Go Green in the City 2016 Winners Complete Trip Around the World (Part 1)

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About Go Green in the City

Go Green in the City is the ultimate global student competition for sustainable energy solutions. Students solve real-world business challenges within energy management or submit their original idea for energy management in an urban environment for a chance to win.

Twelve teams of finalists from around the world are sponsored on a trip to the grand finale in Paris where they will connect with employees and learn more about what it’s like to work at Schneider Electric. The winning team receives a job offer from Schneider Electric and an opportunity to visit Schneider Electric offices around the world.

Our 2016 winners just completed their trip, and shared their experiences with us.  If you are a student interested in entering the competition, visit our website for more information.

Meet Rini & Vivian

Rini Bharadwaj and Vivian Silas Jeyachander Manohar from Fachhochschule Aachen in Germany were the winners of Go Green in the City 2016. They proposed an off-grid irrigation system that reduced both financial and environmental costs by utilizing tree-mounted wind turbines.

“Go Green in the City gave us an opportunity to look at energy innovation in a whole new light. It has motivated us to apply our theoretical acumen on global problems and made us think as an entrepreneur. The mentorship we received from Schneider Electric has helped us to define our ambitions for the future more clearly. We are all winners, having gained huge knowledge both technically and professionally.”

– Rini Bharadwaj and Vivian Silas Jeyachander Manohar

How would you describe your Go Green in the City experience?
One of the major reasons for me to enlist in the competition was the association of an innovative company like Schneider Electric. Entering with a simple yet thought through idea and proceeding to win the prestigious competition was a dream come true. However, a major part of the credit goes to our assigned mentor who did not just refine the idea but also helped us work more as a team. – Rini

It was similar to a rollercoaster ride – full of thrills and fun! From the day we started brainstorming ideas for the first stage, till the moment we heard, “… and the winner is team Germany!”, it has been a very exciting journey. I have picked up a good deal of knowledge and made lots of memories along the way. – Vivian

How has your life changed since winning GGitC?

Winning the competition has strongly encouraged my belief that no idea is too small as long as it is well executed with the right intention of development. Since Go Green in the City, I have become more involved with sustainable energy technology and kept a close eye on the developments at SE. Winning the competition has given me this incredible opportunity to work at SE, Berlin, where I am getting the first-hand experience with the products and development at Schneider. – Rini

I would say that the change already began when we decided to participate in GGitC. When competing with thousands of brightest minds across the globe, it took a lot of courage to believe in the idea we had. Winning the competition has fortified my confidence in my bohemian way of thinking and has invigorated my deep desire of bettering the planet. – Vivian

What would you recommend to the next generations of Go Green in the City participants?

Since we have already had the chance to interact with a few prospective participants, my recommendation is to keep their train of thought simple and think out of the box. Schneider Electric does not expect young engineers to develop the path breaking technologies, rather just well directed planned innovative solutions for a greener future. – Rini

The Schneider Electric tagline reads: ‘Innovation at every level’. Manifest your ability to innovate and create at every step of the competition. From choosing the challenge area to the concept presentation, be unique and stand out. Convince people that your idea is feasible, invest-worthy and has the power to bring a change. To ‘misquote’ Don Corleone: “Make the GGiC judges an offer they can’t refuse”. – Vivian

What do you expect from your trip with Schneider Electric?

After an amazing trip to Paris for the GGitC finale, I expect the winner’s trip will be more fun (except for the jet lag).  I am looking forward to meeting new interesting people in the course of this trip and sharing our idea when given the opportunity. In the current trip schedule of 4-5 days in each city, I am sure we will find enough time to explore Schneider Electric and the particular city in leisure and make most of it. – Rini

I am looking forward to making incredible memories, the best souvenir a trip can offer! I’m very excited about meeting the Schneider Electric teams at Boston and Sydney, to discuss our idea with them. Experiencing new cuisines, meeting new people and discovering street artists are a few in my list. – Vivian

Why did you choose Boston and Sydney to travel to?

Two main reasons behind choosing Boston was the exciting innovative centre in Schneider Electric, Boston, which is currently working on some impressive breakthrough technologies in my field of interest – microgrid systems. Also Harvard University, which I hope to visit. Given the chance for a world tour, Australia was a choice to travel and see the other side of the globe. – Rini

The short answer: because we are yet to set foot on these continents. So even before we have started our journey, we are sure that we will be leaving a part of ourselves behind before returning home. Moreover, Schneider Electric’s North American R&D hub is situated in Boston, will be a delight to visit.

