From Hostel to the Guesthouse

It was a pleasant Sunday morning when I and my teammates from IVL Global alighted from the train at Shegaon, a small yet spiritually powerful town in Maharashtra. The early morning fresh cool breeze and the aroma of the ginger Tea from the nearby stall woke us up from our slumber. Soon after, we were on our way to Shree Sant Gajanan Maharaj College (SSGMCE), my alma mater, where we were to recruit BE Final Year students for an Internship at IVL. I was very excited since I was visiting my college after about 20 years. In a few minutes, we reached the college guest house and were warmly welcomed by Professor Thute, who was the Training and Placement Coordinator at the SSGME.

The day started with a written test which included Aptitude, Logical Reasoning, English Communication, and Technical questions. SSGMCE Placement cell had very generously invited students from other colleges as well for the interview. in the newly constructed Seminar hall. The Seminar hall was just like the one in the movie, “Three Idiots” and reminded me of Chatur’s speech! The hall was very well equipped with the latest Audio-Visual equipment, comfortable seating, and a majestic stage. All of us were mighty impressed with the setup. Back in my days, all we had was a Tin covered auditorium with plastic chairs and barely functional Audio system. Despite which, our college band gave some brilliant performances using the very same system (and without a monitor speaker, mind you 😊).

After the test, we began evaluating the answer sheets. To help us get through this process quicker, Vinay, our MD, played the role of a DJ and belted out some catchy numbers. With the music going, Abjijeet (Delivery Head ) declaring correct answers in a “Housie” way, and Parag (Delivery Head) coming up with some witty one-liners, it felt like we were back in our college days preparing for a college function. After the evaluation of the 120 candidates who appeared for the test, we shortlisted 40 for the next round.

By then it was dinner time and after a sumptuous dinner, we took a stroll on the college campus. Along with Abhijeet, I visited the hostel I stayed at during my 1st and 2nd year of college. It felt like meeting a childhood friend after many decades. Although the college has come up with new buildings, the overall ambiance of the college has remained the same over the years.

The next day, all of us visited the Temple of Shree Sant Gajanan Maharaj. With a spiritual charge and blessings by our side, it was time for the interviews of short-listed candidates. It was marvelous to see that many students had done projects and industrial training using the latest technologies such as Data Analytics, AI, and ML. The college has set up an innovation hub as well as an incubation center for the budding entrepreneurs. A couple of ventures have already taken off with winning orders for electronics components from external organizations.

After going through the interviews, we identified about 15 candidates and 9 out of those were offered an internship. It was great to see the jubilant expressions on their faces after receiving the offer letter from Vinay. It was a culmination of the efforts by Recruitment (Prachi and Shekhar), Learning and Development (Leena Mirchandani), Delivery (Parag, Abhijeet, Pradyumn), Admin (Vaishali and Samiksha), Marketing (Harshada and Dipti) and the Leadership from Vinay.

On our way back, I realized that those four years at college have empowered me to go from the college Hostel to the Guest House! I was a college student then, and I am an official guest today. By being a part of this #CampusConnect, I was in a small way paying back to my alma mater.