Sunday, April 15, 2018

Interview with Rachana Krishna - Best Outgoing Student of VIT

Gone are the days where Best Outgoing Student Award are honored to the student with Highest Grades. These days, student should be highly creative, exhibit exceptional effort and must make a huge difference.

"Outstanding achiever" is every student's dream. 
I had the opportunity to interview Rachana Krishna who has bagged the VIT's Best Outgoing Student Award. In this interview, lets dive deep into Rachana's journey as she shares her interesting student life.

I hope students as well as others will find many of the tips useful and motivating.

Congratulations on achieving Outstanding Student award. Could you please introduce yourself?
Hi, I'm Rachana. I'm from bangalore, born and raised here. I did my B.Tech in Computer Science from VIT. Currently I'm working at Cisco.

What was your priority when you were a student?
When I started off B.Tech I only wanted to enjoy my engineering life but soon realised my kind of enjoyment lies in many things, achievements, accomplishments and not mere entertainment. Priorities are never a constant they keep changing with time. At each instance I had to focus on what was most important at that time and move ahead with it.

What specific activities did you engage in college to achieve outstanding student award?
Firstly, I never compromised on my main virtue as a student that is being academically good. I learnt the subjects to the best of my abilities and maintained good grades. Grades only matter to teach you school lessons but life lessons are completely outside of it. So I involved myself in a number of activities. I was always inclined towards sports and adventures and decided to become part of our college trekking club. I had a flair for speaking and writing as well and hence became a core member of some clubs and chapters like the Hindu E-plus, VIT community Radio for a short period. As I knew my strength was in the manegerial line I started working for my college fests and events.

How about your extra-curriculum activities? 
As I already stated, I'm into sports. I used to be an athlete in school. I couldn't really continue that in college however I used to swim in college as a hobby, play badminton occasionally. I also hit the gym in the evenings. I went on a number of treks and even organised trips to places like Coorg and Kerala where I had my share of adventure+learning. I did white water rafting, waterfall rappelling, kayaking, rock climbing.

What pieces of advice would you offer to the students who aspires for "Outstanding Student"?
One has to know what he or she wants in their life and there is no bigger achievement than this. A person who knows what he wants will make sure to reach the goal. By life I don't always mean the big picture but even small goals will do. Goals as small as hitting the gym everyday. They keep you motivated in life. This motivation can achieve anything in life.

Who was your mentor/s in your college? 
To be honest I have been my greatest mentor all life., because only you know what you want in life. However, My mom is my support system. I have a best friend from school who is often my go-to person to share with.

What was one challenge you faced during college and how did you overcome?
During college it's very common to look at others and compare yourselves. This is not wrong as long as you get something good out of it. But if this is something that's pulling you down its high time you understand that each one lives their own lives. I did face a lot of competition and was at many instances motivated to do what others were doing. But not everything is for everyone. When ever I thought someone was doing something really nice in their life I took that as a motivation to do something in my life. Peer-pressure if a big challenge, but I used it for my benefit. And ofcourse because I stayed in the hostel, I missed home a lot. This can often pull people down, so did it pull me. But I always remembered why I was here and what I as supposed to do.

What was your daily routine as a student and now as an Employee?
As a student first half of my day would be spent in classes and assignments. Second half I would spend some time on myself, meeting friends, gym, netflixing. I'm an early bird so my day ends a little quick. So far my life as an employee hasn't really changed much as I am still an intern and have my trainings.

Share us a time where you broke a rule for a student?
Oh I'm not a person who breaks rules usually. I don't think I have broken any major rules. Except I didn't always have an ID card around my neck. So yeah this was one small rule I broke.

What is your philosophy of life? 
You take  your life decisions because nobody knows you better than you. Have goals, they keep you motivated in life. The only people who matter in life are those who keep you going, ignore the rest. Work hard, party harder. And yeah there is no substitute to hard work. I believe that there are a number of success stories with smart work, but there are no failure stories with hard work.

What are your current interest and what is your learning right now?
I want to move into entrepreneurship and finance now. I'm reading more on these.

All the best for your dreams and Thank you so much for your valuable time! 
Congratulations Once again Rachana!  You truly deserve the award!!  Good luck with Everything!!! Cheers.

Friday, April 6, 2018

When Life Breaks You Down, A Fighter Reborn

What was your most painful life experience?
A Break-up? Insult by relatives or put-down by friends? Loneliness? dream getting shattered? Losing someone? No Job? Failure in Exam?
If you have answered “Yes” to any one of the above then read on…
Will a person who never ran in her life, would ever run a marathon?  Absolutely, Yes! They can!? What’s so special about it!? But, will a person decide to run a marathon after losing both legs?
Yes, That's the inspiring story of  Shalini Saraswathi who turned into an avid runner (a blade runner).
She made the decision of running when her life snatched both her arms and legs.

We all know about Nicholas James who has No Arms, No legs and No worries. Here is another inspiring story from our own India. It’s the story of Shalini Saraswathi.

It was when all my colleagues were complaining about office stress, spouse problem and concluded life hardly seems a worth living. At that point of time we received an email with a subject line Meet Bengaluru’s Blade Runner Shalini Saraswathi @ Bengaluru campus.

     While I was running a TCS 10K Marathon, I have seen her running but never in my mind realized she has such a beautiful inspiring life of positivism and determination. After attending her session, I realized why she is called as an icon of perseverance and hope.

Her story in short. Like millions of people out there, she had an extremely beautiful life,  successful career, a loving family and a great soul mate. She went to Cambodia for a honeymoon. After returning to India, She had to get admitted to hospital for a slight fever. Never in her wild dreams she would have thought some rare bacteria called Ricketssial would affect her and that would change her life upside down. Slight Fever led to multi organ failure and she went to coma for few days. Doctor declared her survival rate was 5%.

Next few years, she went to the hospital only to remove few of her flesh removed from her body every now and then. Shalini Saraswathi went on to lose all four of her limbs. But, that's not the end of the story.

The next year she realized she lost both the arms and both legs, but not her courage. A Fighter was reborn. She challenged the sky. “Does not matter what comes in my way, I will never give up and Don’t mess up with me”. She moved on from her pain and trained herself for a TCS 10k race in Bangalore.

Most of the time we listen to our mind which gives a lot of excuse. “Hitting snooze button”, “From tomorrow I will hit the Gym”, “From tomorrow I will start”. We love to listen to those lame excuses which mind offers and are addicted to it.

For Shalini, when her body did not help her to have what she wants, she trained her mind and made her body listen to her mind. It was not easy for her initially. When she went for a personal training no one knew how to train her. Yet, she overcome those struggles. How was it possible for her to come out it? She chose to look the brighter side. When her legs were about to amputate, she chose to wear a purple nail polish and admired it. That's the power of positivism she carried.

The one thing which was constant in her speech was “A big smile and a positive attitude”

Now tell me friends, can’t we deal with our problems more positively and happily? 
Small disappointments should never bother us. 
Everyone has scars around us, it’s in our hands and out choice to use those scars for a self-destruction or for a self-discovery.

Few lines from her speech today, “Walk in the rain, stick your tongue out and catch the raindrops, hold hands, feel the grass under your feet, smile at strangers, admire good-looking men/women, fall in love, call someone you have meant to, give big tight hugs, dance till you drop, wear your red lipstick, join that class you have always wanted to, buy the shoes you want, write a book, sing aloud, learn to play an instrument, bungee jump, sky dive, travel to Antarctica for all I care – LIVE TODAY AND LIVE IN THE MOMENT – you don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow!”