Fun fact: While travelling to these two cities, we will be making a complete trip around the globe! – Vivian

What are you looking forward to the most during the trip?

Given this once in a lifetime opportunity, as an aspiring Electrical Engineer, I look forward to broadening my intellectual perspective and getting introduced to the various state of the art technologies under development at Schneider Electric. In addition, the prospect of meeting people behind these innovations and interacting with the best is exciting. Also, ticking off two continents from my bucket list is always exhilarating. – Rini

A comfortable and safe journey is the first thing I look forward to, as we would be flying for about 54 hours during this adventure! May the force be with all the pilots and their crews. – Vivian

How would you describe yourself?

An ambitious and dedicated individual, with a desire to learn, experience, and relish what I do. – Rini

An introvert (plying between INFJ and INTJ) and an agnostic, who is curious about everything under the sun and beyond. A firm believer in scientific progress and in the power of technology to solve the challenges we are currently facing and future one. – Vivian

What are your passions?

Photography, painting/sketching, travelling – Rini

As a generalist, I have a list of passions that gets longer with time. But lately I have discovered that by blending bits of knowledge from different disciplines and by adding a dash of creativity, you can come up with crazy innovative ideas. A few of my interests: IoT technology, High Renaissance art, Tamil history, Formula One, gazing at the night sky and messing around with my guitar. – Vivian

Part 1: The US Trip

Day 1: July 22, 2017

The most awaited Journey starts today. The countries which we thought would always be just on our bucket list we are going to get to strike off. We reached Boston by midnight and were welcomed by a friendly chauffeur, waiting for us in a limo. We drove to the hotel and did the most needed and important thing. Sleep!

Day 2: July 23, 2017

We started our morning running for the Duck tour around Boston which is the best way to explore the city, not the running part of course ;). It was a 2 in 1 tour, 60 minutes on land and 20 min in water. We went in the Charles river where the Harvard-Yale Regatta takes place as seen in many Hollywood movies.

After the incredible Duck tour, we took a stroll on Newbury Street, a destination known for its many retail shops, salons and restaurants.  This weekend no cars were allowed, only pedestrians full of street music and street games. We walked for more than 4 Miles and in the end reached the Boston common. By luck they had Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet show and we decided to stay back. Almost 200 people showed up for the show. The show went on for 2 hours and we walked back to the hotel where we ate amazing seafood from the hotel and so ended our day.


Day 3: July 24, 2017

Today, Boston had become home away from home. It had rained all day long and tried it’s best to force us to stay back in the hotel but who could stop us from going to Harvard ;). We left for the Harvard tour and did the most obvious thing. Got lost.

“Don’t get lost! But if you do, do it in Harvard” – Vivian ☺

After an hour or so, we finally got the ticket for the Harvard tour. Which was amazing, given by Jonathan form Harvard university, interactive and very informative. Looking at the history of Facebook and people like JFK, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg etc., It’s beyond inspiring.

By this time the rain had taken a turn, to a stronger one. This time it was trying to stop us from going to MIT. But couldn’t. We went to MIT – always wanted to say that ;). Unfortunately missed the tour but decided to continue our struggle to go till the Museum of science.

The irony was, yesterday we were over the water and today drenching under it.

Reaching the museum of science dripping, we went directly to the Planetarium and forgot all about the rain. Continuing it with Exhibit halls where we saw the different forms of science and arts from Theater of electricity to 4D Ice Age experience in a theater. Becoming curious kids again. Completely worth it, especially when it’s raining outside.

In the evening, by the time we had gone back to the hotel, we had completed 6.5 miles of walking ;).

Reaching hotel at 8 in the evening, spontaneously decided to go the 8pm IMAX show at Lowes theater for Dunkirk. What else to say other than, “Nolan, you are a Genius!”


Day 4: July 25, 2017

Finally, the day we’ve been waiting for. Boston ONE campus. Thanks to Tyrus for an amazing day at the campus. We were given the tour by Steven Brown, Product Manager, followed by a one to one conversation with Katherine, senior business analyst, who is a part of EPN (Emerging Professionals Network). Afterwards we had an appetizing lunch at Palmers in Andover where Sandy and Mike, Recruiters at SE were sweet enough to take the time off their schedule and meeting with us. We had typical New England food, including clam chowder.

In the end, we had conversation with Liam who is responsible for E-strategy generalist.

