Q&A with Utsab Roychowdhury

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What inspired you to choose engineering?
Engineering is something that has been fairly common in my life due to my father being an Electrical Engineer by profession. I remember being put to sleep by my dad at a young age through work related stories about the “electrical switchyards” and “transformers” he would encounter daily. Maybe it was these stories or my knack for mathematics and science courses in school that sparked my interest in the field; but, nonetheless I am extremely happy with my choice due to the constant challenges and varieties of content I am presented with every day in class. 

Why did you choose Mechanical Engineering?
After my first-year of general engineering, I particularly enjoyed the Calculus, Materials, Statics, and Business courses. Not to say I received my best marks in those specific classes, but in reality I genuinely enjoyed the content being taught in them. After looking at all the different streams available, and consulting with Career Counselling, I decided that Mechanical Engineering would be the best for me. In hind sight, I am thrilled about the choice I made because my courses are very interesting and my faculty and peers – while super intelligent - are all fantastic and supportive individuals.

Why Western Engineering? 
Being raised in a small and isolated town in Midwestern Ontario, most of the top post-secondary institutions in Ontario and even Canada for engineering were all within a 2-3 hour radius for me (not too far, and not too close). After applying and being accepted by all these top schools, I chose Western Engineering for a few reasons.

First, the campus vibe was amazing. During my campus tour on March Break-Open House, I was amazed by the rustic yet modern feel of the buildings and classrooms as well as the overall campus vibe and feel.

Second, I liked the option of having a general first year. In Grade 12, I knew that I wanted to go into the study of engineering; however I was unsure of which stream to pick. It was great to have this year to find out what I liked for sure rather than being potentially “stuck” at a program at another school that was not the right fit for me.

Lastly, Western’s various dual degree and co-op opportunities as well as emphasis on being involved in extra-curricular activities were further reasons why I chose to come here. I wanted to have avenues to express myself as an individual outside of classwork, and I felt that Western would be the best at offering me the most out of any other schools.

Can you talk about your residence experience?
I stayed in Ontario Hall (O-Hall) in 4 person hybrid style residence. This was an extremely enjoyable moment of first-year as the residence had a clean and modern feeling to it. I was able to make some long-lasting friendships with floor mates - some of who have become my best friends – as well as having access to some of the finest cuisine on campus right available to me on the 2nd floor of the building. There are some moments in 2nd year where I truly miss living in residence because it was kind of like an 8 month summer camp! It was also great to have this amenity as a transition phase from living with my parents at home to being all by myself in a different city.

Study tips for future students?
As much of a cliché as this may sound, I would definitely say that staying on top of the course work is the best way to succeed in Engineering or any other program. It was tough to do in my first-semester, but by second semester I was fully committed to the method of making notes on the lessons taught in class prior to the lecture hour. This allowed me to learn the information twice and thus made the overall “studying” process much more efficient. I also plan and prioritize my work in terms of urgency and difficulty in a pocket calendar.

Favourite study spot on campus?
5th floor Weldon, Ivey Building Library, Physics and Astronomy Building Atrium

What is your favourite book, movie, TV show or quote?
My favourite movie is Superbad – I can quote the whole thing.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
I like to go to the gym on a regular basis to keep my physical and mental states sharp, as well as play tennis and swim laps.

What is a fun fact about yourself?
I ate a raw onion once in front of my whole high school on stage while I was dressed up as Shrek.

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