Empowering Women in IT - eWIT
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Write up on eWIT’s First Students’ Convention 2013

The day started with all the eager beaver students lining up for registrations from all over Tamil Nadu.

The event themed as “Tomorrow is (Y)ours” drew over 300 women students from various colleges in Chennai and other parts of Tamil Nadu. The full day event enthused the participants with various activities such as Poster Competition, Paper presentation, panel discussions, etc.

Kalyani Narayanan, President – eWIT and CEO, www.easyinsuranceindia.com said “eWIT, by far is the only forum in India that actively works towards helping women working in the IT/ITES industry. Recently, our focus on enlisting women students by visiting academic institutions across Tamil Nadu has given a wider scope for us to reach the women students who aspire to enter the IT/ITES sector after graduation. The overwhelming response from various colleges has been very encouraging. Having seen the huge response from the student community, we plan to organize such events regularly aimed towards helping women students to equip themselves for a successful career in IT/ITES.”

Ms. Indira Jagan, Exec Committee Member, eWIT& Academic Initiatives, Head, said, “Academic Initiative was started a year ago to better address eWIT’s goal ‘To increase Share & Sustainability of Women in IT’. eWIT would like to contribute positively to the development of  women students : starting from their entry in IT companies and right through their growth to leadership roles. Hence we felt we should start working with the students to increase the Share of women in IT.

The membership response has been good and 15 colleges as members in just a year. Member colleges who have been very supportive and have also sponsored this event. It makes us feel good to see they are seeing value in the eWIT initiative.

For our academic  members we offer 2 programs at their premises and Faculty can attend any of the programs conducted for eWIT corporate members and colleges get networking opportunities with eWIT Corporate Members

We thank our eWIT Corporate Members for taking time to go to the colleges and address them.”

Text Box: Chief Guest – Mr. Ramaraj, Senior Advisor at Sequoia Capital kick started the mood with an inspiring speech about the 3 Cs needed for success : Consistency of purpose (set a goal for yourself), Curiosity to learn - be ahead of the curve and Cooperation - teamwork. He also emphasized students that they should “work with initiatives and not for incentives”.Mr. Ramaraj described interesting anecdotes as to how computing has transformed since he first saw a computer and so many other people along with him were made to do just a Namaste to one single computer – barefoot!  Now, it’s just mobile apps on the go!

He added that it’s not enough to just complete your academic curriculum, but all the more important to widen one’s vision especially with the advent of free online courses from prestigious institutions such as Stanford, Harvard and many of the Ivy League Institutions.

The next session was the Power Panel discussing the topic: ‘Tomorrow is Yours’. The panel comprised of: Ms. Parvati Karthik, HR, TCS, Mr. Shivram – Director, Deloitte Human Capital services and Ms. Srimathi Shivashankar – Associate VP - Diversity & Sustainability, HCL with Ms. Latha Ramesh moderating the session. Ms. Latha Ramesh is Exec Committee Member – eWIT and also Vice President, Classle Knowledge Pvt. Ltd.

This panel discussed how it is important to differentiate oneself to reach the top.
Ms. Parvathi Karthick stressed that - To be the leader for tomorrow one needs to have the following planning, prioritization, continuous learning, be expressive in writing and speaking as well being physically fit.
Mr.  Shivram shared the success secrets of the World’s Most powerful women which are: Have a dream, Be persistent, Have a curiosity to learn, Lead by example, Delegate at Work and at Home, Remain disciplined and to Be ethical

Winners of Paper Presentation Contest on the theme : ICT Trends 2020 Divya Ravichandran, S. Nagammai & K. Nithya Devi from TejaaShakthi Institute of Technology for Women, Coimbatore bagged the first prize, R. Sujatha & P. Nivetha of SNS College of Technology, Coimbatore took the second spot and Bharathi Swetha representing Bharathidasan Institute of Management(BIM), Trichy received the third prize."

Ms. Srimathi shared that one must ask for rights and not be cowed down by what others’ say and be ready to explore any opportunity coming your way and retain the same confidence that one has in college right through one’s life!

