Written by Guest Blogger, Raja Jain
Go Green in the City is a premier student competition for sustainable energy solutions. It is an annual flagship event of Schneider Electric where students get to solve real-world business challenge related to energy management and environmental sustainability. Along the way, they get to delve into Schneider Electric’s product and service offerings and gain unique insights into one of the world’s leading energy management companies.
Every year thousands of students from across the world participate in this competition and propose innovative ideas on varieties of topics – smart cities, energy management, efficient appliances etc. The incentives for winning the competition are huge – a world trip, networking opportunity with Schneider Electric executives and working opportunity at Schneider Electric. Students get the taste of both engineering as well as business world, in this competition. Submissions are currently being accepted for this year’s competition. Register now & share what’s your bold idea?
Life Metamorphosis after Go Green
My teammate Nimisha Gupta and I were the winners of Go Green 2017. We both are students at IIT Roorkee, I am a student of Biotechnology and she is a student of Chemical Engineering.
Winning Go Green in the City has proved to be a milestone in my life, and life is not the same. It has changed of-course, for good. It gave me a push to observe and experience things beyond my local boundaries – at a global level. I feel more connected to the Global Community now and have developed a heart for innovation.
Being from a Biotechnology background, I was not cognizant of the severity of the energy crisis which is confronting us. My association with Go Green in the City helped me extensively acquainted me with it. It had a stimulating effect on me and my team mate to develop a cooling solution for underprivileged people. After the competition, I developed an interest in the issues of energy sustainability. Furthermore, I am planning to work on biofuels which are both related to my domain and are a potential energy source.
Living the Dream!
The victory has proved to be an inspiration. The thought of winning the competition didn’t even occur to us because were were competing with 20000 + brightest brains from best of the colleges in the world in 180 countries. Now, we are overwhelmed with what we managed to achieve and I have garnered the courage to stand up for my ideas and beliefs, however elementary they may sound at the initial thought of them.
The competition has prepared me for the corporate world too. During the competition, I picked up a lot of business skills; thanks to the impeccable guidance of our mentor, the VP Partner Projects & EcoBuilding Russia and CIS, Vice President of Russia Marketing Division. Out of all the skills, I’ve found three skills very crucial for the competition as well as for the life ahead and I would like to share them with the future participants. These skills are:
Effectively channelizing your thoughts into the listener’s mind
In the corporate world, you see people from all around the world and all walks of life. Thus expressing yourself effectively becomes a crucial part of personal and career success. We have poured a lot of time and energy to make ourselves crystal clear – practicing the presentation in front of friends, logically wiring the powerpoint slides, redefining our innovation constantly in a lucid manner etc. This not only helped us to win but also enhanced our logical thinking skill.
Asking the right questions
Albert Einstein said, “If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on it, I would use the first 55 minutes determining the proper questions to ask”. To ask right questions you should be able to see the big picture. This is very helpful when you are stuck somewhere, which happens a lot in life.
At that time, seeing the big picture helps you to perceive things in its abstractness (foreseeing the future), a much talked about the talent of charismatic leaders. It also makes you detail oriented. In our case, we have been able to make a very detailed business and financial proposal because the big picture was very clear in our mind beforehand. This will also help you to avoid the traps of excess and unnecessary data. We have made our presentation keeping in mind what will a listener want to know next after he/she heard our current slide.
I have kept the best for the last. Networking is the most important of all skills. We were surprised by the feedback we received after we told our concept to friends, professors, alumni etc. Each piece of feedback helped us to make our presentation more impactful by avoiding many pitfalls. To be more effective, you should first make a list of all the stakeholders. Then try to collect their views on your concept’s feasibility, innovation, scalability etc. We have made a lot of good connections and long-lasting friendships on this journey.
Our overall experience
The competition was not just an ‘all work and no play’ experience. I had lots of fun in Paris. Speaking of which, I haven’t seen a city as modern and as ancient that Paris is. People were nice and friendly and the cuisine was delicious. The city’s glorifying history and rich culture is deeply ingrained in its architecture. The beauty of Eiffel Tower along the peaceful waters of Seine & the grandeur of Louvre museum left me mesmerized.
Moreover, Schneider Electric left no stone un-turned to make the overall experience sublime. They took us on a trip to the Chateau de Versailles followed by a sumptuous lunch. It gave us an opportunity to know the other participants. The welcome cocktail in traditional clothes provided the perfect beginning to the competition. The gala dinner on the cruise marked the end. The extent to which things were planned and executed speaks of the dexterity of Schneider Electric.
To sum up – one will not get an opportunity better than this to work upon their bright ideas for the betterment of common people as well as our planet. The victory has opened the door for opportunities and gave our innovation a recognition. I am really excited to see what future has in store for us.
About the Author
Raja Jain is currently pursuing B.Tech. Biotechnology from IIT Roorkee. He along with her partner won the recent ‘Go Green in the City’ challenge 2017. It is through this organization he developed an interest in the global economy and the factors that are shaping its future. He aspires to work in the consulting industry after graduating from IIT Roorkee. In his free time, he likes to read, watch movies and documentaries, and play video games. Apart from that, he likes to travel and meet new people.