There I was, on the stage, facing podium, standing in front of 100+ students, feeling nervous, preparing myself from within, about to start my speech, hoping to rock it in my very first try! One hour later, I was damn happy. Happy that I could deliver speech for 45 minutes and answer questions of the students for another 15+ minutes. This day would be in my memory for long!
2 weeks back my friend Viren Patel, who happens to be the HoD of Computer Department at Government Engineering College, Dahod, called me up and informed me about this new initiative of Project Fair by GTU.
Gujarat Technological University has introduced Project Fair starting from this year in which all the colleges affiliated to the university has to organize Project Fair event where final year students would showcase their projects. All those projects would be evaluated and best 3 would be sent to GTU for state level project fair. For this evaluation process college can invite industrial expert from nearby places. So, Viren asked me if I would like to visit college and help evaluating the projects of computer engineering branch.
Since last couple of months I have been thinking to visit colleges, meet students, guide them and help them in whatever way I could. So, I readily agreed with Viren with one condition. The condition was after project evaluation I would like to conduct one knowledge sharing session where I could share my experiences with the students and give them heads up about how to prepare themselves before entering industry. Viren agreed and the plan was confirmed to visit Dahod Engineering College on 6th April.
I was pretty excited about this and started planning to deliver a talk to students. As it was first time for me to meet students and interact with them at such level, I was nervous but I kept my preparation on until the last day.
Upon reaching college on Project Fair day, Viren guided me through classrooms, computer department labs and also introduced to other faculties of Computer Department. I could sense the energy level of students when I saw them preparing for projects showcase in lab.
Once all set, I started evaluating the projects one by one. They explained me what they were working on and what they have built. This went on for hours and I completed evaluating 26 projects in total. One thing really surprised me was most of the students explained me their projects very nicely. It was visible that they have put good efforts in their project as they knew the flow of their project very well. When I interview fresher level candidates in my company, I have seen that many candidates even fail to explain their project. It creates impression that they have not worked on the project. But here, the case was totally different. Almost everyone explained me project properly and they answered my questions confidently. The enthusiasm and the energy of the students was out of the world! Their excitement to show off their project made my experience terrific.
After completing the project evaluation and lunch, it was time for my knowledge sharing session. Seeing the seminar room packed to the capacity raised my nervousness more but of course, there was no going back. Viren gave brief introduction about me and bam, presentation time! I took up to the mic. I started with appreciating the students for putting up a great level of enthusiasm in their project showcase and continued to my presentation. I had prepared a talk around how software development works in business, what are the general processes to be followed, what are the expectations of industry from freshers, what freshers should do to keep ahead of competition and entrepreneurship. It went on for around 45 minutes and then I started taking questions. Some zealous students came up with their queries which I answered sharing more of my experiences in the industry. It was such a great audience that I didn't feel awkward through out the session. They paid full attention. I am really thankful to all the attendees for listening to me keenly. I shared my contact details and with a promise to help them wherever I could, I concluded the talk. Even after the session, many students came up to me with some more questions. It was wonderful to discuss with them further and I tried to give them satisfactory answers. I hope the student enjoyed the session and they learnt a thing or two from it.
Once again, I am heartily thankful to Government Engineering College, Dahod for hosting me, Viren for inviting me and all the volunteers (Rishi, Mihir, Manoj, Ashit, Bhavin, Dasharth, Jimesh and others) for arranging things for me. I would be glad to come back to the college in future to interact with more students.
P.S.: I would be open to visit other colleges and sharing my knowledge. If any other college/institute wants to arrange such session then kindly go to Contact Me page and send your request.