Anirudh Devarakonda is in his second-year of the Electrical Engineering program, and serves as the 2021 Vice-President Corporate Relations at the Engineering Society at UBC (Okanagan).
What drew you to engineering?
Engineering is my passion, and I wanted to pursue it. When I was applying to University, I researched the benefits of becoming an engineer and found they far outweigh the cons. I was attracted to the engineering field because of the wide range of lucrative career paths I could choose from that fit my passion and goals.
Was there a moment when it became clear that engineering was right for you?
I participated in the Canadian Engineering Competition (CEC). The CEC is an annual national competition where the top 150 brightest students across Canada come and join in their respective engineering events. Participating in the CEC proved to be the most rewarding opportunity of my undergraduate career so far because I was able to refine and improve my public speaking and soft skills. Most importantly, the chance to be able to represent my university on a national level amongst other top engineering students was highly gratifying. CEC made it clear that I was on the right path and mindset towards my future goals and career as an engineer.
We often hear that studying engineering is grueling, what has been your experience?
Engineering is very hard. I have faced many difficulties in learning. The course load is designed to be very hard to emulate how demanding a professional engineer’s workload can be, but I genuinely appreciate this grueling journey because there is so much to learn from this experience. It tests my abilities and will mold me into a better person and a better engineer.
How do you approach your studies?
Instead of just reading the text in my courses, I apply myself to everything by connecting real-life examples to what I learn in engineering courses. Many of the first-year courses I took can be unrelated to my electrical engineering degree; however, I find many concepts to be present in upper-year electrical courses.
Why do you participate in extracurriculars?
I genuinely enjoy working in groups on projects for competitions. It gives me a sense of validation and an outlet to apply myself in a team setting. I can grow and learn from other people; something I find rewarding and gratifying. Another important outcome of participating in extracurriculars is that I can network with others in the industry. I enjoy meeting and talking to other people, and gaining valuable connections, which will later help me get a job. It’s essential to participate in extracurriculars to expand your perception and learn from different perspectives.
I participated in the Okanagan Engineering Competition in innovative design, where I researched a lot about stormwater filtration. This project earned my team a place in the regional Western Engineering Competition. (WEC). In WEC, I was also involved in researching mental health impacts due to the Pandemic. This project earned my team a spot in the 2021 National Canadian Engineering Competition.
Why should a prospective student consider engineering?
Engineering is comprehensive and diverse. A common misconception that prospective students might have is that engineering is very monotonous. However, that’s not true because there so many different pathways that you can choose from and thrive. If a person is good at STEM, they should consider engineering and enjoy the intrinsic rewards an engineering degree will provide.
The vast number of resources that the SOE provides for engineering students to network, participate in research, and work is outstanding. They offer excellent opportunities for students actively searching for these resources to improve their portfolios.
What are your future aspirations?
I enjoy studying STEM, and I want to pursue my studies in this field in the future. My primary aspiration is to earn a higher education degree, such as a MASc or PhD, from a reputed university in Canada, the USA, or the United Kingdom. I also want to work at a place where I am given the opportunity to perform intellectually through means of generating intuitive curiosity.