Harsh Maheshwari

Like many others across the country, being an engineering aspirant from Rajasthan, I started my journey from Kota. I was an average student till 8th, but my parents sat me down one day and advised me to be more responsible about my studies. That was a turning point for me, and my aspirations for engineering evolved since. After 10th grade, I was excited to go to Kota to study science like many of my classmates. But this was the first time I was living away from home, on my own, so I was extremely homesick in a matter of days. So one day after finishing classes, I just came back home. I convinced myself that since the science tuitions were not that good in my hometown, I would just shift to commerce. But my father had seen my enthusiasm to study science before I went to Kota, and so he enrolled me in local tuitions for the important subjects. Fortunately, those tuitions soon made me realize that I needed to buckle up and go back to Kota. With this newfound determination, I completed my two years in Kota, and the fruit of my hard work was an admission in Electrical Engineering, IIT Kharagpur.

Coming to IITs, they are a totally different ball game. After two years of studying just three subjects, you end up on a campus that has provision for any sport, arts, and cultural activities that you can think of. Not to mention of course the range of technical fields to learn from. Till my third year of B.Tech, I was more into research, mainly in Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. But usually most of us choose a traditional route in our pre final year. We either aim for a job or admission to a good college for Masters or Ph.D. I went down the campus internship route, and boy was I in for a shock. Campus Internships require top-notch competitive programming skills and being from a research background, I wasn’t that good at Competitive programming. So as the companies started rolling in, I faced rejection after rejection. But thanks to my friends, I picked myself up, prepped a lot, and constantly applied for different companies on Linkedin and Other platforms. I finally got three internship offers from Wadhwani AI, IBM, and Amazon in a span of three months. I accepted the offer from Amazon for the post of Applied Scientist and after my performance in the internship, I was given a pre-placement offer from Amazon that I accepted.

To tell you a bit more about me, I love travelling, and college gave me some great travel stories. Half of those travels happened due to competitions and hackathons. My first such experience was going to New York for an International Autonomous Ground Vehicle competition. We had spent our full summer on campus building a robot for this competition, and three days before the departing date; we finally got it working. The very next day, we rushed to the visa office for an emergency visa interview. Five of us got our visas just a day before we had to catch our flight. This was the first international trip for all five of us. The next three days after reaching New York, we barely slept, working non-stop on our robot.

Finally, on D-day, all these experiences were worth it when we won second place out of 43 other teams. This price was a big deal for us, even the institute awarded us by funding our travel to the competition. But the adventure was not over yet! We were supposed to fly back on the 5th of June, when we went to check-in at the airport, I realized my ticket was booked for the 5th of July! My first experience abroad, and I was stranded already. Fortunately, after staying a day at the airport, eating and sleeping on a chair, and spending a fortune on rescheduling my ticket, I reached India safe and sound. But I will never forget all these college experiences!

Total Work Experience : 1 Year (Amazon)

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