ECE Masters Program: Abhishek Roy
There are two ways to get ahead as an engineer within the industry – find your pathway up the ladder one rung at a time. Or, find a way to jump ahead of the competition.
After graduating from The Ohio State University’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Program, Abhishek Roy found himself in the same predicament. Pursuing a master's degree made the most sense.
“If you want to grow into more senior technical roles, you need specialized skills,” Roy said. “A lot of times those are acquired over years of experience, or you could actually do a master’s degree and save some time and jump to more senior positions.”
Today, the alumnus is a software engineer in the battery management and charging systems group at Apple Inc.
Roy said his pathway there was filled with many learning experiences. He took on numerous intern opportunities looking toward his career goals. For three years he worked in consumer electronics but found himself looking for more challenges. He also spent time as an embedded software engineer. He wanted to push his career beyond the confinements of industry.
“I felt that doing a master’s degree would be the right way forward,” Roy said.
As a student at Ohio State, he said, there are numerous opportunities to take advantage of. His first opportunity to work in Silicon Valley came out of a summer internship he landed by attending the annual Ohio State Career Fair.
“There were roles at Apple that aligned with my technical interest – and here I am,” he said.
Ultimately, Roy said, graduate school should be approached with a goal in mind.
“All students who come in for their master’s program, are really focused toward the bigger picture of what they want to get from their degree,” he said.
The point is having an open mind about where you see yourself in the future. Having a good breadth of skills helps to expand your value as an engineer, and increases your career opportunities.
“You can’t just build a product with one single domain of engineering. Usually, all products involve multi-disciplinary aspects,” Roy said. “I think everyone should view a master’s program as an opportunity to explore things you are interested in, but also things that you did not consider exploring. If you are majoring in control systems, it is also advisable to also expand your horizon and look at signal processing, or maybe power electronics or embedded systems.”
As far as student groups go, Roy said there is plenty to explore at Ohio State, such as EcoCAR. He said ECE faculty also have their own projects graduate students can work on.
“I would really encourage all students to go and interact with your faculty outside of class,” Roy said. “Actually go and start those interactions and discussions.”
He said learning is not just limited to the classroom. Knowledge also comes from the students around you. Many of his former classmates from Ohio State are now his current workmates at Apple.
“We have continued meeting with each other. We go on trips. We play sports,” Roy said. “All of these great bonds and friendships started at Ohio State.”
Why was Ohio State his final choice for a Master’s of Science Degree?
“There are a hundred different reasons you could pick Ohio State. It’s one of the top engineering colleges in the United States and it’s got such a beautiful campus,” he said. “The cost of living was just optimal and at the same time, I was getting a really high-quality education out here. I didn’t want to go to a college where I’d be lost in the crowd. I feel at Ohio State the intake is sufficiently big that you have a pretty wide and diverse network. And, it’s small enough that the faculty have sufficient time for all their students.”