Global Organization of People of Indian Origin Connecticut Chapter (GOPIO-CT) organized a program of welcoming new students from India at the Univ. of Connecticut, School of Business from its Stamford and Hartford campuses with a networking dinner on Friday, Sept. 24th at the Hampton Inn and Suites in Stamford. While it was networking event for the students and the Indian American community, it also served as an interactive session with a high-profile panel of Indian American Corporate Achievers and entrepreneurs.
The program started with a welcome by GOPIO-CT President Ashok Nichani who told the students to consider GOPIO-CT as their big family and that they could seek help from the chapter. GOPIO International Chairman and GOPIO-CT Trustee Dr. Thomas Abraham moderated the interactive panel session. The panelists included Anand Chavan, founder and CEO, GuardX, Inc. (New York, NY); Ramya Subramanian, Co-Founder and COO of Docty Inc. (Stamford, CT); Pradeep Govil, Program Manager, ASML (Wilton, CT); Sunita Menon, Global Data Advisor & Adjunct Prof. at U. of Florida and formerly with IBM Data-Driven Business (Stamford, CT); Prasad Chintalapudi, Vice President, Panzer Solutions (Norwalk, CT); Siddharth (Sid) Jain, President, AAAUM (OM)/Co-Founder, HVB 88 Angels LLC (Pelham, NY) and Prof. Rajasekhar Vangapaty, Registrar, Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), SUNY (New York, NY).
Extending a warm welcome to the new students, most of them joining only in early September, Dr. Abraham said, “America is the greatest country which provides opportunity to open up your mind and you can be whatever you want to become, whether a professional in a large corporation, or help to manage a hedge fund or as a scientist or professor or as an entrepreneur, so, go and grab the opportunities awaiting you.” Dr. Abrahm also added that although, he is a nanotechnologist, his passion was building community institutions since he came in 1973 as a student at Columbia University.
Each of the panelists were asked to comment on two sets of questions on their journey to where they reached today and how earlier career choices lead them to where they are now as well as their first “win” that made them confident and the biggest challenge to achieving that success. The panelists provided personal experience to their success. The panelists also provided guidance and inputs on educational preparation, necessary prior experience, what skills are the most important and transferable skills to acquire so as to market oneself to the American job market.
GuardX CEO Chavan, who had over 18 years of industry experience in multiple software development, technology leadership and as strategist role with Amaranth, UBS, Citi, Credit Suisse, JP Morgan and Bear Stearns, told the students on what skill set he would look for in hiring and the hot sectors which are hiring it he next few years.
Former IBM executive and global data advisor Sunita Menon said, “Be curious about finding the WHY! That brings the creativity, challenge and innovation into your work, no matter what field you are in. It will build new paths for you and also inspire others around you.”.
Docty Co-Founder Subramanian who was trained as an Electrical and Electronics Engineer, and started her remarkable journey as a businesswoman from home in 2008, when she founded her IT Solutions & Services company, Arka Informations advised the students to “Find YOUR strength and surround yourself with people with what you work on and be open to learning, Find YOUR passion so work does not seem like work and Find YOUR niche in whatever you choose.”
Semiconductor giant ASML’s project manager Pradeep Govil emphasized importance of skills needed to be successful in gaining fruitful employment & in life, specifically, employers looking for evidence of skills gained like problem solving, critical thinking, communication, presentation, innovation, listening ability, community involvement & outreach, and lifelong learning. He suggested to use Bragg Book like tool to show evidence of proficiency in skills learned through course work, project work, term papers, novel solutions to problems, participation in seminars, internships and presentations to gain acceptance to one’s ideas and proposals.
Panzer Solutions, an IT and recruiting company Vice President Prasad Chintalapudi said, “Being able to communicate effectively in is perhaps the most important of all life skills and as well managerial skill. It is what enables us to pass information to other people in spoken and writing and also listening skill will improve to understand what is said to us.”
AAAUM (OM) President Sid Jain said, “Enjoy the student life exploring the culture and camaraderie with those around you. One skill to perfect is communication in all forms:- verbal, non-verbal, written and reading.”
FIT Registrar Prof. Rajasekhar Vangapaty told the students that America is the land of opportunity, aim high! “Your education should not be limited to learning facts, rather you should train yourself to think unconventionally and to look at the world through an inquisitive and investigative lens pushing you out of your comfort zone!”
“Be hungry and committed to your goals. It is not your fault if you do not know the path to your goal, but it is your fault if you do not enquire and learn of the path to your goal,” Prof. Vangapaty added.
Sid Jain further added that since quotas for H1-B to Green Cards via EB-2 (Masters Degree) | EB-3 ( Bachelors Degree) are not expected to advance within the current administration, Masters Students should contemplate getting their advanced Degrees such as Ph.D and get published in reputed journals to get a chance to getting qualified as EB-1 category and faster track to Green Card then EB-2 or EB-3 as of date.
All the students at the vent were introduced and some of them asked questions to the panelists. “It was a highly successful program with a larger participation of the students this year,” said Dr. Abraham.
The event was sponsored by Foreseer.AI, an AI enabled platform for information extraction from unstructured data which was built by GuardX.
Over the last 15 years, GOPIO-CT, a chapter of GOPIO International has become an active and dynamic organization hosting interactive sessions with policy makers and academicians, community events, youth mentoring and networking workshops, and working with other area organizations to help create a better future. GOPIO-CT – Global Organization of People of Indian Origin – serves as a non-partisan, secular, civic and community service organization – promoting awareness of Indian culture, customs and contributions of PIOs through community programs, forums, events and youth activities. It seeks to strengthen partnerships and create an ongoing dialogue with local communities.
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