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Bharat is an Indian student pursuing his masters in automotive engineering at Chalmers after having received the scholarship award from the Challenge Yourself India competition.

  • MSc in Automotive Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg (September 2012 – June 2014)
  • B.E. in Mechanical Engineeering, Vellore Institute of Technology, Vellore, India (August 2008 – May 2012)

Tell us about yourself

Iam currently Global Platform Development Engineer at Continental Tires, Germany.

“I was always fascinated by the word scientist. I dreamt of being one someday.”, says Bharat as he recounts his journey into engineering. His interest in drawing thanks to his architect dad and a craze for cars, got him thinking about a career in aesthetics for cars. Eventually, interests faded and reality took over, with Bharat deciding to pursue a career in engineering. His interest in cars was big enough for him to opt for Mechanical Engineering at Vellore Institute of Technology. “VIT exposed me to a lot of activities. I took part in the student competition – SAE Baja in Illinois and also organised events at the national level. It was a great experience.” he says.

How did you end up in such an offbeat, unconventional and cool career?

“So, after my bachelor studies, I was making applications to some of the best universities around the world for a masters in automotive engineering. To my utter happiness, I got admitted into all of them except one. And then exactly one day before the Challenge Yourself India competition was ending, a friend of mine told me about it and I decided to try out. I took about 4 hours to complete the initial process. I didn’t really expect it but in the following days I met two intense moments – when I was shortlisted as one of the twenty students from a group of 1900 and when I was selected as one of the three finalists. They didn’t tell me whether I had won. I had to go there to find out. But due to an exam that I couldn’t miss, I had to wait to hear the results at a later time. I was a bit sad to hear that I was the runner up and not the winner. But as fate would have it, the first place winner, received a job ofer that he couldn’t resist and the scholarship award fell to me.”

How was the Experience at Chalmers?

Reminiscing about the time he had received the scholarship award, he says he started reading a lot about Chalmers and then realised that this was a great university. “Chalmers was ranked around 70 in the QS World Engineering Ranking list. They had won the Formula Student Competition which is one of the biggest student competitions of its kind in the world. I read about the tight industry connection, the fact that it was situated in the city of Volvo, and even received a lot of input from members of a Facebook group meant for Indians at Chalmers. I also took time to go through blog posts about Chalmers by Chalmerists and others to see what their opinions were. All of these things and many other small things I don’t remember moved me to choose Chalmers and I am really really happy here!”

Hearing his story was a treat to me as I sat there listening to him relate more of his amazing journey to Gothenburg and Chalmers. “I am very satisfied with what I have received thanks to my decision to come to Chalmers. I must say, that the complete experience that I get here at Chalmers with the active Student Union, reception from CIRC, my new found interest in singing thanks to the Chalmers ROck Committee (CROC), international environment and many other things is something I might not have gotten if I had made a different choice.”

“The time I spend at Chalmers studying is time spent useful. Understanding is very important. Assignments are designed to make concepts clear and deepen understanding. As students we work individually and in teams and that is something that encourages both independence and responsibility. The best bit is that if you want help, help will be provided to you and in a proper fashion. Courses are guided and are loaded with opportunities for learning. Here I get value for education. Things are very organised and structured and that makes it easy for me to follow everything that I need to.” As I start to think that Bharat is livin a fairy tale, he starts narrating the rather difficult sides of being here.

How is living in Sweden?

“Making friends with Swedes is like Mission Impossible. They can be very polite and helpful one day and can be very closed the next day. It is when they get into a social context such as a party that they start opening up. I have learnt that they might be difficult to make friends with, but once you make a friend, you can be sure that you’re friends for life.”

As we continue talking about Sweden and what’s interesting about it, he starts mentioning the weather, the public transport and the punctuality. “The weather is not exactly forgiving, but I like the snow. In fact I am biking from home to school these days, even though public transport here is great and I love the punctuality. I was not really punctual before I came here. Now, even I get angry when my friends are late to a meeting. It is interesting in a way that Sweden has changed me slowly but surely.”

Future plans?

To wrap it up Bharat touches upon his plans for the future saying “I would like to become an entrepreneur in the automotive industry. A Ph.D. is not completely out of the question but at the moment, I feel that 5 years is a big commitment to make. Perhaps the ‘scientist’ in me will prevail. Time will tell. For the moment, I am hoping to land a job, travel a lot, understand other cultures and do a lot of fun stuff like sky diving and hot air ballooning!”