Borrowed from SAMPADA old editions – for the 10th Anniversary Special Issue – Interviews section. This one is of Shubha Changappa, 1993 ECE.
Shubha Chanappa is from 1993 Electronics Batch. She completed her MS Degree in Computer Science From Wayne State University. Currently she is working as Engineering Group Manager, General Motors
Team Sampada: What inspired you to get into the engineering field against the regular notion?
Shubha: Engineering is a field which has applications in multiple areas and disciplines. At the time, of my joining engineering, my family wanted me to study medicine. I was more intrigued at the way the human brain learnt from the human body and was able to create machines and devices that help the mankind. Being an engineer you can work in any field from Defence, Transportation, Telecom, Medicine, Management, etc. I pursued engineering knowing that it would be a good stepping stone for any other career I want to pursue later.
Team Sampada: What are the memories about your college days?
Shubha: We all used to gripe about the old building our college was housed in but we enjoyed the very unconventional setup we had – every moment. The canteen, the library and also the huge shady trees under which lots of arguments, fights, jokes and combined study took place; all still fresh in the memory. I still remember getting scared to walk to the 7:30 am chemistry lab from the main entrance – we had to pass thro’ the long corridors of empty classrooms. Practicing for the UVCE annual fests is another unforgettable experience.
Team Sampada: How has the position of a woman in the society changed over the years from being restricted to the house to leading companies today?
Shubha:Women have been leading companies, countries and kingdoms from time immemorial. But NOW is actually a very exciting time for women; with many of the leading industries putting women in their top most positions; many women continuing to stay in the work force after having kids and women pursuing higher education and aspiring for roles with authority and responsibility. The capability and the EDGE a woman brings into the workforce has helped this trend which has resulted in women friendly policies at workplace, diversity initiatives and changes in the family and support system.
The woman is a major contributor and a decision maker both at work and at home and has become a new force to contend with. The result can be seen in the independent and confident younger generation who have grown up having working mothers. These mothers have become great role models for their kids. In the Indian context, there is approval and expectation for a woman to work as a second source of income but the society is still conservative in accepting a “woman manager” which is probably the biggest challenge that we have to overcome. The burden of balancing family and work still majorly falls on the woman; we see a more balanced work share between the spouses only in the cities. But this is a work in progress and is a global challenge for which both men and women need to work together.
Team Sampada: What is your message to the budding women engineers of our college?
Shubha: All engineers and especially the girl students have to ensure they are hands on, understand and apply the theories rather than memorize the formula and the theorems – volunteer for projects, DIY kits, etc. spend more time experimenting and researching. There are a lot of opportunities available in various disciplines – so plan your career when you are in college. Be disciplined & take one step at a time. Consider every experience as a learning opportunity.
For girls, be ready to work hard. Even though the industry is women friendly when you actually start climbing the corporate ladder, you are expected to work twice as much as your male counterparts to get the same recognition. Understand the Ecosystem and Adapt accordingly. Wishing you all the best for your futures!!
– Shubha Changappa, Sampada-63