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‘I’ve received both the Dr. Stya Paul Memorial Scholarship as well as the Award’

Apeejay alumnus Ashish Bansal, a software engineer with Nykaa, says the work he did after college hours and the guidance he received from the faculty and mentors helped him gain practical knowledge

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Brought up in Gurgaon, Ashish Bansal, 22, completed his schooling from Sharda International School. After scoring 90 per cent in class 12, he decided to pursue engineering from the School of Engineering and Technology (SoET), Apeejay Stya University (ASU). The ASU alumnus has a keen interest in coding and is working as a software engineer (technology) with Nykaa, a leading player in the online Indian beauty and cosmetics space, these days. In a telephonic conversation, Ashish recalls the time he spent in college.  Edited excerpts:

Why did you decide to go for engineering? 

When I was in school, I used to explore and read about different fields. Then one day I came across coding. I was keen to try that out and I got hooked on it. I started coding when I was in class 9. It got me excited. Even today, whenever I feel like giving myself a break, I begin to code. Subsequently, I scored very well in my 12th Board exams and I decided to pursue engineering. My friends had recommended Apeejay Stya University to me and hence, I applied. In fact, the best thing that happened was that I received both the Dr. Stya Paul Memorial Scholarship and the Dr. Stya Paul Award. I had started my first job in the initial months of 2018. I was in my first year of college. Today, I have more than three years of work experience.

What are the key learnings from the time you spent at ASU?

At Apeejay, I learnt that you need to go that extra mile to be different from everybody else. All the work I did after college hours and all the guidance I got from my faculty as well as mentors has helped me gain practical knowledge. They have helped me crack every interview I appeared for.

Another learning would be overcoming my fear of failure. I tried my hands on nearly every technology such as IoT, Machine Learning, iOS, game development and many more and failed in many of them. But, in the end when I worked on mobile development, it was something that captured my interest and every technology where I had failed earlier, helped me. Since I had the know-how of a bunch of technologies along with my core knowledge on game development, it has been an extra benefit for me in every organisation I had worked for.

Talk about some of the interesting projects that you have worked on while you were in Apeejay.

I was the lead for the Autonomous Guided Vehicle project for YAMAHA. I also led the conceptualisation of ‘Construct.MR’; it was one of the ideas that we presented in IIT Madras e-innovation and our idea was ranked among the top 5 from 1600 ideas that came from across the country. All the expenses for IIT Madras was borne by Apeejay. Subsequently, because of this idea, we have got job offers from some international companies and have been offered several grants. Another addition to the list is Doodle. It’s one of the mobile apps we built in college to handle all study related work, but it wasn’t implemented.

Share some of your fond memories from your ASU days

The best time was when we used to stay back in the college working on different projects with our faculty even beyond our class hours. Everyone thought us to be silly as we used to work and study even after college. But honestly, we were having the most fun. The lab was like a home to us where we even slept sometimes. Moreover, happiness used to be at par after we used to solve a complex problem or crack a code. I used to enjoy being with my team. Work never felt like a burden to us. And something that I still cherish is how Prof. Moinuddin, Dr. Sudhakar Ranjan and every faculty member supported us in every step.

Your words of wisdom for Apeejay students?

It’s really important to gain theoretical knowledge about the course but having practical exposure is equally imperative. I do not think there should be a pattern – that you finish your course and then join a 9-5 job. Why not working since your college days. That’s really gonna help you in the long run. Also, explore as many fields as you can and one day you will get something which you want to do all the time.

Harshita is Assistant Editor at Apeejay newsroom. With experience in both the Media and Public Relations (PR) world, she has worked with Careers360, India Today and Value360 Communications. A learner by nature, she is a foodie, traveller and believes in having a healthy work-life balance.

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