Wednesday, 21 August 2013

SETI Student Profiles: Makarand Chopade

Congenial, jovial and affable by nature, he boasts of acting skills that very few could ever match. A natural and almost dedicated person, he usually lies low and at the same time makes his presence felt within his circles without creating any ripples. Meet the Makarand Chopade; the quintessential under-development mechanical engineer at SETI.

When I first met Makarand, it was because he had approached me to know more about how to know people. I suggested him a few books to read and assumed that he will soon lose steam in this as so many others had done before him, but week after week he persisted in his efforts. When it was not possible for him to acquire certain books, he should an amazing perseverance in getting them ordered and delivered through me. This simply prompted me to keep a tab; and I was surprised to find that he “actually” read those books.

Makarand is not only about efforts, he is also about passion. His passion for technology and acting is unparalleled. He is dedicated and enjoys life at the same time, and yes, he’s the kind of guy you can be sure about.

Time and again, over the last one and a half year, Makarand has proved his mettle as a sincere and hardworking engineer; a student whom the best of his teachers trust with a blind eye. 

Friday, 16 August 2013

Positivity Unbound...

This year the first batch of our future-ready engineers is out. Though as an institution, we couldn't secure placements for all of them, reports as of today suggest that more than 70% have either got a job for themselves or are on the higher education track somewhere. This stats itself proves the efficiency and quality of the students we are molding here at SETI. Also the fact that our first batch is out brings us to the realization that we are now standing on the brink of the NBA accreditation process.

Accreditation through NBA is a mandatory quality marker for all professional education institutions. The NBA allotted grade is believed to define the overall quality of the institution and provide a benchmark for future aspirants. Though we are still 2-3 years away from facing the accreditation committee, preparations for the same have begun.

First in line was a power-packed 'Faculty Development Programme for the NBA' conducted by Dr. S. D. Awale, ex-chairman AICTE. A man with many laurels, Dr. Awale steered us through the staff requirements for NBA in an adroit way. Through oration laced with humor, well-timed examples and a concerted viewpoint, he opened the heart of the NBA for us.

But what I liked most was the genuine way in which he cared for the younger staff and provided his inputs and insights on how individual development and institutional development are interlinked. Presenting multiple sides of the engineer-teacher, he stressed upon the need to identify and develop individual strengths in the areas of learning, teaching, research, exposure, management and building self-evolved excellence.

As the day drifted towards the end, the positivity was on a rise and each one of us felt 'touched' by a Midas. Suddenly things started to fall in a single and focused perspective. We experienced an amazing clarity which will be the beacon for our days to come.

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

HR Conversations: Reflections on Graduation Projects

I was recently having a conversation with a HR executive from Capgemini. She herself is an engineer who has “taken a diversion for the better” as she put it up. In the splash of the moment, our discussion changed hands from recruitment to graduation projects. According to her the best way to do a project is to form a heterogeneous team; a team where there’s a sincere student, an intelligent student and a few mediocre students. This way, she explained, the mediocre get a slice of how projects are done.

But my opinion is a bit different. I believe that project teams should be homogeneous so that there is a basic strata-synchronicity. This way the students get to choose their own projects according to their mean level which is quite nearer to their individual levels. When teams are heterogeneous, it is often the sincere and the intelligent who do the actual work while others watch (sometimes!) and puke out their ppts. At the end everyone in the team gets equal credit for what only a few have done (can someone see the seeds of organizational-life complacency here?).

The other crack in this type of arrangement becomes visible when we view this scenario in the light of the Situational Leadership Theory. Getting together people who are on different maturity levels creates a conflict of competencies that takes out the wind under the rudder.

On the other hand consider people on the same maturity level working together. That would not only create synchronicity among the team members, but also help them to raise their group-competency-level above their individual competency levels. When people with similar competencies come together, they choose a goal which is mutually achievable and one that is neither too easy nor too overwhelming for them. This in turn raises every member’s competency level a notch higher thereby not only demonstrating the usefulness of this model, but also builds-up a sense of responsibility, belongingness and accountability among them.

Please drop me at least a smile, if not your comment, if you have read this so far....and yes, thank you for dropping by.

