Quarterly Update October – December 2021
Activities at Immadihalli Government Polytechnic:
3H Catalyst had a busy quarter, now that college has opened up and students are getting back to in-class sessions. Scheduling is still a challenge since their teachers are scrambling to cover syllabi in the limited time available. Regardless of the challenge however, there is a strong commitment on the part of the college to integrate 3H Catalyst modules into the student schedules – they recognize the importance of the modules for their students. The 3H team met the Principal Ms Jyothi and she reiterated her request to schedule the modules for her final year students. In addition, the Head of the Department, Computer Science Department at the college is keen to schedule special sessions for his department students to ensure that they get additional attention towards job readiness.
Sessions at Immadihalli Polytechnic are ongoing. A few sessions are described below.
I Developing an “Engineering Mindset” – a workshop
On October 8, 2021, 3H Catalyst organized a half-day workshop on Workplace Readiness for students of Government Polytechnic, Immadihalli, Bengaluru. Attended by Computer Science students of all years (1st-3rd year), the workshop had sessions on Developing an Engineering Mindset, Ethics in Business and, Effective Communication for Engineers. Both 3H Catalyst and the students were fortunate to have Shri Gopalan Ramaiya (former MD of Toyota Kirloskar Ltd.) as the keynote speaker for the workshop.
Shri Gopalan Ramaiya conducted the sessions on Workplace Readiness
Dwelling on the main topic, the speaker emphasized that an engineering mindset is not just for engineers. Rather, it refers to a set of principles and practices that can be followed by anyone to develop an engineering mindset. The core principle is that one should identify an existing problem or a hidden need and offer workable and impactful solutions to solve the problems in society.
Elaborating further on the principles to follow for an engineering mindset, the speaker laid out the need for a logical and ‘seeking’ mindset with the following characteristics:
Inquisitiveness – don’t take the easy way out and depend only on google. Research and deeply think about the problem/task at hand.
Process Orientation – avoid haphazard thinking and be logical in developing and documenting well thought out processes for any task at hand. Break down the processes to manageable details
Application – Think through the bigger picture within which the process and outcome fits
Develop Deep Insight and avoid superficial thinking. Eye for detail is a must
Develop ‘anticipatory skills’ – the ability to think ahead and see how something integrates into a larger whole and the issues that may arise
Fine tune ability to define the problem/issue. Jumping to a solution without defining the issue leads to faulty diagnosis of problem and hence faulty solutions too). Define the issue precisely
Recognize the needs of consumers/customers in society. Identify the beneficiaries of your solutions
Never forget the fundamentals
Aim for small improvements. Even in daily habits, aim for small improvements that lead to big changes over time
Innovation is a bigger form of small improvements. Innovations are driven by opportunities to improve, treat a problem and find solutions. Innovation requires disruptive thinking
The speaker illustrated the above principles through examples of small improvements and innovations that solved an everyday problem such as ziplock bags, a toothpaste tube squeezer and a interdental cleaning brush. He passed the examples around in the classroom for students to examine the simple yet effective products that solved a persistent everyday problem.
In the second session on Business Communication and Ethics, the speaker gave the key features of effective communication – whether written or oral: Simplicity, pleasantness, respect
Fluidity without repetition or omission,
Decisiveness and Consistency
Purposefulness, Value Addition
Opening / Conclusion to the communication
The importance of good body language, attentive listening and humility were also emphasized. Avoiding long winding sentences, vague and inconclusive communication were the negative traits that the audience was cautioned to avoid in their business communication.
Regarding ethics in our professional lives, the esteemed and experienced speaker gave the following tips:
Be Frank (avoid making false commitments)
Walk the extra mile as a TEAM player
Never let down your organization or a colleague
Discuss Issues and NOT personalities (avoid playing Politics)
Straightforward and not being manipulative
Seek extra time if need be BUT never be silent or fail to reply
Finally, the speaker advised the students to read English newspapers and magazines in order to develop good vocabulary and power of good articulation. He also exhorted them to speak in English whenever opportunities came up, and avoid being shy in making use of such opportunities.
Students as well as the Head of the Department (Computer Science) Dr Parameswarappa expressed gratitude to the speaker Shri Gopalan Ramaiya for the extremely useful sessions.
3H Catalyst is grateful to Shri Gopalan Ramaiya for consenting to deliver the sessions, and for spending nearly the entire day with the 3H team. His insights and tips are valuable for the students as well as the 3H team.
II Introductory Session for First Year new entrants to the Polytechnic
At the request of the Computer Science Department, and as a precursor to the introduction of regular 3H Catalyst modules into their timetable, two trainers from 3H Catalyst conducted an introductory session for the first year new entrants to the polytechnic.
A broad array of topics was covered to introduce the students to various important concepts like discipline, goal setting, communication, and career planning. The sessions were interactive and sought to break the ice with the students and have them actively participate in the sessions.
First year students at the introductory session
One of the activities had students coming up in front of the class and giving a small talk on a chosen topic. After the speeches, each talk was analysed by the class and the trainers interactively. Students understood the importance of preparation, body language, good vocabulary and thinking on one’s feet when asked to speak.
Students speaking on a chosen topic
The trainers left the students with positive messaging that is easy to remember. For example, one of the messages was that even if someone puts in 1% extra effort each day (i.e. a just little more effort than earlier), the benefit from such a small change is in fact exponential. Looking at the equation on the blackboard drove home the point well to the students who appreciated the concept of 1.01^365= 37.8 as against 1^365 = 1 only.
The trainers believe that starting the sessions in the first year will give ample time to lay the foundation for sound skills by the time the students leave the college after three years. The college is also keen to explore this long term engagement. Meanwhile, sessions for final year students are also scheduled.
3H Catalyst trainers at the session for first year students
III It is never too early to start
In keeping with the above theme that an early start is ideal, one of the trainers from 3H Catalyst – a specialist in Banking Services – conducted a career counselling session for X grade students at Sai Krushna Vidya Mandir.
Topics covered include: meaning of the word career, the three step career planning process, important factors that impact the choice- Values, interest and talent, academic and personal strengths, trending careers.
Understanding the importance of choosing relevant subjects, research through reading, watching, shadowing and interacting with professionals in the chosen area of interest. Staying updated on developments and prospects in the field.
Students were administered the Holland code hexagon RIASEC – a psychometric test - to identify the interest based on the intrinsic values and interest.
As a take away personally designed book marks were distributed to the children to write down one affirmative statement they want to tell themselves. This book mark will be in a place where they see it every day and this will help them to motivate them to achieve their goals.
Career Counselling Session for X std. students