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Rudra Pandey


Problems with the Institute of Engineering (IOE), Pulchowk Graduates

I have managed, counseled and led many graduates from IOE, Pulchowk. I have seen them grow, learn, mature and even struggle. I certainly feel that I have enough information about range of graduates from the school. The graduates from the school can be put all over the map. I have seen both the best and worst side of the graduates from the crème engineering school. By the way, the school has been producing so many great graduates for so many years not because of teachers or administration. The most of the credits go to the brand name (being the first engineering school in the country) which has been able to attract the great pre-engineering students from different part of country, mostly from the Kathmandu based high schools and pre-engineering colleges. Many smart students from the different part of the country end up in the school after one of the toughest entrance exams in the country. The school is considered equivalent to IIT of Nepal. I have been consistently impressed by the level of intelligence many of these graduates possess and most of them are ready for the challenge right out of the school. But these graduates have significant number shortcomings too that I would like to list here. Hopefully, many of them will read this blog and argue with me. I want them to disagree with me and prove me wrong. Remember, every rule and statement has an exception. What I outline below does not come without some exceptions.
I find most of the IOE graduates introvert with consistent deficit of the hunger for broader roles and challenges. Their vision is not clear and they come out of the school without fully carved dreams. They are not thinking of owning a business and/or creating a product. The level of confidence is not apparent. They hardly ask questions in the group settings. They prefer to remain quiet. Most of them care more about high individual performance than the teamwork. They mostly hang around with the same circle of friends that they have been in the school for years. They do not seem to know the value of extending a network. I see many IOE graduates going to the lunch or the drink with the same group of friends every day. They wait for opportunity and do not run to grab them. They do not ask for more work. They expect to be given. Most of them focus more in core technical side of the job (mostly coding) and pay very little attention to the quality control and the documentation. They have some level of arrogance, when it comes to dealing with non-IOE graduates, which is going to hurt them down the road. Since they do not network with people outside of their own circle, their role model is one of their seniors or one of their relatives who have been to B grade school in USA and have gotten a decent enough job. Most of them hang around with vague dreams and I do not find them sweating at the work for better rewards and recognition. I have hardly found any IOE graduate (do not discount exception) coming to me and expressing their dream of creating a product and changing the world. However, over the years, I have changed many of them and have been very fortunate to have them in my team. And they have helped me learn and grow too.
I always ponder what are we missing here? Why can’t we expect more from our best students? Is this because of education they get? Is this our culture? Can we change this? Can we change culture of IOE so that we produce a lot of innovators instead of bunch of nerds who just want to get A+ grade, great GRE score and a foreign job? All of those IOE graduates who have done well should think hard and try to change the very tradition of IOE that they had to through. This is a payback time. Let us help the school so that we produce innovators and thinkers instead of mere taskmasters and task wizards.