. The plant tour and process information is for everyone to learn. Introduction of their day to day activities and the way of work at the company is one to keep learning from, if you are not used to the working system of such great companies. Sessions with a group including other mentors helps to network with different professionals attending to varied nature of their jobs. This also helps to have a more comprehensive perspective of the job roles and how the mentors work with each other as as team for the goal of the project of the company. The good thing about the mentors is that they can always relate to the student life and the gradually trace their professional path and give valuable suggestions and opinions based on this. The exposure to the internal working structure and history of products, projects and research is really great. This saves a lot of time if you were planning to do a research about the company prior to the company, because this one day is like many internet searches put together, in addition, having a face and sound for the people involved, the vision of the company and evolution and development of their team and products and also the impact they have on the market.

The day does not end the shift workers clock their time out or the regular employees start their car for home. We meet mentors and students of the REALM program from different companies at the networking dinner held at the American Red Cross building. The building has a history of its own. And there is a building tour conducted by the American Red Cross. That is a different , add-on, experience on its own. All this time, the networking event continues with food and soda so we can meet professionals and other student participants and know more about their day.
And finally for the photos on the way (not people) click here >

Life is just colorful and to see the colors of professional life networking events like this takes you a long way.

If you are a student looking for a networking opportunity with a professional touch. This is a must go event. It is sure to be a very informative day at the very least.

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Posted by on May 29, 2016 in Uncategorized


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Gist from the Career Perspectives and Networking Conference, Panel Discussion with Young Alumni

This is the concise form of Panel Discussion with Young Alumni in the Second Career Perspectives and Networking Conference, held in University at Buffalo, 04/08/2016.

Things to look out for in your first job >
Believe in yourself.
Estimate what are the skills that you have.
Most places will train you.

Most jobs try to know how is your thinking and approach for a problem.
Once you are in a job , or offered a job, Identify where you are in. Is it truly where you want to be.
Always assess the potential ability to learn or earn money. Take a step back and try to understand.
Grab the opportunity that you really want. Then there is no stress attached to it and you will enjoy your career path.
There is no way to know everything you have to do. Do not be afraid to fail. Take your experience as learning steps. Make sure you learn continuously, learn from your job.
Do not be afraid to learn on superiors. There may be questions about priority. Feel free to say no. When you are in doubt don’t be afraid to get the authority with higher vision to set priority for you.
Having too many deadlines and projects with low completion rate is not the kind of reputation that you want to carry with you. Make sure you get the right people to contribute to your work.
Make sure you add education and skills to your profile from every professional experience you get.

What happens when you are searching for a job >
If you have the talent that company is looking for then you have the ball in your court, don’t be afraid to leverage on that.
Evolve yourself into something social.
Differentiate yourself.

Resume gets you to door. Conversation keeps you in the room.
Thinks that you talk about in interview >
Networking is huge. Network as much as you can. Every person you meet puts you in a larger web where you can reach out to anyone in it.
What you bring to the table is crucial. Pitching your part is important. Practice your 30 seconds pitch.
Demonstrate aptitude and passion in interviews.
Companies look for not young but young minded people.

Take control and ownership of assigned task. Find time and drive it forward. If there is a bad employee in your team, good employees will be sick of that one bad employee. Learn to work with all kinds of people. And come up with solutions that your business needs. Interpersonal skills are often big in working.

Tell a story about your passion based on your resume. Resume is your roadmap. Expand on your resume.
Communication skills need to be demonstrated in the interview conversation. It cannot really come out of your resume. How do you communicate about your passion about something you have done? May be you talk loud, or express it. Whatever it is. if you are truly passionate about it then you love what you are going to talk about.
Just show it. Be that guy!
Put hobbies that are really interesting.
Research about your company. You cannot send the same resume to 30 different company. Make connections through resume and then try to show your passion by building on the story from resume.
On Cover Letter
Cover Letter should be very focused to the company. Not the things that you would like to put as hobbies.

Most of the panelists did not have cover letter but the resume had a hook to sell the self.

