Interviewer-N. Vasanth [4th year, EEE department]
Interviewee-Priyadarshini.T [MSC: Environmental Engineering TU Delft Netherlands]
GT: You have taken Environmental Engineering as your Masters course. So what drove you to apply for such an unique course?
Priyadarshini: When I was looking for which course to study after my 12th standard my father suggested Chemical Engineering to me and also added that it has a great scope after my bachelors as well one of them being Environmental Engineering. He also added that maintaining clean Environment will definitely strive to be the need of the future because of the water scarcity and different types of pollutions the world is going through. So this thought stuck with me throughout my bachelors when I was pursuing chemical engineering so I wanted to do something about it so I approached Helen Mam (A faculty from my department) on being her assistants for one of her projects as she was working with membranes used for water treatment. She suggested me to apply for the CTDT (Student Innovation project) which increased my eagerness to learn. So all these things increased my interests towards Environmental Engineering and I wanted to do something to mitigate the climate change issues and problems faced by the environment. These factors drove me to pursue Environmental Engineering as my master’s course.
GT: What were the entry requirements to join TU delft?
Priyadarshini: Many departments in TU DELFT require both the IELTS and GRE score but for Environmental engineering only the IELTS score was required. They also wanted the SOP (statement of purpose) which was also called as the motivational letter for about 1500 words. In case you want to apply for scholarships you had to write a Letter of recommendation [LOR]. I skimmed through many websites to prepare my SOP as I applied for colleges in US and Netherlands, I noted down some common topics that I wanted to address in my SOP there was certain points the universities also would like you to have in your SOP, so taking all these into consideration I edited my SOP for about 1500 words. I also got my LORs from 3 professors from my department.
GT: Could you tell us about the timeline you followed for the rigorous application process? (From the day you started preparing till your admission to the master’s course)?
Priyadarshini: There are lot of courses to choose from in your Postgraduation after you complete your UG, so my first task was to finalize my course which was Environmental Engineering. As I applied for colleges in US, I had to prepare for GRE as well. When you study for GRE IELTS becomes relatively easier in my opinion because IELTS basically has 4 sections reading, writing, listening and speaking. Reading and writing will be covered during your GRE preparation and for the listening part I wrote many online tests which helped me a lot, I could gradually see my score improve from 7.5 to 8.5 out of 9. For the speaking part of IELTS I went through many online recording sessions of real Speaking tests during IELTS categorized based on their band scores, so this gave me a clarity on where I stand to improve myself accordingly on my speaking abilities. I wanted to take my GRE test first around April or May which was when the pandemic happened and I was not comfortable on writing it online as there were many restrictions during the test so I waited till October till the centers opened. I wrote my GRE in a test center on October. IELTS didn’t have an online option so I took up the test in a test center.
GT: What are some Internships/Projects/Publications that you completed during your undergrad that helped you get an admission into TU Delft? Do you think the pandemic has altered the application process in any way?
Priyadarshini: My plan was to complete 1 project and Internship before my final semester. I also wanted to do a physical internship in a lab which was not possible due to the pandemic so I took up an Online Internship by IICHE on the topic of zero liquid discharge which I thought was relevant to what I wanted to pursue in the future. In terms of projects, I submitted a proposal for a topic called as Membranes on waste water treatment which I couldn’t further follow up due to the pandemic moreover the universities understood the situation and were slightly lenient on these criteria for admissions that year.
GT: How is your college life and could tell us a few words on how you are holding up in Netherlands?
Priyadarshini: First and foremost, I am very happy that I could go to college right now after attending 1 and half years of online classes back in India. Here colleges and schools have opened up following safety precautions. In my college they follow hybrid classes that is I attend college 3 days a week, 1 course in online and 2 other courses will be offline. With respect to Netherlands, it’s a very beautiful country, the streets look gorgeous people here use cycles as their primary mode of transport to travel places. The cost of living is quite high around here. It cost me around 500 euros for rent and 300 euros or odd for my other essentials like groceries etc. There are lot of par time jobs available for international students, with a par time job you can definitely manage your expenses here.
GT: What advice would you like to give for students looking to pursue post-graduation after their undergrad?
Priyadarshini: I would tell the juniors to choose their course wisely after their undergrad. There would be lot of options for your particular UG course in postgraduation for example for chemical engineering there was water management, environmental engineering, sustainable energy, biomedical energy, management related courses and management plus engineering related courses as options for post-graduation. So do your research properly and choose your course wisely and start preparing for you exams early. Last year the GRE was waived due to the pandemic which will not be the case this year so start preparing early. For the 2021 fall intake the admission closed on December 2020 for many colleges, for some colleges the deadline extended till January due to the pandemic. So work hard and choose the right course which suites you. All the very best.
GT: What do you think about this College admit series initiative taken by the Guindy times?
Priyadarshini: This is a wonderful initiative taken by the Guindy times to help students who are interested to pursue their postgraduation and do not have a lot of seniors and alumni contacts. When I was in my 2nd year, I could not get solid information on what procedures to follow to get a admit into foreign colleges so with regards to that this initiative will definitely prove to be very helpful for many students who are like me in my 2nd year.
Guindy times thanks Priyadarshini for sharing her experiences, and wishes her all the best for her future endeavors.