- Tell us more about your family background, your education, and your career goals.
So, I am basically from a mixed background, I mean whenever someone asks me this question, I have to tell them about the whole history, and you can ask why? The answer is I was born in Durg, Chhattisgarh. But after 6 months, my mom brought me to Kutch(Gujarat), as my dad’s job was there, I guess many people wouldn’t have heard the name of the place where I live in, there’s a small city named Gandhidham, which was established because of the Cargo Port called Kandla, approximately 13km away from Gandhidham. So, I completed my schooling over there, after that, I went to VIT, Vellore, to pursue my B.Tech with a major in chemical engineering. Currently, I am in the final year of B.Tech, and it has been a topsy-turvy journey, So, you see, originally I am Bengali, but I have been to Bengal, only thrice, which is strange in a weird way, brought up in Gujarat in a middle-class family, with no siblings, sadly but not so sadly, and I don’t know where my life is gonna take me next, but I am hoping to get placed in a good company where I can grow as an individual more, and cater to the needs of the company.
- What led you to take up chemical engineering?
This is something which many people have asked me, and people ask me in very different tones, you know, some people see, it in a strange way as if its a crime to do, some ask it in a curious way, and very few people say that it’s a very hard stream to go for, and then my reaction is like, thank god, finally, some people do understand that it’s a TOUGH subject. Now, coming to the question, that why I have chosen this particular stream is that, when my 12th class results came out, I actually got the highest in mathematics, and the least in chemistry, but this didn’t affect the decision of me taking chemical engineering. In class X, I thought about taking Biology, but then every one of my relatives said, that either you take Mathematics single-handedly or you take the combination of maths and biology, which was a lot to deal, especially for me, because although I like gathering information about the human body and the science behind it, But I used to score the least in that since I was very bad in mugging up things, so I thought over and decided to take maths with a computer, and I think that was one of the best decisions I ever made because I started liking maths after that, and then after finishing my 12th, I thought I want to choose a subject, which has a combination of maths and chemistry, because I love chemistry too, although it’s a rare combination to see, yes, and I really wanted to make sure that I take something which I love learning so that I can give my best shot to it.
- What were a few challenges that you faced when you wanted to build technical skills such as web development, or work on different technologies, given the fact that you have no technical background?
As a matter of fact, I am from a non-cs background, and that was a hurdle, in learning, web dev, which is a vast industry to take over, for anyone, There are multiple reasons behind learning web dev, which is as follows, So, from childhood onwards, I was an allrounder, be it literary or cultural activities. And the most attractive thing as a child, for me was, the colors, I loved them, and I still do, So anything which involves colors, and designing, invites me, and so is web dev, which is divided into, two parts, talking about the front end – it is the part in which you decide how a website will look from the front, and it involves, the use of right colors with a proper structure and design, and it is the most exciting part to do for me, although it’s just not filling colors, it also involves, coding, and the upper hand that I got here was, that I had some basic knowledge in coding, which helped me to understand the logic of the new languages that I learned under web dev too. But, don’t you get mistaken here, web dev is not just designing it also, involves usage of structured and unstructured databases, which was tough for me to catch up, there were some days, where I didn’t understand even a single thing, but then, my mentors helped me a lot, encouraged me to constantly practice those things, and some of my friends also helped, me to understand the concepts in a better way. So, you see, it doesn’t matter if you belong to the mechanical, or the civil, or the biotech stream, if you are willing to learn and dedicate time in learning new things, you will definitely learn it someday, maybe not in one day, but in 1 month, 2 months, or 3 months. So keep learning!
- Most people cannot deal with the stress, pressure, and adapt to new changes that come with college life, how did you overcome that?
