Bachelors’ degree in Civil Engineering, Anna University
Master of Science, Columbia University, City of New York
Interviewer: Sudharshana (3rd yr SAP, GT)
Interviewee: Sravan Ashwin
GT: What drove you to apply for this particular course?
Sravan Ashwin: I did my undergraduate in Civil Engineering and was interested in the Management side of the field like scheduling and budgeting, so I took this course. This course is a mix of technical knowledge and management, and so I went on with this course in my PG
GT: What were the entry requirements for this particular university?
Sravan Ashwin: I took my GRE and TOEFL exams. A Statement of purpose and letter of recommendation is required, with a minimum of 3 letters of recommendation with an optional video introduction of ourselves.
GT: What are the entrance exams you took to enter the university?
Sravan Ashwin: You have to take GRE and TOEFL exams, these are the 2 main exams which need to be taken.
GT: Has the pandemic altered the application process in any way?
Sravan Ashwin: Last year, the application influx was the highest, so it is positive, but at the same time, it was more difficult to enter. I can’t say for sure, but the number of students intake has increased.
GT: How have your internships helped you in your master degree?
Sravan Ashwin: First of all, having internships in your resume is beneficial because the university knows you have been proactive and trying to apply your theoretical knowledge in a practical workflow. I got a lot of technical experience in my internships, and it helps improve our communication skills when we work with different people.
GT: Could you explain the correlation between your UG course and your master’s course?
Sravan Ashwin: I did my undergrad in civil engineering, where I learnt more about the technical side of engineering. Right now, I study scheduling, budgeting, and on-site processes involved. So, if there is any problem on-site, my undergraduate technical college helps me fix the issue, and I don’t have to ask anyone else. So the UG degree helps as a prerequisite.
GT: What tips would you like to give your juniors who wish to pursue post-graduation abroad?
Sravan Ashwin: Start applying early, say at the beginning or middle of the 4th year. Give a lot of time to your statement of purpose as it will need to be constantly improved. The second thing is to take up internships, be proactive or if you are interested in research, try to publish some papers. If you are preparing for GRE, dedicate some time to study for it.
Also, try to use LinkedIn, reach out to people or alumni from the university you wish to apply to, talk to them and get an insight about the field before you apply for any university as the process cannot be generalized.