Panel discussion on the topic : Tomorrow is Yours was followed by the session where the  Paper presentation on the topic : ICT Trends 2020 was discussed by the jury .The jury comprised of the leading lights across the board in the Corporate world, Mr. Ramakrishnan, Senior Director, Testing Solutions, CSS Corp Pvt. Ltd., Mr. K Anantharaman, VicePresident, Classle Knowledge Pvt. Ltd. And Ms. Aparna Ramalingam, Senior Correspondent, Times of India.  Over 50 papers were screened with 10 shortlisted for oral presentations and 3 were chosen as winners.

The papers explored various areas within the topic of ICT Trends 2020 and some were as varied as Green Computing to using technology for a mobile ambulance to using technology and enabling specially abled people use their prosthetic limb better.

The jury was happy see such innovative explorations by the students especially in an age where Technology is disruptive and Innovation is the name of the game. The jury stressed on the importance of taking the last semester project seriously as many large organisations such as Amazon provides offers to teams which work on live projects.

The winning team also showcased their ideas to the audience with a presentation.

Lunch was followed by the panel discussion: Your Questions Answered. This session was planned to give an opportunity to the students to voice their thoughts and have their questions regarding working in an IT/ITES organization answered.

The panel comprised of representative from various organizations as well as the student community.  The panel was chaired by Ms. Namagiri Ramesh - Delivery Manager - Tech Mahindra & Joint Secretary - eWIT. The session was moderated by Ms. Smita Venkataraman - Associate Director, Branding and Communications – AGS Health. The panel members from the Industry were : Ms. Vanipriya Jayaraman - MD – Director, Proyojana, Ms. AnushaDomnic - Manager, IT Security – Sundaram Clayton Limited, Ms. Suma Mathai – Sanpra Infotech Pvt Ltd., Sr. Manager – HR & Admin and Ms. M. Swetha Durga - Sales and Training Executive – Phaeros IT India Pvt. Ltd.

Some of the questions that were asked were:  What is expected from an Intern and as to how one manages to procure an internship from a Tier II college in Tamil Nadu. What it takes to be an entrepreneur especially in times of recession.

The panel answered the questions with a good dose of humor and also advising the students to have a fire in the belly to succeed and not wait for opportunities to land on their, rather to look for opportunities and strive to reach them. The key takeaway for the students was that: It is important to work for experiences and not for a salary!

Get Inspired was a session where as a part of eWIT’s initiative to help the students aspire and achieve beyond their limitations, a young woman achiever was selected to talk to them.
Ms. Sridevi Raghavan, CEO, Amelio Child Care Pvt. Ltd. shared her journey where she spoke about balancing her passion and talents along with details of setting up an organization. Her talk was very inspiring where she spoke as to what it takes to be a young achiever like her.

Some of the key points that were shared by her were: Don’t shy away from dreaming big! , Opportunity comes disguised as Hard Work and one will never have the right answers all the time

Winners of the Poster Competition on the theme: Gadgets for Communication in 2020 Preethika & Priyadarshini from Rajalakshmi Engineering College, Chennai clinched the first prize in the poster competition conducted on the theme “Gadgets for communication in 2012”, followed by Nagammai & Nithya Devi from TejaaShakthi Institute of Technology for Women, Coimbatore took the second prize & the special mention for the efforts taken by Yugeeshwari & Blessy Roy of TejaaShakthi Institute of Technology for Women, Coimbatore.

The highlight of the day was the Poster Competition on the topic: Gadgets for communication in 2020

More than 30 teams from colleges all over Tamil Nadu presented their posters on the topic.
The posters were evaluated by noted professionals in the Mobile communications space such as Mr. Cletus Pinto, Head of Product Engineering, Nokia India Pvt. Ltd. and Mr. Nandakumar - an experienced International Telecommunications expert and Dr. R. Gokulakrishnan – Deputy Director, STPI

The students presented their imaginative ideas for the Gadget that they plan to build. They presented to us a world of gadgets where communication to a person’s brain is possible by just transmitting our thoughts through a network! Other noteworthy gadgets were a Magic Chip which could achieve many things, a Finger phone where one could communicate using just their fingers as well as a gadget for tracking soldiers!

The day has turned to be the most memorable & fun filled moment for the participants and many of them felt wanting many such events in future that are informative & interesting from eWIT.

We thank all the Sponsors for making this event a success.

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