Thursday, December 06, 2007

Industry Interaction

On a lazy evening, a few days back, got a scrap from one of my juniors!

They are planning to come out with a magazine in GITAM, and she asked if i could contribute something( credibility, good writing skills or jus bein gud??)...
whateva, after agreeing to the offer and pondering over what would be apt as a person who has just passed from the college, i zeroed in on the drawbacks that GITAM had.

Something i always wanted to say, and actually did say, but could not get the right medium. So i thought this would be the right platform to catch the eyes of people who matter.

Here is the article

Industry Interaction

Is there any such thing in place in GITAM University?? Unfortunately NO!
This is a big lag on the part of the educational institute recently recognised as the best private college in Andhra Pradesh.

No knowledge is complete without hands down experience on the shop floor – the actual place of action. Now, A sachin cannot be born just by reading manuals on cricket. Vizag is a booming market and one of the fastest growing cities in the world, and this could be leveraged to the complete advantage of the insti. One other advantage of frequent industry interaction is the relation building exercise with industry, which would be beneficial to build a brand image of the insti and act in favour of the placement scenario.

Here, as recent alumni of the college, and having seen the model work quite well here in my insti – IIML would like to highlight the ways in which interaction could be fostered in GITAM.

• Many labs, like VHDL, MicroProcessor( being from ECE I am more versed with these terms) could have projects sponsored by the industry on problems they are currently facing. These could act as live projects, and could be headed by a Prof. and a group of interested students. With the coming of private MNC’s in India this model would go a long way in giving live exposure to the student community.

• External registration programmes for research where an industry guy could be working together with the college profs, taking advantage of the infrastructure and the high relevance and modernity of the approach. This could also help in getting grants from the industry to develop and modernise the lab infrastructure, and GITAM being in the city vicinity would be an added advantage for these industry professionals.

• An extension of the above model is the collaboration work, where the prof works as an external consultant, and this way is updated of the latest happenings in the industry. Consultation also is an excellent source of revenue to the insti.

• Industry visits: I would suggest to take these more seriously, rather than just picnics, and should be held more frequently. I remember we had a visit to 4 industries in 4 days, and it was more or less like just one more hangout for all of us. Instead if we had one per fortnight in a particular semester and actually had a presentation or submission (improving soft skills), it would be a lot more beneficial.

• Internship: These should never be taken lightly as the students actually work, for the first time in their life, as a part of an organisation. The college could as well have a placement week, or a similar mechanism for summer internship placements. Having two internships – one after 2nd year and one after third would add value, and give more exposure. The exam timetable in GITAM is perfect for such a setting, giving it an advantage over other private enginnering colleges.

• Courses offered by Industry: this prepares the students for the real world like nothing else. These could be evening voluntary classes or maybe a complete credit course. This would set a relationship with the particular company( setup of IT park near GITAM is an advantage to be leveraged for this) and also re-administer in the students mind the present needs of the industry.

• Incubation center : This is already present in GITAM, and should be given more importance. In the present boom time, lots of angel investors would love to provide seed funds to promising plans.

• Workshops, Seminars, talks, etc..: Industry people love getting back to college and try to gauge the student community. This also acts as a good HR practice for the companies, and this helps the students to hear from a person who hahs already been there, done that. This would also give a lot of contacts, and show the right direction for the upcoming ventures.

• Finally, leveraging on its vast, diverse, spread alumni is one thing that GITAM completely lacks on. The alumni could be the best resource in such initiatives, including funding. Gurudakshina still holds relevance, and especially for collaborating with the industry, the alumni would be more than eager to help out.

In this direction, I suggest the initial step should be to first form an INDUSTRY INTERACTION COMMITTEE and an ALUMNI COMMITTEE comprising a group of dedicated students working completely in this endeavour. Industry interaction could be the one differentiating factor in favour of GITAM, and would help building a strong brand value for the college, taking it to higher pedestals.

(The author BHARAT JHURANI passed out of the Electronics and Communications Enginnering department of GITAM COE in 2007, and is presently a first year student at IIM, Lucknow>

now just hope that some of the suggestions get implemented.