Shourov Akter, studied at the Ecole Polytechnique in 2012-2013
“My experience in France definitely enhanced my professional development” – Shourov Akter, 25 years old, from Khulna, about his experience at the Ecole Polytechnique, Palaiseau, France in 2012-2013
"My father always wanted me to become a doctor. I don’t know why but I don’t want to be in a profession that I don’t like. My vision has always been to mark myself as a successful and a distinguished engineer. The architecture of my mind is a canvas painted with the qualities needed to reach my goal. I believed that a good engineering degree would unravel many ladders for me to climb and take me to a stage where I can extract the best out of me. It was always my mom who supported me, believing in me and fighting against almost everything that came against my dream. And now I am a successful engineer. At least, I can say that I am holding a double Master’s degree from two top ranked universities in Europe.
I got KIC InnoEnergy Master’s scholarship in Renewable Energy in 2011-2013. It was a double Master’s degree program which needs to be completed at least from two different European universities. In my first year, I studied Sustainable Energy Engineering from KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden. Beside this, I completed a one-week introductory crash course and a month of summer school on Business Management & Entrepreneurship at ESADE Business School, Barcelona, Spain, in 2012.
For university selection for the 2nd year of study, based on academic performance, I was one of the two students who got selected for Ecole Polytechnique, Palaiseau, France. I left Sweden and started a new French life from 4th September, 2012. From the first day, I faced a serious problem and that is the curse of not knowing French language, but finally I achieved B2 in French Language Test (TCF) exam. Being in a competitive world within lots of talented students, I struggled a lot to cope with them as my background was in Electrical Engineering but I had to study on pure physics background. I was lucky because I got accommodation inside university campus. I met with multicultural people with whom I shared every bit of our joys and sorrows. We had a shared kitchen in our building, where we cooked together and tested multicultural foods among ourselves. I visited the Eiffel tower, the Louvre museum, and so many places with my friends and had lots of fun with them.
Due to my internship purpose, I had to leave Paris and went to Sophia Antipolis, Nice, which is known as Technology Park in France. I did my internship in CEP Mines ParisTech. As I was selected as a paid intern in a project, I had to work hard like a robot. Just within five months, I had to learn LaTeX, Rstudio, Jabraf and Matlab as well as to give output simultaneously. Finally, I finished my thesis with top grade from Ecole Polytechnique. At least I can say that I learnt a lot from my internship. My special thanks go out to the diverse group of students who shared the room with me during the internship, for the inspiring discussions and pleasant times together. I finished my thesis on 15th September 2013 and returned back to Bangladesh on 1st October 2013.
I stayed in Valbonne (Sophia Antipolis) around six months and enjoyed a lot with my friends. I got the opportunity to attend the Cannes film festival, and also saw F1 racing in Monaco. Beside this, I made some good friends in Nice and visited old Antibes, Grasse, Nice, Eze and Golf Juan with them. It makes me feel happy when I close my eyes and remember those days.
To conclude, I would like to mention the support I received from KIC InnoEnergy and Ecole Polytechnique during my Master’s study. My experience in France definitely enhanced my professional development, particularly in how I deal with practical problems. Understanding French methods and how to view problems the way the French do may not be easy at first, but after a period of learning and observing the culture, I emerged with a better education. Currently, I am in Bangladesh and working as a project engineer in WALTON MicroTech Corporation. I hope I will get a PhD soon and will go to France again to pursue post doctorate. I don’t know when the day will come. But I am dreaming for that day, when I will stand on top of the Eiffel Tower and shout “I am back again”."