Please tell us about yourself

Vrinda Sarda supports the management of Shakti’s Electric Utilities Programme. Vrinda completed her internship at Shakti in July 2013 following which she joined Shakti full-time. Prior to this, Vrinda interned with the Indian Oil Corporation where she conducted a study on the carbon footprint and water consumption of the building. Her areas of expertise include utility-related demand side management, distribution efficiency, and research and analysis of power and efficiency markets. Vrinda holds a Post Graduate degree in Climate Science and Policy from TERI University.

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

Vrinda Sarda was always keen on understanding climate change and its impact on our lives in more detail – and that curiosity is what brought her to TERI University for M.Sc. in Climate Science and Policy. Today, Vrinda is working with Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation and is busy pursuing her passion. “I was always interested in science,” says the Physics graduate. “But I was not interested in doing a regular MBA, which is why I came to TERI U for my Masters.”

This degree got Vrinda her current job, which sees her playing an important role in a few significant projects. “I’m currently working on large scale deployment of energy efficiency and how it can provide significant energy savings as well as emission reduction,” explains Vrinda.

How was the experience at TERI?

Vrinda realises that many of her ideas regarding energy conservation and sustainability were given shape in her two years at TERI U. She found the course content very interesting and relished the projects that helped her gain practical expertise. “I have developed a more research-oriented bent of mind and now use a problem-solving approach, where I work on research papers and journals and then test the theories that they contain.” The emphasis on research is something that Vrinda believes is unique to TERI U. Thriving for innovative solutions to a problem is what the institution believes in and this approach has held her in good stead on the work front as well.

Besides the learning she got at TERI U, Vrinda remembers her two years at the university as the finest time of her life. She was offered many exciting opportunities and was taken on the journey of a lifetime. “Our expedition to Kolahoi Glacier for our Glacier Hydrology subject stands out as a special memory for me,” she reminisces with a smile. “It was a hard trek, but the experience was unmatched and a lot of fun.”

Such unique experiences helped Vrinda and her batch of 2011-13 come together, and they now they make sure to stay in touch via Facebook, Google Groups and Whatsapp. Vrinda hopes that someday soon she would have some professional achievements to share with her friends. “I have only just started,” she says. “I want to delve deeper into the field and do consistent work with my organisation.”

Your advice to students?

Does Vrinda have any advice for her juniors? “Focus on your interests and what you are good at,” she says. This attitude certainly seems to have done her a world of good.