Student Leader Interview - Saiba Uberoi, MIT

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1. Tell us more about your role and responsibilities at your college?

I feel being a student of an institute instills a lot of responsibilities in you. You represent your institute which means that you have a sense of ownership and responsibility towards your college. Whatever you do, say good or bad it of course reflects your upbringing and the institute in which you have studied. For example, if you scored well in your graduation and get a good job people say that you have studied in so and so college which has trained you well and so it puts your institute in limelight.

Talking about my roles and responsibilities in college, in the first year I preferred to concentrate on my studies but during persona fest, I coordinated an event of my department titled “Technical Innovative Ideas” in which participants have to give a presentation on technical topics. In the second year, I got an opportunity to organize a webinar with my senior. The topic was “Career in the Armed Forces after Graduation” and our guest speaker was Lt. Gen. Asit Mistry, AVSM, SM, VSM. Commandant, NDA. These events indeed help you to improve on your management skills which overall shape your personality and make you ready for the outside world.

2. How did you rise up to your position and how can a student aspiring the same, approach it?

Sometimes you observe that people have a fear of doing something new mainly because they think that they might fumble in their first attempt and they might be ridiculed. Honestly, I had these thoughts in my head at the school level but after meeting few people in college who became my really good friends they made me realize that having these thoughts just creates a barrier for you in life. Everyone is scared to try a new thing but if you have the correct network or good company that motivates you to do your best then anything can be achieved in life. After your parents, it is your friends who play a major role in your life so it is very important to have people around you who give you positive vibes.

Just a small example, one might be afraid of the fact that if they take part in a debate, they might fumble or might forget their lines which holds them back to participate. Now, I firmly believe that people who make fun of you have a flaw in their character. Everyone makes mistakes because we are not robots but it is very important to participate in any event or activity as you learn something from every task you do. It’s because of the learning from every activity, you do not commit the same mistake again which makes you better in doing that particular task. No doubt, it is always a team effort and we must have mutual understanding and reciprocate help to people when required. A simple example proves this. It is very easy to break a single stick but on the contrary extremely difficult to break a bundle of sticks.

3. What have been some of your biggest challenges and learning’s from what you do?

As mentioned above, the biggest challenge anyone faces is the fear of losing or being judged. I feel that anybody’s comments will not change your life and it should not affect you in any way. You are the best judge for yourself and you know where you stand. One should never participate in an event with the expectation of only winning and by chance, if you don’t win then it is disheartening. You should have this outlook in mind that winning or losing does not matter. What matters is the experience you get through your participation. Every activity is a learning activity. Even I had a fear of being judged but I have overcome this because of a few amazing people I met in college. 

You should push yourself out of your comfort zone to recognize your true potential. If you happen to do things that you thought can never be done then it builds a sense of satisfaction in you. I believe that it is very important to have a positive attitude and search for good things in whatever you do. Having an optimistic approach will definitely help you to spread your wings and fly. Always remember that the sky is also not the limit for you.

4. What did you do in your current role that makes you feel really proud of yourself?

Currently, I am in my third year of engineering. I am also a volunteer at Teach for India and an NGO. I have always felt that one must give back to society in whatever way they can as we belong to the small percentage of the population who are blessed to have everything. I love children and I believe that imparting knowledge to kids is like teaching the leaders of tomorrow because today’s young generation will lead tomorrow. I am really proud of the fact that I am doing something for our society.

5. What’s your message to encourage students to do internships and attend conferences?

All the knowledge that you earn in classes is theoretical and it does not benefit you till it is put to practical use. Attending conferences and doing internships definitely gives you practical knowledge, a feel of working in a company before you get placed, and a touch of the outside world. Internships provide you application based learning which is the need of the hour. Undoubtedly it also instills organizational and management skills in you which is very important to survive in an organization.

Interviewed by - Jyotisha Singhal

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