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Through IEEE, she wrote her success story

For Aathira Marayil, IEEE is all about four things -- technology, networking, volunteering, and fun. As a student, IEEE has broadened her horizons and changed her perspectives about the world and the future it holds. Here Aathira explains lucidly how she has risen from a student to a professional, having drawn inspiration from her college life and other student activities. Grab the opportunities, and the world is your oyster.

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Here is Aathira Marayil in her own words.

I am a person who loves to keep myself engaged. I have been like that from my school days. I would go for whatever activities that came my way, be it competitions, quizzes or NCC. I grabbed every opportunity that I could among the ones that came my way. It all went to a whole new level when I joined college.

On my first day as a student engineer, one of my teachers mentioned that we had a lot of active societies in the college that would prove beneficial for us in the long run. She mentioned a few and I decided to check them out on Internet when I went home. I did as I planned and only one society managed to ‘woo’ me and that was IEEE. The official website of IEEE is just remarkable. You must all go through it once if you can. It gave me a small insight into the large world of immense possibilities out there. I then decided to take a membership and I told my parents about it. They immediately gave me the money and I went on to complete the membership process by myself. Only after taking a membership that I came to know that we had an active IEEE Student branch in our college. I got in touch with them and asked how I could be a part of the activities. They took me along, briefed me about how things happen in IEEE, what its benefits were and much, much more!

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I was a person who loved to read and write. My student branch executive committee came to know about that and they asked me if I want to join in on the student branch leadership team as the Joint Secretary. It was one of the first extra-curricular activities that I came across in college. So, I readily agreed. Then there was no turning back.

I undertook various tasks and assignments under the guidance of my seniors who really got me into the “joy of volunteering” mode. I loved to take up responsibilities or tasks and complete them in the best way I can. I enjoyed doing that a lot. Volunteering really did take a toll on me. I tried out various verticals of volunteering - content writing, promotions, and publicity, technical, anchoring, organizing, the list goes on. After being a member for a while, my seniors insisted on me going to events/conferences outside my college to network with others and explore more about IEEE. The first event I attended was Zeus 1.0, a three-day IEEE event conducted by IEEE RIT Student Branch in Kottayam, Kerala. It was an eye-opener. I happened to meet a lot of new people, peers as well as seniors who made me realize that IEEE was a much bigger world than I imagined it to be. I interacted with them, had healthy discussions, made a lot of friends, learned a lot of things and came back home happy. I went on to maintain those networks and yes, it did create a difference.

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After four years and 200+ events (student branch events to national-level congresses) as delegate,volunteer, organizer, and speaker, I can say that I am an extremely different person than I was when I joined college. Being a part of this society, I gained self-confidence, learned to be self reliant, gained the experience of being a leader, a team player, a motivated volunteer and above all learned to be an Engineer of value!

I never imagined I would be able to do half the things that I do right now but thanks to all the boost I got from IEEE, IEEE CS, IEEE WIE, and few other societies, I believe I have explored a lot more about me too! I have broadened my horizons and changed my perspectives about the world and the future it holds.

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It all started with a single step, my willingness to volunteer. It’s because of this enhanced version of me that I believe I was lucky enough to grab close to seven offer letters from various organizations in my final year. IEEE was like the icing on the cake.

I strongly believe that a small but firm step of yours that comes out of sheer passion and interest can create a huge impact on your life. I have experienced that. I am still active with IEEE and look forward to exploring more in it. To me, IEEE is all about four things -- technology, networking, volunteering, and fun. I have enjoyed all these four perks being a member and I feel privileged.

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I think wherever you are, all you need is to follow your inner interests and passion and eventually, you will carve out a space for yourself in the world.

Aathira Marayil was a student at ASIET (Adi Shankara Institute of Engineering and Technology), Kalady. She is now a Software Developer at Lulu Forex in Kochi

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