I think, if you have to gain or learn something if you want to see growth in yourself, you need to come out of your cocoon, that you are inside, because a caterpillar becomes a butterfly and learn to fly when it comes out of the cocoon or the shell, likewise, people need to come out of the shield of their parents. when we go to school, we have a schedule which includes studying, playing, eating, and sleeping. That’s it. And there comes a major change in your life, your routine, when you start going to a college, or university, it’s completely changed, personally, when I was in my first year, it actually took me two months, to adapt to the surroundings, to become different person, as I completely isolated myself, I became sensitive, I guess I was not ready for the new changes, but, as I entered my second semester, I joined a technical chapter, made some friends, did networking with various people Joining a chapter, and an NGO, helped in my holistic development, it was a real task, to maintain your academics, be it assignments or exams, you have to manage your time very efficiently, otherwise, you will fall, because you can’t really skip the challenges that you face, while working for multiple things, it’s an add on, and there’s no one to take care of you, like your mom or dad, you are responsible for all your failures and success. Dealing with stress is something which comes handy, whether it’s a job, or getting a degree, it’s a part of life, you have to face it, manage your time, prioritize things, and get things done. That’s the only key. And one day you will see the growth in yourself, as a result of all your hardships, and that will be something which you have earned after months and years of hard work and dedication, and it will be worth it.
- You have done a couple of internships, how did you apply for them? What was the selection procedure?
- What are your top 3 learning from your engineering journey so far?
ok , well that’s one of the most important question to answer as a college student, you know you can learn from everywhere you go, everything you do, so my first learning is, try to learn from different people, as much as you can, because you know the knowledge which you get from book , is explicit, but what you get to hear from a person is always personal, tacit form of knowledge, which you won’t get unless you ask for it, the second learning would be, be as persistent as you can, in front of the world, out there, people outside are always, ready to throw dirt, at you, they only need chances, and situations, to question upon your capabilities, or character, so be firm and persistent in everything you do in life, the last but not the least would be self-confidence and self-awareness about your belongings and capabilities, where do you stand, how much you know, which area is weak and requires more attention, so that you can well plan accordingly, and grow well, along with that one more thing is that, which I learnt in college, that you have to do smart work, and you should know how to do it, to become successful, to manage your time. So, these were the top learnings from my engineering journey so far.
- What is your vision with respect to your career ahead?
I am a dynamic person, So after doing several internships, I got the understanding of different industries and how do they work, which was pretty much required, at this time, since I am just a student, not a working professional, So, while I was working for startups, I got an understanding of the marketing side, how to handle social media, how to present content to the audience out there, how to make a website, and deploy that, so these things pretty much-covered learnings from management, technology & the art industry, which was enough for me to get a clear picture of how I can go about in my career, currently I want to give a little pause to my academics since I would really like to get some industrial exposure and working for a company would be a great option for me right now, I am trying for various companies, off-campus as well as on campus. Presently, I am open to different roles, be it the managerial position, or be it a Web developer, since this is a recession period, there are fewer options to choose upon, and I really plan to do an MBA, as an added qualification, after getting an experience of 2-3 years, working in a presentable firm, where I can grow as an individual, and where I am exposed to creative job profile roles.
- What advice do you have for your fellow mates and the youth of your age?
I think the most important thing, is to know about your potential, and how well you can do in a particular field, so I would suggest everyone who is studying in a college, or youngsters who are a bit confused about their careers, which path to follow, which direction to choose, I was also confused, back then, but what you need to do in order to get the affirmation and the firmness, is that, try to explore different fields, try working for different job profiles, in order to know how you can perform in various fields, to know for which role you are suitable for, which is the best industry you enjoy working in, basically to get a clear picture, and to get that, you need to know about the industries, and the only way to get a good idea, is to work, and network with people at higher positions, or people of your own age even, talk to them, know them, know what the difficulties they faced in life, get the best information from their experience, and then you will surely get a perfect picturesque of how you wanna go ahead in your life. But, also make sure that you are doing within the stipulated time, because time is a big factor here, and don’t forget to apply your common sense and curiosity, to everything you put your mind on.
You can connect with Tanya on her Linkedin
The interview was taken by our team member Dhairya Gangwani