Meet Anand Teke, a Sustainable Energy Technology student who graduated on 21 February, setting the record as the fastest student to complete a TU Delft MSc program, obtaining his degree in just 18 months.
What motivated or inspired you to finish your MSc program so quickly?
“Well, to be frank, the tuition fee charged here for international students is quite a lot. I’d taken a loan back in India to sponsor my studies here, and my main aim for me was to save as much as possible and repay my loan. That’s the main reason behind finishing the program soon.”
By doing so, did you miss out on the fun life a student has, because of your accelerated study workload?
“No, not at all, I enjoyed every bit of my student life and had fun activities almost every week. Friday nights was always party night, and I’d either go to a friend’s house or call them over to my place to cook, eat and party together. I’m also an avid cyclist, going for long cycle rides on weekends, and even once cycled all the way to Aachen, Germany, to meet a friend there. I also went sailing on the North Sea during the summer with some guys, so I never compromised on fun side of student life.”
What techniques did you use to study so fast and well?
“The first year of the MSc program is the busiest period, because one has weekly assignments, group work and also exams. I was punctual in completing my assignments before the weekend started, possibly before Saturday at the earliest, so that gave me more time to concentrate on other academic-related activities. Since I had previously worked in the energy industry for two years, the subjects taught in my MSc program were quite easy for me to understand and comprehend, and as a result I also secured high marks in almost all my courses.”
Is finishing fast something that was noticed by others and positively commented on?
“To be frank, this wasn’t at all noticed by my professors or other academic staff, but very much noticed by my near and dear friends. They were always there for me, proving constant support and encouraging me whenever I was feeling low.”
Doing an MSc thesis takes approximately nine months at least, so how did you manage to complete your studies with some six months still left to go?
“As I previously worked for two years, I got an internship exemption, and moreover I had taken a course worth 12 credits titled ‘Design Challenge’ during the first and second quarter of my first year. I used the credits from this course as a replacement for my internship. Another important factor was that I set my priorities right and decided early on what I wanted to work on. So I actually started working on my thesis at the beginning of fourth quarter in my first year.”
Any tips or do’s and don’ts for readers who also might like to accelerate their studies and graduate early?
“I will just say one thing; study your courses with dedication and try to clear them in the first attempt. That relives a lot of mental pressure and gives you room to focus on other things. Otherwise, things pile up and accumulate and the pressure builds. Another factor in completing the MSc soon is to decide one’s area of interest early on and then take elective courses accordingly. Plus, having some work experience before entering an MSc program helps a lot, too. Work experience gives one a little more confidence and understanding behind the courses being taught.”
What do you think about the controversy involving Dutch students fighting the government’s efforts to make them finish their Bachelor/Master degrees in 5 years or else pay for the extra years they need to finish?
“I really like the style of education that Dutch students follow: four years for the BSc and three years for the MSc, which gives ample room for one to travel, engage in student projects, be part of student societies, etc. There’s is not much pressure on them, but this is completely unacceptable back in India, as there the society would just not allow you to do something like that. Also, competition back in India is extremely fierce, only the best of the best survive. The government must not force Dutch students to accelerate their studies. If I was either a Dutch or an EU national, I would never have gone on such a quick ride to complete my Master’s in 18 months.”
How did you score in your subjects and thesis?
“I got an aggregate of 8 in courses and also the same mark for my thesis.”
Don’t you think if you spent a couple more months studying you might’ve gotten even higher grades and possibly graduated cum laude?
“Well, it’s just not worth the time and effort. Plus, if I hung on for a few more months then I also would’ve had to pay tuition fees. So considering monetary matters, I don’t think it would have done me any good.”
What plans for the future? Job or PhD?
“I have got an offer from my previous company, so I’ll be taking that, and as the job is in my home town, I’m more than happy to return back.”
How was your TU Delft experience?
“To put it in two simple words: simply awesome. The Sustainable Energy Technology course is indeed one of a kind and not offered by any of the US universities. That’s why I came to TU Delft, even though I had an excellent score on my GRE and also had an offer from a US university. I’ll definitely miss the Netherlands, TU Delft and most of all the cycling.”