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Internships are the craze of the moment. One of my seniors said that it is always advisable to utilize each and every vacation of your college life and do something noteworthy for your CV! So I also asked my dad to liaison with his friends and ultimately I got a winter training at one of the steel plants. It was the first day of my 4 week vocational training and my dad introduced me to my mentor. After exchanging the pleasantries with my mentor, he asked me to follow him. First we were supposed to visit the STEEL MELTING SHOP.Follow me on facebook from here.
"So, you are from which college?" he asked me while typing a reply on his smart-phone.
"IIT-KGP sir," I replied with a sense of pride.
"That’s really nice. Which branch do you belong to?" He asked, looking into my eyes with a sense of admiration.
"I belong to metallurgy department, what about you sir?" I asked him.
"I am also from metallurgy department, IIT Madras. By the way, we have reached the STEEL MELTING SHOP."
He then showed me the huge furnaces, flow of molten metal and started explaining them briefly to me. After that I asked him a few inquisitive questions . He was able to answer almost all of them and I had started to admire him for his knowledge . After that we both went to a canteen as my mentor had not taken his breakfast and wanted me to accompany him for the same. The following conversation took place after he came ordering his dosa and coffee and sat in front of me.
"The entire process is so fascinating. It must be quite some fun working out there?" I asked him, and my mentor could read the exuberance on my face.
"Yes .. the process is very fascinating. But do you know .. I never enjoyed to learn all this facts and stats which I was telling you. Aeroplanes used to enthrall me a lot in my childhood days and I had made up my mind that one day I will design and develop new aerodynamic models. However, as you know, in IIT you don’t select the branch, THE BRANCH SELECTS YOU (based on your rank). And similarly I had to settle for Metallurgy. A senior there, introduced me to the concept of department change. I used to think that maybe we have to develop a project on a topic of our desired branch and I used to spend all my time reading and collecting data about the various aerodynamic models. It gave me immense pleasure and filled me with joy when I understood how exactly planes like BOEING 747 and Fighter Jets function. By the time I came to know that branch change was related only to the “PERFORMANCE IN SUBJECTS OF FIRST SEMESTER” all my dreams were shattered. Thereafter my grades suffered terribly . Do you know why did that happen?" He asked me, stirring his coffee with a spoon.
"I am really sorry to hear that, sir. And no sir, I don’t know." I replied and was anticipating a pretty stark reality by now.
“Right from my first semester, I rarely enjoyed the courses. A few courses were interesting, but I was all the more interested in learning about the working mechanism of an aeroplane. I used to miss majority of my classes, not because of my dedication to aerospace engineering, but because I could never really make sense why a few courses were being taught to us. I thus ended up with 1 F grade in my first semester and that ended my chances of securing a branch change. I was occasionally reprimanded at home for my grades. My parents never realised that AERONAUTICS was my forte. In the subsequent years , I had to give up on all of this as I was closing on a very poor CGPA and was thus left with the inevitable task of studying hard to score an acceptable CGPA.
Study, because if you don’t, you won’t be able to able to earn your bread and butter, and in doing so I sacrificed the thing which meant so much to me and which, according to me, was the only reason of my existence in IIT. And now you see, I am here before you, stating you all the facts and data which don’t really mean much to me. It was only that “BREAD AND BUTTER” phrase which caused to me give up on my passion. Your survival is thus inextricably linked with your CGPA not with your passion in IIT. I really wish something could be done to remedy this crisis. What is your CGPA at the end of first year by the way?" He asked with me, with a dry smile on his face.
"Umm.. I think we are done with the coffee and dosa. Maybe we should go and checkout the other departments?" was my reply and we both got up to visit the other departments.
Submitted by Tapobrata Behera, IIT Kharagpur
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