Salary negotiation

You are trying to put a price on your labour. Check out some websites. If it is your first job, then you probably do not want to negotiate too much. If you are bringing lot of skills that they need then you can leverage on that, because you have room for expansion. Education is things that you retain, bring to your job and develop yourself. So, have an honest conversation with the HR.
Salary negotiation is very difficult. Larger companies usually offer less.
Too many companies rely on and But there is a difference. So it is a tough negotiation. If you truly like the job, then may be you can ask for the number you have in head.
Negotiate on graduate school reimbursement, vacation, phone bill reimbursement. All these ancillary things could be negotiated.
Have a number in head.
Give them that.
Be able to back up your number. By telling them here is what I make, here is the cost of living adjustment. They know that you are being honest, when you can justify and give your number.
“I don’t want to be looking for a job for a long time” is a tactical way to negotiate on salary.
It is difficult to know your value. But you should know what you are worth.
In today’s world health insurance is huge. So, see if the company offers good health insurance coverage which could be as beneficial compared to another offer with lower insurance coverage but higher salary.

Best Wishes


PS: Thanks to Amit Narayanan for inspiration

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Posted by on April 8, 2016 in Lesson


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The way to go for Cycles .

The things that are very common in a place may be strange and sometimes look innovative-ly different. The case in hand is the University at Buffalo Cycle parking.

I would not compare it with what I had in my workplace before. All I can say is that cycle was considered as a lowly means of transport and the riders would be looked down with scorn. And we had parking under the open sky, with the cumulative heat , of Chennai,  and radiation from concrete platform bursting of tyre was common. And then we got a more pleasant parking under the trees , but outside the building premises. So there was no guarantee that the cycle would be intact when one returned after work.

Here, I am posting pictures of Cycle parking in State University of New York (SUNY), Buffalo.
Of course, there is a bike lane in campus.


There is a correct lane and wrong lane for the cycles .

And when it is not available, the riders take on the footpath. But, then the footpath is wide enough and not very congested.

The type 1 of cycle parking – near Greiner Hall



The type 2 of cycle parking – near the Greiner Hall


The type 3 of cycle parking – a very common style here in university


The type 4 of cycle parking – near Goodyear Hall


Type 5

And the traditional way of the students ?! Tie it to the post


And there are social bicycles, which are kind of tech enabled . It has GPS and electronic lock. This is a sharing system in which you pay and get to take any free cycle. Park the cycle to specific area (not as in picture) and get availability of free cycles through a mobile app.


So, you start to believe that no one uses cars here.   Let’s see the car parking area



So how do people commute?

Longer rides – car/bus/train

Shorter rides – cycles ?

I don’t know the usage pattern. I see that the University has lot of space and that can accommodate lot of cars, cycles and people.

And places are so far apart that car will be necessary to commute.  And during winter the cycle may be hibernating in the basement.

See the full album in Flickr

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Posted by on September 6, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Following Jabulani

It has been very frustrating that the university exam was rescheduled to cut through the FIFA world cup. Clashing up everything. One would not expect this; from them who stay on the home ground of football fans in Kerala :Kozhikode/Malappuram. But the university did that. Students suffered, nay! there mark lists suffered.
And I got emotional messages like this:-

” It was short and hung between the Zidane’s head and Messi’s feet, Dedicated to 4th years, the college life”

Very touching message. Living message.

And after that funny set of last sem exams world cup is being enjoyed with energetic enthusiasm. But some still complain, some exams are re-scheduled, postponed, etc etc. The University loves the students doesn’t it.

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Posted by on June 19, 2010 in Uncategorized


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Two day workshop on- Scientific Computing with Python at Calicut University #ends

The workshop began on saturday Nov-7 morning.

We were a bit sceptical whether we would be allowed to attend the workshop. Why? Because we hadn’t got our registration confirmed.But thanks to Madhu sir,  we were welcome.

We were proud to learn that the Calicut university has already introduced Python as a part of curriculum, may be the first Indian university to do so. Unfortunately, our BTech engineering syllabus included only Matlab and VHDL.

The workshop had teachers as majority of participants. FSUG-Calicut had a presence. We’d expected a registration fee. But none was asked. To our surprise we were given free food besides the python hands on workshop.

The FOSSEE team from IIT-B were wonderful in the way the presented and conducted the workshop, opening up a smorgasbord of applications on python programming.The hands on programming with python and the quiz sessions in between had made it very easy not to forget what was taught.

At the end of the second day,Nov-8, we all got a wonderful certificate. I could not but keep admiring the certificate for some 15-20 minutes when back in hostel.

The upcoming event on python is the at technopark Thiruvanvananthapuram from Dec 12-17. An international conference is being held there.


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Posted by on November 10, 2009 in Uncategorized


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