Between one and infinity there are infinite numbers. Between one day and the next there are infinite moments. The fault in our stars author wasn’t the only one who believed in that. Priyadarshini Sivakumar, a 4th year Manufacturing department student, has just about managed to redefine the busy. Just like any other student, she runs to classes, does last minute record work, pulls an all-nighter before an exam and yet manages to be the Vice President of Marketing in AIESEC in Chennai (one of the world’s largest youth run organization . Here are a few things that she has shared with us about Anna University & AIESEC.
What is the first thing that comes to your head when one says "Anna University"?
Definitely the architecture! I have written about the same a couple of times in the past and have always found myself describing it as the ‘rhapsodic red building’. I simply cannot get over the fact this institution stands with the same might and glory as it had, over two centuries ago at the time of its inception.
Exactly 3 years ago, a good friend I’ve known since school, dragged me to the interview that was happening on Cathedral Road. That is where it all kick-started.
What exactly is this “AIESEC” in your words?
AIESEC (pronounced as “eye-sec”) is an organization by and for the youth that is striving ceaselessly since 1948, to provide unique leadership opportunities for the youth. It is a not-for-profit organization that enables undergraduates to avail social internships abroad and recent graduates to avail professional work internships in companies abroad. There are 24 local chapters in India and it is present in 124 countries across the globe. In my words, it is a leadership factory that is changing the world, one person at a time.
How did you get into it? And how did it become such a huge part of your life?
Exactly 3 years ago, a good friend I’ve known since school, dragged me to the interview that was happening on Cathedral Road. That is where it all kick-started. And today, AIESEC has become an indivisible part of my day-to-day life. It has opened up this inexplicable path of freedom and possibilities; made me climb into wrong buses, got me lost and has helped me rediscover what I am truly made for.
Being Vice-President Marketing and a student of the manufacturing department, describe a regular day for you.
While I am at college, I am just like any other student. I am an average student when it comes to grade sheets but I fall in love with core manufacturing subjects like ‘Casting & Welding’ or ‘Manufacturing Processes’ again and again. During the day, there’s AIESEC at the back of my head all the time. My classmates often find me scribbling my to-do on my hands everyday, sketching plans or working on content on the last few pages of my notebooks. After college, there are meetings at our office, partnership appointments with externals, design and content work, etc. I go back to bed, to wake up to yet another day of responsibilities.
At the beginning of a semester, I wait for the college to pull out the final timetable. I let my colleagues and members that work with me know about when I am available for what sort of work.
How do you manage both considering a day has just about 24 hours?
At the beginning of a semester, I wait for the college to pull out the final timetable. I let my colleagues and members that work with me know about when I am available for what sort of work. Sometimes I end up missing college for AIESEC and sometimes it is the other way around. In fact, if there were anything I need to work on, it would be making use of the 24 hours in my hands in a better fashion.
Can you give us an insight of the kind of job that you do as the Vice President of marketing AIESEC?
The role of Vice-President Marketing is that of Chief Marketing Officer, for lack of better words. Strategizing sales plans, on-ground campaigns, event conceptualization, feeding events’ output back into sales avenues, media, public relations and digital marketing would be my work squeezed into a sentence. As a general job role, we have inducting members, training them, evolving their job descriptions, assigning them specific tasks, etc. as part of what we do.
Live you years such that ten years down the line you don’t regret the choices you had made
What is the one thing that you would recommend students of our campus to do before they leave college?
Honestly, I may not be an exemplary student for the college. However, here is something I would like to tell the CEGians as whole. Live your years here as if they are unalterable simply because it is that way. Live you years such that ten years down the line you don’t regret the choices you had made, fifteen years down the line you don’t have to take back the comments you passed at a financially weak classmate or an NRI student and twenty years down the line you don’t remember how you disrespected a girl that was passing by in the corridor. We must never ever settle for anything average and follow our passion at any cost.
What are the perks of being in Anna and in AIESEC?
Perks are pretty much similar – as I mentioned before, these two places are what you make out of them. Both Anna and AIESEC are internationally renowned brands. To be able to study in a college that has etched its glories in the pages of history and to be part of an organization that has been accepted by the United Nations for its persistent global impact – these are real privileges.
Any advice for the future generation of manufacturing department?
Department of Manufacturing Engineering is very catalytic in nature. Owing to the fact that it is a small department, it actually is like a little family. There is never any hustle-bustle about our inner activities and the teachers know each and every student personally. So one can always get by regardless of the gravity of the situation they are caught in. If you respect the fair and handful of rules within the department, the whole department works to support you at any cost.
If you were to pick one thing that you would miss the most in Anna. What would that be?
I would certainly miss the simplicity of Anna University’s working. For a student, life here is smooth. We may grab a chair, sit and whine about our days forever but the truth is things have always panned out almost perfectly.
Designing is an art you have mastered. What would you say is the Secret of your success?
The only talent that I have had since my toddler days is my ability to draw and sketch with ease. I have never undergone training for the same. But to be able to convert that into digital, visual elements were a massive challenge. At AIESEC, my ideas or designs have been rejected a several hundred times. I think it is the times I fell that taught me how to plod on and learn more.
What are your plans for the future?
AIESEC in Chennai – alumnus in December 2014!
Anna University – alumnus in May 2015! Manufacturing Engineering will always stay since my father is into the same profession. Creative advertising has been my biggest passion. I think I am just going to go with the tide.
There is a saying yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift that is why it is called present. Priyadarshini aka Popo thank you for reminding us the same.