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.