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    Making “Hacking” Work for You
    by BML Munjal University October 20, 2021

    Unique ways of preparing for placements and the career

    Learning outside the classroom – this is not only part of the pedagogy at BMU, but a way of functioning in almost all streams at the university.

    At BMU, a team, comprising staff, faculty members and even senior students, works together to help students shape their careers, leaving no stone unturned that could help enrich a student’s learning and thereby future prospects.

    Hackathons have developed into one such stone – a contest that helps students learn and discover by doing. It’s often said that Hackathons are not just about building something new, but about building yourself — ‘Hacking into your own future’.

    At BMU, students receive constant guidance and support for their campus placement from first semester onwards. The Career Guidance and Development Centre (CGDC) at BMU has designed the process of placement training in a way that it remains a continuous process helping students build their aptitude and abilities gradually wherever needed. Preparing for placements, entrepreneurship, higher studies or anything in the life post BMU is a continuous journey.

    Founded with the mission of bridging the gap between education and the job requirement, BMU prides itself in teaching students through experiential learning – not learning by rote but by doing. From 20% to 45% of learning, depending on the programme, is done outside the classroom through live projects, working in the laboratories or workshops on campus, learning by working with an industry expert, working in the industry as part of mandatory Practice School (internships), or even on a start-up under the guidance and space provided by the incubation centre on campus – Propel.

    Let’s take engineering students, a majority of whom need to build on their technical skills to eventually ‘land’ a job at any of the reputed tech companies. The faculty involved in the placement training organises regular coding contests, such as Triwizard Tournament (a coding contest), and support student clubs hosting a number of different hackathons open to students from other universities as well which helps the students raise the bar of competition.

    A hackathon is known to be a place that pushes students’ skills to the next level, by challenging them to expand their comfort zone and helps them develop problem-solving and project management skills, networking, presentation skills, how to collaborate in a team, the team spirit, among others. An inspiring learning environment is set up, where students are also trained and prepped for these contests. All this is just another way of teaching coding and programming, however, it’s all done ‘outside the classroom’ with the goal to self-evaluate.

    At BMU, the team behind these contests includes members from the CGDC, faculty members, and also current students from the third and the final year in their planning committee. By merely working on the plan, the students, who in the past may have participated and learnt how to crack problems, now also learn how to develop these — a 360 degree learning on programming.

    This team of organisers create an environment of mentoring and support – available to the hackers. At these contests, students get to apply everything they’ve learnt in the class and also build on these, motivated to try out new things such as design and deployment of the software.

    Piyush, B.Tech, computer science and engineering, Class of 2021, would be joining Google as a software engineer post BMU, a job he got through campus placements, says “the environment of the college has always been very relaxing, with not much pressure on any one thing, but a holistic development. My faculty has been very supportive. I was interested in computers since the beginning of my journey but it was not until the third year, that I realised what path I had to take to get my dream job.”

    Further in the placement training, the CGDC team also holds regular ELQ tests from the first year itself that tests students’ quantitative aptitude, comprehension and English and logical reasoning. These are held on a continuous basis until the recruitments begin to help a student gauge their progress, work on the weak points and take targeted support in the skills they need to build.

    During campus placements, students are given more company specific training to help them qualify for a particular job profile and ace the interviews.

    For anyone aiming to become a technopreneur, or join the corporate sectors, participating in a coding contest like a hackathon has become almost a must-have on the resume.

    Prof. Kiran Khatter, Associate Professor, SOET, and organiser of the Triwizard Tournament, says “participating in contests like these not only helps students to develop technical skills but also helps building the soft skill set required to function in a team – be it presentation, networking or working with different people to achieve a common goal.”

    The multiple tests that the university holds as part of placement training, the hackathons and other such contests also help students discover their passion or the path they’d like to pick after the education at BMU.

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