Borrowed from SAMPADA old editions – for the 10th Anniversary Special Issue – Interviews section. This one is of Claudia Vandana, 2008 Mech.

In conversation for this special edition of Sampada for honouring women’s day, team Sampada indulged in a conversation with Claudia Vandana, currently working as Product Design Engineer at Mercedes- Benz. She is a graduate of batch of 2008 Mechanical Engineering of namma UVCE. Here is the interview with her in brief and strengthened by her thoughts:

Team Sampada: Men in general dominate mechanical background. Why did you select this branch and more importantly why UVCE?

Claudia: When I decided to pursue my engineering, I was very sure of which branch I didn’t want to pursue, that is I couldn’t see myself as a software engineer.

The options that I was more OK with were Civil engineering and Mechanical engineering. My father, being a mechanical engineer himself was very supportive of my decision.So I enrolled in UVCE in the Civil engineering dept. After my 1st year I applied for a transfer to Mechanical engineering. Why UVCE? Because it UVCE. It was the number one college in Karnataka and had an excellent record when it came to placements. I honestly believe that what some would call the “disadvantages” of studying in UVCE actually makes you a better engineer. Like we didn’t have dedicated text books like what was available to our friends in VTU so we had to refer multiple books and hence spent a lot of time in the library. Looking back this was definitely an advantage for the students.

Team Sampada: Can you recall your college days- “A decade before” and share some good memories with our readers?

Claudia: During my 3rd year, Mrs. Sarala Upadhya was made chairperson of the Mechanical Dept. All the girls in the department and also I think in other departments were extremely proud of mam. She also tasked a group of students to clean up and overhaul the engines in the energy lab. The can be no better class than actually opening up all the machines and putting them back together. We also cleaned up the mechanical department library but could not get it functional by the time we graduated.

Team Sampada: If a girl who is interested to pursue her Engineering career in Mechanical core field, what advice would you give her?

Claudia: My advice would be “Just do your best. Don’t get overwhelmed by the course. Pursue the stream of your interest and most important don’t listen to the voices of discouragement. Be “deaf” to them.”

Team Sampada: In your experience, how has the industry say the Automobile section adapted itself to support and encourage women engineers? What more steps are needed to be taken to motivate more women to be a part of it?

Claudia: The automobile industry like many other industries has seen the value in having a more diverse workforce. Recently Mercedes Benz started a project called “Mercedes in Mech” to encourage more girls to consider pursuing mechanical engineering or it allied courses as an option and not be overwhelmed by it. The best encouragement for women would be to see more women in the industry.

– Claudia Vandana, Sampada-110

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