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Sanjana Mohapatra for Spectrum Club

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CHIT-CHAT WITH ALUMNI: Episode 5- Find Your Passion And Stick To It

The SPECTRUM club is one the core technical societies of the College of Engineering and Technology, founded in 2015 by Mr. Bikram Keshari Panda (2015 batch graduate), keeping an eye on the sole motive of Instrumentation and Electronics branch having a club of its own.

Apart from being involved in a plethora of competitions and technical events, the club decided to start its very own "Alumni Talk Series" called "Chit-Chat with Alumni".

The goal is to bridge the gap between the current and previous batches of our college and increase the awareness of students in terms of work that one does in college, exposure, jobs, higher studies and of course networking. These interactive sessions are a small shot at helping college students to step out of their fish bowl life.

The first episode was first hosted on the 17th of October, 2020.

The 5th episode was held tonight (21st Nov, 2020) and allow me to introduce you to the star of the evening- Mr. Sourav Agarwal.

Mr. Agarwal is a 2013 graduate from Instrumentation and Electronics Department, CET Bhubaneswar. He is currently Senior Engineer at Honeywell Automation. He was earlier working at Siemens and Praxair Inc. before that.
His previous experience includes 5 years at Paradeep Phosphates Limited (PPL).

When I first spoke to Sourav Sir, I was elated to see how enthusiastic he is about instrumentation.

In today's session, he spoke extensively about his work experience.
He got placed at Paradeep Phosphates Limited (PPL) through college placements and worked there for 5 years since 2013. Mr Agarwal said it was a great learning opportunity despite the hard circumstances of industrial life and living in a not-so-modern city.

Life at PPL involved a lot of field work and he learnt a great deal about control system, DCS (Distributed Control System) and process instrumentation. Having a chance to finally implement his theoretical knowledge meanwhile exploring various verticals over the years, his interest in the avenue only grew.

He later had the chance to implement all that he learnt at Praxair Inc. followed by Siemens and now Honeywell. His previous experience and sound understanding of the technology worked in his favour while working in the R&D Department. It gave him the upper hand in making the product more flexible, more compatible for the end user.

"What kind of technology are you working on these days?", asks Pratyush Mallick, an alumnus of 2020 batch, CET.
Mr. Agarwal is working on making Distributed Control System(DCS) more advanced for the petrol industry.

What does that mean?, one might ask.

For example, when we need to measure temperature of a substance we can either use an RTD or Thermistor or Thermocouple according to our requirement. With the help of some functional blocks this information can easily be available to the end user on laptop or phone. Mr. Agarwal carefully explains the importance of these functional blocks and that their working should be as smooth as possible so that the end user can use it with utmost comfort.

Mr. Agarwal quite nicely pointed out to the fact that it is NOT IMPORTANT to do higher studies (if you are looking for a career in core companies, in a technical role) and assures that it will not be a hindrance to anyone in terms of promotion or job switching. You can go for management courses if and when career demands but masters should be done only when you have the enthusiasm to delve deeper into a particular subject.

So my question was, "If every company has their own set of technologies to work on, how did you manage to build your CV while working?"
Mr. Agarwal replies that he had the occasion to work (during his time at PPL) on the control system technologies designed by Honeywell, Siemens and Yokogawa and process instrumentation technologies by all possible vendors in the world. After having his fill at learning all that he had to at Paradeep Phosphates Limited (PPL) he finally moved onto his next ventures.

As the session went on, we experienced questions from various career avenues by the enthusiastic audience.

To sum it all up, Sourav Sir's kind advice to anyone and everyone from (Instrumentation and Electronics branch) looking forward to pursuing a career in the technical line, "Be patient. Do not compare yourselves with people from other branches who seem to be getting success sooner in life. Spend at least 3 years in a core company to learn the work and no, location should not be a criteria in choosing that company."

When asked about his future goals, Mr. Agarwal says, "I have always wanted to have a patent in my name. So I will be working towards that."

And just like that the session went on for more than an hour with the crowd responding back with great energy.

"It was great to hear from a person with so much experience in the corporate world and really insightful with all the great key points. Truly a wonderful session.", says Suryansu Dash, a 3rd year student of CET.

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