Monday, 15 July 2013

SETI Student Profiles: Vidyashree Boragalli

She is excellence personified. With her single pointed dedication and the acumen to utilize the available resources in the most innovative ways, she stands tall amongst her colleagues. Meet Ms. Vidyashree Boragalli, the shy SETI girl with big dreams and a still bigger commitment to translate them into reality. Vidyashree currently studying in BE (CSE) is every teacher’s dream student; sincere, punctual, committed, with an unquenching thirst to learn the new.

Hailing from a modest rural background, she converts technology into an art form when with characteristic quiet, step by step, she masters new technologies. I first noticed her when she landed up for my evening classes—something which very few engineering students do. Whereas more than 80% of the evening classes students dropped within the first two months, she remained throughout. “This is the best thing that happened to me in the college,” she once remarked about her experience in the evening classes where we discussed a lot of English language skills and soft skills.

Then when we started putting our students on the Edx circuit, Vidyashree not only ensured that she enrolled, but was one of the few students who actually completed the course. In the vacation following the end of her fifth semester, I saw her coming daily to the college when the college opened in the morning and leave the college only when all the labs were closed. All during the time, she diligently pursued the cs50x course from Harvard University. The way she worked through those lectures and assignments was exemplary in a true sense.

Even during the recent 3 day bridge Workshop, she made sure that she attended it even when theirs was scheduled in the vacation itself. Whereas a vast majority of her classmates chose to spend the last days of their vacation out of the college, she invested in her own learning. Vidyashree’s attitude, for me, can be summed-up in just one word: Excellence!

You can read Vidyashree’s blog here.

Download Vidyashree's CV from here

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Bricks and Bats: 3 Day Bridge Workshop at SETI

Had lots of fun in the last three weeks...three weeks full of workshops for B.E. students. Everyone enjoyed. Here are a few representative testimonials (these testimonials were posted by the students on their facebook wall) written by the participants:

Vidyashree Boragalli (BE, CSE):

"Today was our training's 2'nd day..on Team Building,with lots of fun and enjoyment.
Thanks for Principal sir and Prasenjit sir for such a valuable guidance..."

"Today,we studied difference between Group and Leader,what r Leadership Qualities needed to build a leader,maturity Scale etc."

"These three days of Bridge Workshop were amazing...
Thanks to 'SANJEEVAN'.........& I m lucky to be a part of it!"

Sakina Najmi (BE, CSE):
"Its was awsme training the students of cse who mised dis traning dey mised everything i suggest dnt mis it next tym if u want to mis it ,mis it at ur own risk."

Nikita Jagdale (BE, EnTc):
"It was amazing experience to attend the workshop related to soft was the 1st day.......I have learned lot of things today...and excited for tomorrow because again something new I m going to learn.....:)"

"Today was the last day of's session was about leadership ..we learned what actual qualities should be their in leader,how to built up those qualities . In this 3 days I learned many things and I have started to implement some of things slowly...So it was not possible without PRINCIPLE SIR & PRASENJIT SIR....THANKS A LOT SIR...:)"

"Today's session was too good .it was about team work to work in team and many more things about it....some games we played related to team work we enjoyed and as well we learned .:)"

Kavita Jambhale passed-out student from Be EnTc):
"Thnx alot to Prasen Kamble sir & Vikram Patil sir for arranging inspired workshop for our juniors. im dam sure about that they will definitely implement in their future professional life."

Swapnali Patil (BE (EnTc):
"thanks a lot sir,
your guidance in the workshop very nice"

Prashant Jadhav (BE, EnTc):
the 3 days workshop on employability skills was very good.learn lot of new things...... thanks to Prasenjit sir and Principalsir....."

Poonam Khatale (BE, EnTc):
"The three days softskill session conducted by prsenjit sir an principal sir was too good which we ended up today.....we all enjoyed a to know many important skills an many minor aspects that were needed to develop......over all we had total fun so friends dont miss the precious days an knowledge........"

Pratiksha Hinukale (BE, EnTc):
"The three day softskill workshop ended today.It was very good as well as usefull to us.We learned how to work effectively so the result will be best . Thanks to our Prasenjit Kamble sir and principal sir.."

Priya Deshpande (BE, EnTc):
"The 3 days workshop on soft skills was tooooo good...contaning 5 modules..
1. Social n/w ing
2. Presentation
3. Team building 
4. Online carrier platform
5. Leadership
Which was unknown for us...
We learned n enjoyed a lot...
So thanx a lot to Prasen Kamble sir n Vikram Patil... sir ........"

