Vignesh A. an alumni of Sri Venkateshwara College of Engineering's (SVCE) is today celebrating his first successful year of working at one of the largest multinational companies in India. But the happy smile on his face is also because of the appreciation and responsibilities that he has been entrusted with in the short span of time. "I never believed that I had the capability to outshine my colleagues and earn laurels so early in my career. But the time I spent at SVCE, has transformed an average student like me into a well rounded industry professional. I only have my college to thank for my success," says Vignesh with a smile.
Vignesh was not always this confident and focused. When he had first joined SVCE, he was a reserved, average student who did not expect much from his life. Same is the case with several other students who are not aware of their talent. All they require is an institution like SVCE that can bring out the best in everyone and give them a fair chance to succeed at their chosen career. It is the guidance of the institute that keeps them on the right path and allows them to excel in their chosen disciplines.
"We see several students who are unaware of their hidden talents. From day one we engage them in several activities that help them hone their talent and realize their hidden potential. We do this to make these students industry ready," says Professor Muthukumaran Sivanandham, Principal, SVCE. The results show the benefit of SVCE's unique approach as about 96 percent of the eligible students from the 2009-13 batch have been placed in over 95 companies. The highest pay offered was Rs.12 lakhs by ebay/Paypal Ltd and the average package offered is Rs.3.75 lakhs per annum. Companies that recruited from SVCE include industry leaders such as Ernest & Young, Mu Sigma, ARAI, Parker Hanniffin, Saint Gobain, TATA Motors, NOKIA, Cummins Ltd., TITAN, L&T., Ashok Leyland, and Renault Nissan among others.
"I feel that our job does not end just with teaching. When we admit a student into the curriculum we ensure that he/she walks out with a bright future in hand," says a proud Sivanandham.
Guiding you till the next Transit
"In this age of contention, firms just do not simply go by the marks attained by the applicant. They expect their prospective employees to have an all-round personality ï¿½ average students who can communicate well, take up challenges, lead a team, complete tasks in given time are preferred over a student with an exemplary classroom record and poor social skills," says Sivanandham. At SVCE learners are provided with strong fundamentals and expertise in their chosen field, and motivated to involve actively in department associations, societies and clubs like NSS, NCC, Leo, Speakers' Forum, which expose them to real-life situations that help them in improving their inter-personal skills. In other words, they assist them to evolve as "industry-ready engineers".
"The questions asked during my job interview were relatively simple for me, not only because I was prepared for them but simply because I had faced most of the situational references that they made; through the various activities that I participated in during my course," admits Vignesh.
To guide students decide their future prospects better, SVCE presents the students with a choice of either taking up higher studies or starting their career as engineers. Students who want to go ahead and apply for campus recruitment are put through a Mock Placement program by the visiting industries. This unique program is an opportunity for them to attend real campus recruitment program where HRs and technical teams conduct the process and at the end of the procedure, the students are given feedback on their performance. This allows them to improve upon their presentation skills and body language making them confident for the actual interviews.
Developing All Round Personalities
Like several other students, initially Vignesh was not very keen on studying all the time. But his interest was gained by SVCE's weightage given to every student's involvement in co-curricular activities conducted throughout the year. A talent search competition organized by the students association identifies the students' talents in the first year of their stay in the college. These students are then encouraged to participate in inter-collegiate events. The institute also offers various avenues for the young engineers with a spirit for other trivial pursuits. "For learners who have a flair for writing we have a college magazine ï¿½ Phoenix, for orators we have 'Speakers Forum', for those who want to make a change in the society we have NSS, NCC, Leo, Rotaract Clubs, for environmentally conscious people we have CARE ï¿½ eco club, for singers and dancers we have Music Club," explains Sivanandham.
SVCE also has designated sports facilities and tournaments in place for sports enthusiasts. The institute has a well kept swimming pool and well maintained grounds for cricket, football, hockey and courts for basketball and tennis. Tournaments are conducted in cricket, football, basketball and volley ball. The students are allowed to be engaged in a host of activities of their choice that allow them to be fresh for their academia. "Exposures such as these forms a foundation for learners to make a mark later in their career as entrepreneurs, film makers, actors, RJs, photographers, journalists, sportsmen and wildlife professionals of repute," says Sivanandham.
Led by a Band of Experts
"What makes the experience of studying at SVCE more special are its teachers. They support us in every step of the way right from our trivial activities, clubs and societies to our research paper. I was personally convinced by my head of department to take up research in my subject and I am glad I took his advice," says the Electrical and Electronics Engineering student. Special lectures are arranged on topics related to challenges faced by youth. Experts from organization such as Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development and Swami Vivekananda Mutt have periodically addressed the students between regular academic activities. Hearing first hand experiences of industry experts helps them in drawing a better picture of the nitty-gritty of the enterprise.
The college has faculty members who are an ideal blend of youth and experience. They focus on concept teaching rather than content transfer. Candidates are scrutinized based on their subject knowledge, communication and attitude to life in general and towards students in particular. Applicants are tested in a personal interaction by the head of the department, principal and an external expert. Hiring at the lateral level allows the institute to accommodate uniquely qualified and accomplished teachers that can guide the student on every level.
The teachers play an active role in the student's completion of his program. The college offers research programmes in several areas of engineering and technology. More than forty faculty members are PhD degree holders, and they are currently guiding more than fifty PhD students. Many major departments have research funding from various national funding agencies. Faculty members and students have published hundreds of research articles year on year and have been tirelessly organized and attended national and international conferences.
"Teaching and learning at SVCE does not end with chalk and talk or use of other modern aids. The learners are encouraged to have free academic discussions, beyond the prescribed syllabus, with their faculty and peers as well. As learning is not forced upon them it keeps them fresh and active," he adds. The institute understands that the students have to move out and implement the concepts being taught in the class, in order to be able to fully understand them. For this purpose, over 100 computers with software related to language learning, games and infotainment are housed in the library for learners use, round the clock.
"It is alumni like Vignesh who act as our ambassadors. SVCE has a strong alumni network. They are well placed in top firms in India as well as abroad," says Sivanandham. Many of the alumni members also act as mentors for their juniors, offer projects in their establishments and organize industrial visits. Incidentally it was an alumnus who had instituted the 'Best Teacher Award' and the Association also instituted 'Budding Bright Engineer Award'. The college in turn awards 'Distinguished Alumnus Award' every year.
Year on year, Sri Venkateshwara College of Engineering has been producing success stories like Vignesh who are not only proud to have been a part of the college but are also active alumni members. With such an impressive placement record, notable infrastructure to support the host of activities and a group of the finest teachers, places SVCE on the wish list of many budding engineers.