You’ve seen how Akshat Singh(follow Part 1: http://manipalthetalk.org/colleges/mit/what-matters-in-college-part-15/ ) made the struggle between classwork and passion a regular part of his college life.
Here’s Ipshitha Gupta’s account on the various activities she indulged in, and how she manged academics just fine. Manipal successfully transformed her into the kind of person she always dreamt of being- while maintaining the required GPA and getting her that coveted job.
“This is one question that has been asked to me so many times since I’ve joined MIT that I have lost count of it. After talking to my friends who are studying in the “prestigious” engineering institutions of our country, this is the conclusion I’ve come to. The biggest edge that we have over students of other colleges is the level of exposure we get. MIT is an amalgamation of people from all walks of life. The club culture at MIT, which is one of the largest in any engineering institution, helps all these people come together giving each student an insight into how different mentalities function and how to make sure that these different thought processes are combined to produce amazing results. This quality enhances one’s team working capabilities which is essential in a practical work environment. Another thing that I have noticed is that the amount of attention MIT pays on academics is far more than most of the other colleges, be it in the form of regular testing, teaching materials or attendance criteria for that matter, making us more academically sound than other students. I think these are the two main qualities that helps us land better jobs. The sheer fact that we can work well on the front end as liaisons and representatives as well as on the back end as software developers and analysts. What makes me happy about coming to Manipal? I know it sounds extremely cliché but it is actually very difficult for me to put into words. Manipal has shaped my personality in so many ways and made me a better person. This place offers a feeling of belongingness to everyone who comes here, because no matter what kind of person you are, you will find a gang of friends who will embrace you for who you are. Through the plethora of extra-curricular activities that this place has to offer, it has given me a chance to hone my mere interests into a lifetime passion and inculcated in me important qualities like team work, organizational skills and taking criticism positively. All in all, I think Manipal has helped me grow as person intellectually and emotionally.
Irrespective of what your field is, the level of competition for engineers in the market today is exceptionally high. And what is to blame? It’s the simple fact that the demand for software engineers today is much lesser than the supply that our country provides in surplus. This means that the effort that you and I, as engineers passing out looking for jobs, put in has to be that many times more because our skill set needs to be better than that surplus out there.
The major role that MIT played in shaping my personality is by actually giving me so many opportunities in the form of the extra-curricular activities that it offers. I think the biggest lesson you learn from being a part of these different clubs or the organizing committee of a fest is the art of time management. I remember in my 2nd year, I was a part of Aaina Dramatics, MTTN and Google Students Team and also in the organizing committee of both Revels’14 and Tech Tatva’14. There were 2 months in this year where Aaina had a production coming up, MTTN wanted me to cover events, GST was organizing an event and the fests were at their peak time as well. These are the kind of times when you either give up and do nothing or actually make sure you fulfil the responsibilities entrusted in you. You need to divide the 24 hours that the Lord has blessed us with in just the right way to dedicate time to everything you’ve taken up with. This means that you tend to learn the tricks of doing things quicker and better.
My term in the Student Council also taught me how to work with different kinds of people, as the technique to extract work from every person varies. Not only does this running around instill the virtue of leadership within you, it also nurtures your self-confidence. Suppose tomorrow your boss tells you to come up with ideas for a campaign to promote a brand, your experiences during fest sponsorship drives can come in handy. Everything you do in your college extra-curriculars is going to help you in the future. For example, you helped organize something as small as a field trip for your class; without actually realizing it you’ve managed to experience in logistics – hunting for a venue, transportation, looking after the budget for expenses, and much more. This same knowledge can be applied in future when you might have to organize a conference at your workplace. Thanks to your prior experience, albeit on a smaller scale, things will be easier for you! Gradually developing a well-rounded personality is also very crucial. It helps you develop individualistic traits, get a positive approach, reduce stress and conflicts, inculcate positive behavioral traits like punctuality, willingness to learn, friendly nature and a helpful attitude and self-confidence. It helps you keep calm under pressure and find solution to the problem at hand. It helps you to learn to be polite and listen to what others are saying. Not only does it help you earn others’ respect, it also helps you become a good listener, which in turn helps you learn many new things from all those you are associated with in your day-to-day life. When a company comes to find new recruits, it definitely looks for people with technical expertise. But it also looks for people who possess a good set of soft skills. Our academics are enough to get us to par with level of technical knowledge needed but these extra-curricular activities are what give you the edge of soft skills over other candidates for the job. You strike that perfect balance, and there is no stopping you from getting your dream job.
As far as placements go, your CGPA needs to satisfy two criteria. Firstly, it should be enough to clear the cutoff criteria for all companies. This cutoff can range from as low as 6.5 to as high as 8.5. Secondly, it should look good on your resume. So according to me, a CGPA above 8.5 is good enough. How much it varies above that does not make much of a difference. For companies with a low cutoff, a constant question thrown at students with CGPA in the lower bracket is the reason for the same which is extremely difficult to justify so it is better to avoid the situation all together. Also, try to avoid a sudden plummet of your GPA in a semester as well as that raises questions among recruiters as well. Try to keep your GPA graph as consistent as possible.
Firstly, pay attention in class. It sounds extremely nerdy but trust me, it saves you a lot of studying before sessionals. I know there must be some subjects where it seems impossible, but try doing it in as many subjects as possible. You’ll see a tremendous difference. This was my key to managing both my academics and my extra-curriculars. Secondly, learn to prioritize. Prioritize your studies when that is needed and prioritize your club activities when they need you. As far as placements go, we are all lucky enough to have a good 2 month break before the placement season starts. Coders, brush up your coding concepts and skills. Non-coders, learn coding. It is the bitter truth that most companies today are looking for basic coding skills irrespective of your branch.
Other than that, be confident in your group discussions and personal interviews. That is all that matters. As long as you have the perfect balance of technical and soft skills, a placement for you is assured. Also, never shy away from taking help from your seniors whenever you need it. You will not get a more accurate and honest opinion from anyone else. Lastly, joining multiple clubs is a wonderful thing if you’re trying to find your interest. But don’t ever bite off more than you can chew. It can really take a toll on you. Find 1 or 2 clubs you’re actually interested in and work for them with full dedication. College is a beautiful experience as it is. Extra curriculars just add that extra learning curve to it. Enjoy it while it lasts.”
–Ipshita Gupta, Batch of 2016
Ipshita Gupta has served her term as General Secretary in the Student Council. Besides, she was a part of AAINA DRAMATICS and a former editor at MTTN. Recently placed at Microsoft, she’s extremely affable, and can be reached out on