Shweta Patil (BE, EnTc):
"One of the influential n beneficial workshop till now....!!!
Thanks to our Principal Sir & Presenjit Sir..."

Three more branches to follow in the coming days. Schedule II starting tomorrow.

A big thank you to all the participants and HR folks whose inputs made these workshops possible.

Friday, 31 May 2013

3 Day Bridge Workshop at Sanjeevan Engineering & Technology Institute

      As part of our quest to excel at Sanjeevan Engineering and Technology Institute (SETI), this year, we are beginning with a dedicated Training Calender. This launches SETI as the first engineering institute under Shivaji University to have a dedicated Training facility, a full-time trainer on campus and a pre-decided training schedule. The visionary zeal of our Principal, Dr. Vikram S. Patil, made it possible.

Workshops@SETI: Lots of Fun sprinkled with Learnings...
      The Training Calender consists of workshops graded as per the class beginning with FE and culminating into BE and ranging in topics as broad as life skills, soft skills, image and profile building and many other key skills that form a part of today's Professional Toolkit. But since we are beginning this year, we don't want our BE students to lose much upon the earlier skillsets, hence we have developed a three day Bridge Workshop Module comprising of the following modules which would be delivered in June 2013.

   Industry stalwarts, CEOs, HR folks, independent recruiters, TPOs, one and all concerned with student development are invited to comment on our initiative and suggest improvements.

  •   Social media Leverage: Almost everyone uses social media these days and someone shying away is a strict no-no by the industry. With competition rising and inflation and recession taking a toll, recruiters the world over are resorting to tracking social media profiles as an effective tool to assess a possible candidate. In this module, we show how each one can use the power of social media to create a 'expert' impression in the minds of potential recruiters and gain an upper-hand.
  • Online Test Platforms: Reliability, speed and time are major concerns plaguing the recruitment industry today. As an alternative major corporations are collaborating with third-party online platforms to do screening of candidates. An in-depth information about these platforms and tips on how to build your profile to increase your chances of getting shortlisted for interviews has become a knowledge of paramount importance. This module gives you just that.
  • Leadership : Organisations have shed their 'local' flavor in favour of a 'global' one. In such a scenario, everyone is a leader. The old paradigm of 'I Win-You Lose' has been replaced by 'Let's Win'. Knowing the people you deal with and accessing their inherent talents to mutual benefit is a core skill sought by industries today. This module on Leadership introduces to the students a practical way of assessing, delegating and getting work done in a 'Win-Win' scenario.
  • Presentation Skills: 'The way you present is the way you are' goes the new adage. Knowing how to plan, project and present available data, how to research and organize data and how to make it effective so that the audience is spell-bound forms the crux of today's networked organization. In this module, we introduce the concepts that go beyond mere Powerpoint and add a sheen to almost any presentation--be it corporate or academic; just the way the best presenters in the world do!
  • Team Building: Everything is a network and hence having the crucial skills to build, maintain and lead a team towards effective achievement of goals goes along way in furthering your career. Our Team Building Module imbibes just this skill in the students. Teaching them how to be aware of a team's needs, the dynamics involved and the necessity of a good team, this module steers past all other requirements laid down by the corporate world today. A must for everyone looking to excel in a corporate career.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Life at SETI: Sanjeevan Engineering & Technology Institute

SETI: Sanjeevan Engineering & Technology Institute, Panhala
    Exactly a month from today and I would be completing one full year here at SETI. Life in this wonderful hill-station has been cozy, educating thrilling. People have been more than kind to me, helping me not only to help students, but also to grow personally and professionally.

    In particular life wouldn't have been so easy without the apolitical character of its founders Hon. Shri P. R. Bhosale and Hon.Shri N. R. Bhosale. It is their grit and the determination to follow their dreams in a simple and charming way that has created this heavenly haven for education.

    The visionary and inspired leadership of our Principal Dr. Vikram S. Patil is that path where you can tread without any fears and let excellence flourish and bloom at full-speed. it is his vision, patience and candor that have been the foundation-stones of where SETI stands today.

    And yes, not to forget the life of SETI; its students who with their enthusiasm, confidence and charm add a sheen to the campus. Their innate willingness to learn and the ability to translate this willingness into concrete ability makes life so much easier.

   Equally enthralling is the staff; both teaching as well as non-teaching.

   I take this opportunity to thank one and all at this juncture. Thank you.