"IF YOU WANT TO DO IT, YOU'LL DO IT"
1) Would you like to tell us about your journey right from your first day at BPHC?
When I came to the campus, I was a huge dance club aspirant, however I never got into the club. Whole of my first year was about dance. I somehow got into the Photog Club. Basically, I love photography. One thing that you should know about me is that I have a technical side and an artistic side. I just love creativity. In my first year there was a workshop held by a senior named Chinmay Pattanaik for robotics, where you just play with those Arduino boards and wires. I was thrilled to see the vast exposure we can get in the field. This was the beginning to my journey. I also enjoyed some of my nights with CS and Assassinís Creed games. I was not regular in attending classes in the first year. So, my first year was all about the opportunities present on campus. During the summers after the first year, I was diagnosed with anorexia. It is a disorder in which you lose interest in eating food. Even when you eat something, you feel like puking the very next moment. I spent a whole month fighting it. I was terribly underweight at that time. At that point, I felt the need to get physically fit. Apart from this, I went to the MIT media lab. I really enjoyed my time there. I made new contacts and came to know where I actually stand in a huge crowd. There were people from MIT, IITs, NITs and many more. There were some people from their final year as well, who were placed in technical firms. That was the first time I met someone who is actually into some technical job. This was a turning point summer for me. In my second year, I explored photography. I started feeling weaker and lost more weight. I decide to switch to the gym. At this point in my life, I was unsure about my future and was unconfident. During my 4th semester, I met a great mentor, Yuvraj Ramgadia, who works in ARM. He gave me assurance that if I really am interested in electronics, there is a huge scope in it. I also discovered a new artistic interest, Glitterati. I got to visit new places and learnt a confident body language that helped me a lot. In my 5th semester, I scored a 9 SGPA for the first time in my life. It was like a break it or make it to NVIDIA semester as they consider your CGPA till your 5th semester. I was inspired by my dad to put my 100% in whatever I did. 6th semester was all about improving soft skills. We do not realise it now, but it is a quality lacking in engineering students. That semester I was leading the Glitterati team along with my friend. It was really a challenging task. Managing 14 people of the team and 2 designers off campus, costs, expenditure and everything needs to be properly worked out. We brought the title back and that was the confidence booster for me. My 7th semester was when I did my internship at NVIDIA. It was the show down semester. I guess that is it.
2) You are seen as the Fitness Icon on campus. How did you go about building the amazing physique you have now?
Well it all began when one of my friends advised me to join the gym. I still remember the first day of the gym. It was damn painful and I decided not to go to the gym ever again. However, eventually I was habituated to the gym. After about 12 weeks, changes were actually visible. I got the confidence that I was on the right path. Then I started educating myself about exercise. I came to know how should we do an exercise, why should we exercise, what is the biomechanics behind that, how important is diet and nutrition and how to cut down on bad food and bring in the good food. Later on, I started experimenting with my diet. Once I started becoming fitter, I used to increase the amount of one thing and reduce the amount of other. These small changes made all the difference. One thing that I figured out with the diet here was that it was protein deficient. So, to compensate that, I took a supplement by the name Amway protein. I was pretty happy with the results and continued with it. I reduced down the sweet intake. I used to take 4 bananas daily. I also consulted doctors as well for this where I was suggested with some multivitamin tablets. I increased my milk intake from one small glass to 500 ml twice a day. I also consumed at least 4 eggs during breakfast and 2 or 3 eggs before the workout no matter what. I just used to work out an hour per day, because you get tired if you work out more than that. I prefer 40 mins of proper hardcore workout over spending hours at the gym I suggest educating yourself by reading articles and following some YouTube videos. I found bodybuilding.com as a reliable source. There are many YouTubers doing a great job in educating people. However, it is really a torturous journey, but at the end, it is all worth it.
3) What would you like to suggest the beginners for building a healthy physique?
I would suggest starting off with very basic exercises like push-ups, pull-ups, squats, jumping, running, skipping combined with little bit of stretching and yoga should be the foundations for fitness. Talking specifically about guys, after doing this, you can follow a schedule wherein you take a pull day then a rest day, a push day then a rest day. From a complete body workout, you can split it into different parts. Do not forget about the legs, they are really important. After getting comfortable with the gym, you can go for a specific muscle group per day. I guess the beginners should follow this.
4) Congratulations on getting a Pre Placement Offer from NVIDIA. How do you think one should go about grabbing a PPO?
It depends from firm to firm. Firstly, when you are applying for your PS, be clear whether you want to work in the same firm or not. Interning in the firm you want to work with in the future is very helpful. PPO partly depends on luck as well. There need to be vacancies in your team to convert you to a full time employee. Even if you fail to get PPO in the firm do not be disheartened as the connect that you establish with the people there helps you in fetching a job after a year or two. Talking specifically about my journey, I would say the first thing I did was doing efficient time management. BST does not work outside our campus. NVIDIA is a technical firm. My seniors used to reach there by 9 AM and leave by around 5 PM. I made sure that I reach before them and leave after them. I would suggest being regular with your work and strictly sticking to the deadlines. No matter what it takes, you need to meet the deadlines. That is how you give assurance to the recruiters that you are perfect for the firm. Dressing plays an important role. I prefer wearing smart casuals. One quality that attracted everyone's attention to me was that I was able to maintain a perfect balance between my interests and my work that most of the other people lack to do. When you find someone who is perfectly able to manage both his personal and professional lives, you know that he is a perfect blend for the team. That is what worked in my case.
5) What was your inspiration throughout your journey?
First, was my MIT media lab experience. I liked looking at people who were literally following whatever they like. Second was my PS 1 at semiconductor labs. Third, was my mentor Yuvraj Ramgadia who guided me throughout. I just started sensing that I can actually make it to NVIDIA. My confidence went on increasing gradually. I was able to achieve everything that I thought of, may it be fitness, leading Glitterati team or whatever else. The sense of accomplishment boosts your confidence up. I would really suggest everyone to go for their dreams, as there is nothing better that realising your dreams.
6) What would you like to suggest to our readers so that they do not face the problems you faced?
I would suggest leading a balanced life on campus. I spent my initial two years not studying much, which caused many problems for me. Maintaining a good CGPA is damn important. Above 8 is fair enough and above 8.5 is excellent. I suggest everyone to attend workshops and explore what they want to do in life. For example, if you take electronics, it is a wide field comprising of analogue, computer hardware and many other fields. So, first of all, explore all the opportunities on campus. Once you realise what you want to do, just go for it. Moreover, build a strong network with the seniors and alumni. Our alumnus is doing great and is the best guide for anything you want to do after graduating. At the end, I would like to say, if you dream about something and put in your 100%, it will become reality.
So, that would be it for this interview with Mr. Rahul Sapre.
For the next edition of Campus Whizkids we have an interview with Mr. Mohammad Owais Shaik.