S. Somasegar is the corporate vice president of the Developer Division at Microsoft. Learn more about Somasegar.
Recently, I got a chance to visit Anna University in India, my alma mater, where I got my undergraduate degree ages ago.
I was returning to the campus after a long time and it was awesome to see the progress that has happened in the University. I was curious about one thing in particular – back when I was doing my undergrad, there were about 4 Engineering Colleges affiliated to the University. A couple of years ago, all the Engineering Colleges in the State – about 235 of them got affiliated to the Anna University making it one of the largest universities in India and probably in the world. This means about 400,000 engineering graduates come out of this University every year. I wanted to find out whether this meant that the caliber of education was going down or whether the caliber of education across all these engineering colleges was going to go up. Thankfully, the latter seems to be happening – thanks largely to the Vice Chancellor and the University system that is systematically working through the integration.
The other thing that amazes me whenever I visit a college campus is the caliber, passion and knowledge of this generation of students. Clearly, students today know a lot more than when I was a student in my days. That is another big reason why I personally get interested in visiting college campuses and interact with students – sort of using this as an opportunity to reinvigorate myself looking at all the potential in today’s students.
I also had a chance to talk to all the faculty members, some of whom where my professors when I was studying. It reminded me how much I owe to the faculty members and to the University for giving me the education and values to get me to where I am today. No matter where I am or what I do, I always salute my teachers and professors and thank them for their teaching and coaching.