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Success Story of an Association Faculty Advisor : CSI as a Case Study

When we see ourselves down the memory lane, we find fulfilled and contended as the then students, now the alumni celebrate our pleasures and pains, interactions and counter-actions, festivities and grievances even after several years. The impact a teacher has on a student goes beyond the teaching, learning, experimenting and evaluating. Our bonding with students is irrespective of whether we teach or not.

The bonding is basically through the Student Associations – in my case it is “The Computer Society of India (CSI)” – a Student Branch of Nirma University. Since 2005, the initial years of my career and till date, I happen to be the faculty advisor of CSI. I try in my best potential to nurture the interested stake holders in grooming their careers by organizing some technical or managerial skills by organizing various student centric events or participating in various events on and off the campus.

At the Institute of Technology, more than 20 student associations are being managed by students with the support of faculty advisors for each association. CSI is one of them with students of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering and Electronics and Communication Engineering Department. Various activities like workshops, seminars, expert talks, technical festivals, and societal activities are organized by CSI student branch on a regular basis.

Nirma has a structured way to organize any activity under these student associations. This ranges from drafting a proposal to report writing and updating on social media platform after the culmination of an event.

When an event proposal is drafted, it includes details like date, type of event, the intended target audience, activities proposed under that event, resources required for each activity, an approximate budget estimate, identifying the sponsors, etc. It is as if a thought emerged to set up a new organization is thought of and so many divisions need to be managed through the proposal. This improves the Entrepreneurship skillset of the students.

The work involves a lot of laborious activities too. Sometimes student must run to seek desired approvals – some might have thought of in the last minute, design, print and paste posters or banner, paint rangolis at several venues, anticipating and booking the resources, inviting relevant expert speakers or guests, hospitality of experts as well as participants, food management, transportation management, and last-minute practical hitches etc. This develops the managerial skillset among the students. Also, the student would learn the importance of every department in any task. Not letting anyone down or thinking being superior – is what they imbibe eventually. Their motto is no more only being successful in one task, but to ensure that all is well that goes well, and ends well.

Students are in touch with me as their personality has altogether changed being part of this association. It would be less to say that the students are still connected to me and keep me posted about their current activities and personal updates too. Today our CSI students are in very good positions. Some are entrepreneurs, some are working in a respectable designation in multinational companies, some are now jointly the alumni of world’s top-class institutions like IITs, IIMs, Foreign Universities. We can say our CSI students are shining everywhere.
Recently, I met some of our alumni Vimal Savalia (98CE018), Alark Patel (08BCE047), Mihir Mavlankar (14BCE064), Samir Motwani (04BCE052), Tanay Shah (05BCE109), Dhruvil Sanghvi (06BCE086) and former CSI board members. After a long time when they visited the campus, I take the pleasure to state that they specially came to see me. I felt so happy.

I take a quickly note the recently met alumni. 

  • Vimal is a founder of Tech Holding located at Ahmedabad as well as USA. He has taken two students from our department during summer internship and 8th semester full time project too. 
  • Mihir visits Nirma University whenever he comes to Ahmedabad. This time he met our current students who are pursuing their projects at our Incubation Centre in coordination with Ms. Rashmika Shah. The suggestions given by Mihir was very helpful and shown a new way to enhance the project. 
  • Alark has conducted a seminar for our undergraduating students in which he has shared his journey from Nirma University to seeking a job at USA.  
  • We have organized one fireside chat with Dhruvil Sanghvi, the founder of LogiNext Solution moderated by Samir Motwani (Cofounder of RapidOps solutions). The session was very endearing. It covered with how to pitch ideas, how to raise funds, requirements for establishing a new startup and much more. 
  • For the above mentioned session, an alumnus Tanay arrived specially from Baroda and guided students about the internships, how to apply, where to apply, how to build own profile etc.

Frankly, I could do this because I had good students who wanted to be global leaders, ethical professionals and above all, very good citizens. I enjoy communicating with students till date.

And the journey continues….

Author Dr Tejal Upadhyay, Faculty Advisor – CSI Department of Computer Science and Engineering