This is the second post under series Life after Engineering
Choosing a career pertaining to your degree after your college concludes isn't the only option. I say that from experience. You see, I made the switch from being a mechanical engineer to a full-time website designer. Here’s my story.
I cracked JEE and got a Mechanical engineering seat in IIT G. Although I was quite an intelligent student, my rank didn't fetch me a seat in computer sciences in my college or top IITs. However, as days passed, I started liking the course. I had an analytical brain, and I liked studying stuff that I can understand. Mechanical engineering wasn't entirely boring either.
Soon 3 years were over, and placement season began. I was one of the toppers in my branch, cracked GATE with very good marks and got placed in IOCL.
I entered a three-year contract with IOCL. But just 6 months in, I was not happy with what I was doing. I was fed up with the monotonous routine. There was no scope for learning or experimenting with new things or even substantial growth. The pay was decent, but my career trajectory seemed bleak, and I decided I had to do something about it.
One day, while I was browsing through IOCL's site, I realized how cluttered the site was, and what an unimpressive job the company's web developers had done. That’s when it hit me. My love for coding had never faded, and web designing seemed like a good place to start doing something different.
So, I searched for good courses online. There were quite a few. I settled on two websites- Udemy and Coursera. Why Udemy? Well, Udemy provided a certified training program at minimal costs and the course structure was gradual and basic. For advanced courses in website design, I referred to Coursera.
Udemy's 6-week training platform provided courses in both front-end and back-end web development, divided into four sub-topics, namely, HTML & CSS, Bootstrap, SQL, and PHP in that order. I dedicated almost 2-3 hours every day to coding, watching the videos and making notes. Upon completion of each module, I had to complete an assignment and take a module test before advancing onto the next module.
Towards the end of the course, I had learned to design an e-commerce website from scratch, including the creation of an SQL database and linking it with the website using PHP. I took the final test, and I was given my certificate for having successfully completed training in web development.
Although the training comprised of both front-end and back-end development, I found the modules pertaining to back-end web development slightly hard to grasp and thus continued learning its basics upon Coursera.
Meanwhile, I started applying for web-designing internships on Internshala to gain experience and build a professional reputation in the field. Since I was certified by Udemy, I got my first internship without much hassle. The stipend was a meager 5000 rupees, but for the first time in ages, I was loving what I was doing. I would work during the day and code at night. I slept for a maximum of 3-4 hours, but those were the best days I spent, juggling work and internship.
The company I first interned for was impressed by my work and offered me a two-month extension, which I happily took. Those three months help me get through with the basics of web development, and learn the advanced features I wasn't taught during my training.
Throughout the remaining years of my contract with IOCL, I interned for various companies, building a solid network. Towards the last few months at IOCL, I created a profile on Angelist and LinkedIn as a web designer working from home and looking for a job.
I had a solid resume filled with experience from various internships. My first employer was a small food chain startup based in Hyderabad, looking to establish an online presence. The payment I received was nothing compared to the salary I was getting, but it held a much greater worth for me then.
I went ahead and became a full-time web developer. Today, I am living a content life, doing something I always wanted to do.
A piece of advice to present engineering undergrads. Don't be disheartened if you didn't land the stream you always wanted. We are blessed to be living in this age of the internet, where nothing is out of our reach if we are sufficiently determined.
As narrated to Prateek Gautam by Suwesh
Suwesh is a final year student at IIT Guwahati. His core branch is Mechanical Engineering and he has been placed at IOCL through campus placements.
Manipal, Karnataka, India |
Second year, Bachelor of Pharmacy |
Content Creator intern at Konversations |
Certified web developer |