Please tell us more about your educational background?
BTech Electrical Engineering, SVNIT, Surat. 2004-2008 Passed Out. MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering (specializing in intelligent systems) University of California, San Diego, CA 08-2010.
Please tell us something about your current college and course?
I am currently pursuing PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering, (specializing in intelligent systems) from University of California, San Diego. I work with the Bioengineering department at UCSD; work on problems relating to modularity detection in biological networks.
Why did you choose to join this institute? What were the other institutes that you were considering
JHU, USC, ASU were the other schools that I got admitted to. Since, UCSD was the best among them all and bioengineering department seemed to provide more scope, so I choose.
Which criteria must an aspirant keep in mind while choosing/applying to Universities?
Depends on the student. University overall ranking or departmental ranking could be important for some. Some may bother about funding and some, the faculty with which they get to work and the area of research interest may matter.
Did your Extracurricular activities/ co curricular activities help you in getting an admit?
Not sure- but I would think that they wouldn’t want a nerd.
How did you prepare for GRE/GMAT/TOEFL/IELTS?
I joined IMS for GRE but not sure if it was of any use. Self preparation and flash cards helped.
What were your strong and weak areas?
Comprehension of paragraphs and questions based on that were weak. Vocabulary was intermediate. GRE Maths (is strong for most).
How much time did you allocate for your preparation?
Not sure- may be 3-6 months of not so hard preparation.
Tell us in detail regarding your preparation strategies for GRE.
Flashcards, Barron’s, and new words.
What were your score?
For the first time I scored 1260 and 1360 second time in GRE.
What would you advice an aspirant to focus on while preparing for the exam?
Don’t neglect GRE maths, concentrate on vocabulary. You should be through with vocabulary and GRE maths
Now that you have made it to a foreign university, how do you find it?
It is good, the technical exposure and freedom is admirable.
Has a Foreign degree turned out the way you thought it will be?
I will know once I finish my PhD. I think, will look good on my resume.
How good are the foreign universities compared to Indian ones?
Technical infrastructure and freedom of thought is unfortunately vastly different.
What are your future plans?
Work as a researcher in an industry and try to make a switch to neuroscience.
Student, University of California