Siddharth Kumanduri completed his A levels at Headstart Academy, Bangalore and is currently in his 3rd year studying Mechanical Engineering at McGill University in Canada. He is in conversation with Inomi’s lead counselor, Kritika Malhotra.
How did you choose McGill?
I applied mostly to the US, only applied to McGill in Canada. Overall it seemed like the best option, best value for money, job opportunities.
Did you always want to go to McGill?
I did not plan to go to Canada, it just worked out that way last minute.
What’s your favorite thing about McGill?
It’s a great program, good community, you get to know most people in your program, you can get involved in a lot of programs, lots of opportunities for research, various different kind of events keep happening. There is a lot of community engagement.
What’s your least favorite thing about McGill?
There is nothing that I don’t like. What I would say though is that there is no hand holding, you have to ensure you register for your classes on time, figuring your schedule by yourself. There are enough resources and help if you ask for it.
Can you tell us more about the Mechanical Engineering course McGill?
It is a 4 to 5-year program, as an A levels student, I got some transfer credits. There are math classes, engineering classes, 2-3 humanities courses. You enter directly to Mechanical Engineering, but in year 1 you do general classes, since I had done the A levels, I got to skip those classes.
Do you do Internships as part of your course?
It is not mandatory; summer break is 4 months. You can take up to a year off during your course for internships. The university has a department for internships. Your study permit allows you to work full time so one can do internships in Canada. I will probably be looking at that next. This year I did a summer research, I talked to a professor and worked at a drone Lab. It was very interesting and I was helping Masters and PhD students with their work.
What’s your take on Mechanical Engineering in Canada?
You can stay back for 2-3 years the work permit and then apply for a Permanent Residency.
What about jobs post your course McGill?
Depends on the field of study. Montreal is good for aerospace companies and has many including Bombardier, Bell Helicopter Textron, CAE, Pratt & Whitney.
Tell me about the faculty at McGill?
It depends on who you take a class with. Not a lot of hands on teaching in this course. Lots of group projects and Labs too.
Is the weather a factor?
It limits the number of outdoor activities you can do during those months. It gets to minus 30 from November- March. But the summer is very lively with lots of events happening all the time.
What Would you advise to younger people wanting to go to McGill?
Do your research properly, they only look at Grades. It won’t appeal to everyone. Montreal is a very nice city to live in. The application is only focused on grades. International students- 12th grade boards, 10th IGCSE, 11th AS Levels, 12th Predicted. For Engineering you need Math, Physics, Chemistry. They did not take my SAT score.
Tell us a Fun fact about McGill?
There are hundreds of clubs and student groups. Anything you are interested in, there would be a club for. You get to meet people from lots of different countries and programs.
How international would you say it is? Lots of students from France, as I think they pay local tuition and Montreal is in the French- Canadian part. Then there are also many from China, then India. Indian is about 2 %. More in masters than undergraduate. Only 1 Indian in my course.
Richa Dwivedi Saklani is a certified coach from UCLA and is an accredited MBTI trainer who has worked with over 10,000 people across career planning and as a behavioral trainer in companies. She is the CEO & Founder of Inomi Learning and author of “The Ultimate Guide to 21st Century Careers”.