Life after Ashoka: Aranya Sethuramalingam
"The Young India Fellowship doesn’t really orient us in one direction, it is not meant to do that. It opens up all the dimensions that impact our orientation and lets us make a more informed choice and Cloud IT architect was mine."
After an astounding year at the Young India Fellowship, I chose to take up the role of a Cloud IT engineer. Almost everyone I met and continue to meet, fellows or non-fellows ask me why I got back to an “IT” job and not something more meaningful and socially driven.
Being brought up in a house with microscopes on one side and electronics chip and soldering rods on the other meant exposure to practical science every single day. I instantly fell in love with electronics and took to electronics engineering when the crossroads arrived. Engineering in south India was certainly not serving the rosy image I had in mind and the only course I enjoyed was digital technology. The stories of strategy, transformation, economic changes and problem-solving were all in there. Cloud computing -a subset of digital technology, was a discourse I believed in and enjoyed during my 3-year stint in TCS. As the years rolled, almost all of us adopted Cloud for emails, image storage, and we now live in a time where search engines, technology, and product companies have cloud as the IT backbone.
At the end of the fellowship, however, I was disoriented, thanks to the problem of plenty of choices I had. I wanted to teach, consult about the social welfare, learn more of economics and strategy but I found myself inclining towards digital technology and infusing it in all the above topics. This was the fellowship magic. I wrote a proposal to include cloud and automate process for MG NREGA, I understood the influx of economics, corporate politics and of course team dynamics that surround my cloud nucleus.
Eventually, I did take up the cloud as a central circle but built concentrics of teaching, working with SMCs and bonding well with all my colleagues.