In conversation with a fellow Chalmerist

​Upasana Ganesh Kumar is a Master's student  in Embedded Electronics System Design. She is presently working as a Teaching Assistant in her department.
Upasana, tell us a little about yourself.Audio Description: Chalmers International Student - Upasana
I come from India and I have a background in Electrical and Electronics Engineering. I am a very optimistic person who appreciates and enjoys all the little things in life. 

How, did you choose Chalmers?
I came to know about Chalmers from a friend who is doing PhD in London. He had nothing but great things to say about the school. The curriculum of the Embedded Electronics System Design program fit my interests and I also received the Avancez Scholarship from Chalmers. All these led to me choosing Chalmers for my Master studies and I am glad I came.

Tell us something about your previous one year at Chalmers.
The previous one year was a great experience. Both the things that turned out as expected and those that didn’t were a great learning experience. Academically the six month spring project that I did with five of my classmates was an enriching experience. Audio Description: Phadder Group Human Pyramid
Outside academics, I took part in the Chalmers Reception for International Students in autumn 2015 as a phadder. The Chalmers International Reception Committee (CIRC) arranges a welcome reception to all newly admitted students from outside Gothenburg. As a phadder, I had my own team of 13 students (fondly called kids) along with a co-phadder. Having had an amazing co-phadder and a great group of kids , Chalmers Reception was an experience of a lifetime. I also enjoyed being a corporate host in the Chalmers career fair CHARM’16, it helped me approach company representatives with more confidence.

How did it seem to step into a Teaching Assistant’s shoes?
Firstly let me clear, in Sweden the concept of Teaching Assistant doesn't really exist for the Master's students as this work is mainly done by the PhD students. So getting this position in the course Real Time Systems was a surprise. I have been offered to take the lab for half a semester. Secondly, taking up the position was a big step for me. Unlike in India, Chalmers students are not strictly from a certain age group. Some of the students in the course have much more work experience and are way elder to me. I was reluctant because I am very timid in new surroundings and to new people. Taking up the job was a big confidence booster. I did something I was absolutely terrified of doing and ended up doing it pretty okay with great help from my professor. Plus it is always nice to earn some extra money when you are student.  

What do you like about Gothenburg?
I have never stayed anywhere outside Chennai, my hometown, a city in the southern part of India. In fact I haven’t even travelled that much within or outside India. Coming to Gothenburg​ was a first attempt to step out of my comfort zone since then I have experimented crossing many unchartered territories. This city has given some incredible memories. I like the calmness of Gothenburg, it fits my personality but, I sometimes miss the chaos back home. I miss my family and friends but I have managed to make a few friends here as well. In short, life is good.

Some facts about Upasana

I like food, good company, long lonely rides and a party once in a while.

Nothing jumps up.

Favorite pass time
I always liked cooking and after coming to Gothenburg, I have experimented a lot with food. Probably the biggest achievement would be making mouth-watering "Jalebis" from scratch [Jalebi is popular Indian sweet, see the picture on the right]. I have even had some part time opportunities to cook and I am told I am very good. Other than that, I watch many US television series (seriously! many) I enjoy reading occasionally and I also write sometimes.

Career ambition:
I consider myself to be a very socially conscious person and Gothenburg has helped me find my inner passion towards sustainable development.  In the future I see myself working closely with sustainability and doing my part to make world the same beautiful place it once was.

Interviewed by Mrinalini Raina

Page manager Published: Thu 25 Jun 2020.