Finally, Tyrus dropped us back at our hotel. Ended our evening with shopping, eating and just chilling.




Day 5: July 26, 2017

Today we headed South to Newport, Rhode Island. Our route took us through many small New England towns along the coast filled with large trees and blue skies. After grabbing some California-style Mexican food at Diego’s, which was delicious, we started our tour of the Newport Mansions. These homes were constructed and owned by the Vanderbilt’s, a prominent shipping and railroad American family during the Gilded Age. We started off in Rosecliff, a home that hosted countless gala events for the wealthy elite of Newport. Second was the Marble House which is appropriately named after the 14,000 square meters of marble used on the property. Our last mansion tour brought us to the largest of the Vanderbilt homes, the Breakers. This is the estate where the family resided up until the Second World War and death of Cornelius Vanderbilt II.

We set sail on the Adirondack II for a cruise in Newport Harbor where we saw beautiful views of large yachts and houses along the Newport coast. For dinner, we joined Mike McKinnon, Sr. Manager – Order Care & Digital Enablement and Tim Vaudrain, Director, Global Talent Acquisition & Mobility Programs at The Mooring. We tried oysters, tuna tartare, a bag of doughnuts, squid, and other seafood while watching the sunset.



Day 6: July 27, 2017

The morning started with visiting the Schneider Electric branch in West Kingston, Rhode Island where we visited the customer care center. Liz, Project Manager: Talent Acquisition, gave us the tour of the company and then went to one of the best restaurants in Rhode Island, called Matunuck Oyster for sea food for lunch, where they grew their own fresh produce and soon going to have Rhode island’s first Oysters Farm, with Kristen Larsen (social media expert at SE, RI), Liz, Tim, and Tyrus.

We continued our sunny day and met with the Customer Care Center Director where we spoke about the scope of starting with Schneider Electric with call center training. How that works and prospects after training, etc.

After playing with fidget spinners at his office for some time, we headed off to meeting the 2 guys who were responsible for solution management at customer care center (CCC) because they love abbreviations there 😉 They showed us how the CCC works and how to get promotion in the same line.

After all the meetings Tyrus drove us back to the hotel in Boston and it felt like the trip was over right then and there. We had some heartwarming experiences and felt welcome everywhere in SE. “home away from home ;).

Well, we still had some time in our hands for the day so we decided to just walk through Boston. We went to the “Italian community” North End. While passing through we would just stop by to listen to the street music. We went till the shore, just relaxed for some time, and called it a day.


Day 7: July 28, 2017

Finally, the tour which we couldn’t finish off on the rainy Monday is here – MIT tour. We sat in one of the classes, but didn’t take one. It was a 2 and half-hour tour with one of the students studying at MIT. No words to describe how it feels even to enter MIT as a tourist, forget being a student there. We saw the “logical buildings” and the pranks played on by the students on the Administration…

Next we ran to the spot where the freedom trail begins. Freedom Trail is a walking tour in Boston for around 2 hours. We had some time to spare before we go to the next planned location so we just chilled.

If you haven’t seen baseball in Boston, you haven’t seen Boston, so, guess where we went next. Fenway Park for the Red Sox and KC match! Those memories of Baseball games in the movies and series were all coming to life. People are just crazy. We were confused and happy. Didn’t know the rules very well but learned by the end of it, or that’s what we think.

Since we used too much of our brain learning the game, we called it a day.

Day 8: July 29, 2017

Starting our day quite later than usual, we went to the New England Aquarium. Spent nearly four hours in there. Next we went to the IMAX theater in the aquarium and saw Galapagos 3D: Nature’s Wonderland.

With the time we had on our hands, we strolled a little bit at the harbor. While coming back to the hotel, we saw the African street culture where we stood, watching the sun setting as we listened to the band Niu Raza. The music was so incredible that we were just dancing the whole time.

After getting intoxicated by the Niu Raza, we headed back to the hotel and saddened upon thinking that it was the last day in Boston. We don’t know when would it be possible to be here again.

Day 9: July 30, 2017

And so, the first week of the world tour comes to an end. We can’t leave without being thankful to Tyrus for taking a good care of us. We had some travel problems, but when you have someone to take care of those, you leave taking the good memories. Thanks to all of Schneider Electric employees who took their time for us.

We decided to buy some souvenirs for our families and friends started out journey to the next destination and the other part of the world as seen on the maps (2D) 😉


Click here to read part 2!

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