I have left behind 80 years of life on this planet. Of this, IEEE tells me that I am a “Member of 40 years’ standing”- very privileged indeed! And, being a Life Senior!!
Honestly, I am still to use my IEEE membership benefits fully to get the favours that I could have had. You might ask me why? The answer is simple: I did not know what all I was entitled to, when I joined. It is not because that I have been denied of such information – such info is too open for anybody to access; but ‘world wide web’ and easy communication were not there then. Later, in my case I have a feeling that I had enough and more of returns; and so, I did not explore more.
But, you are living in an era, where you should be left behind, if you do not pick those benefits in your journey up – to a gainful career and brand yourself as a ‘successful professional’.
Let me list those that I have found out accidentally – certainly, not by design – that you will also be able to utilize with ease:
1. Renew, upgrade, and expand your membership without break, and you can end up as a Life, Life Senior, or Life Fellow. Then you are in an elite professional group early, and you need not pay membership fee as well.
2. A successful professional is one who is able to find solutions easily for the myriads of problems faced by the society, thrown to us as ‘technical challenges’ or ‘business opportunities’. This problem-solving capacity or ‘bold and innovative initiative’ is something which you are taught at any university, at any time anywhere. One has to gain the confidence and prowess for this, through “getting into water and fishing”. It won’t come through the “hook and line”. IEEE is the world’s most outstanding organization that has built the widest deck for students and YPs to develop and implement real-life projects, as well as experiment with live society, and prove themselves as ‘future ready’.
3. A professional in the making is supported by IEEE through numerous technical publications and over 1900 conferences every year to choose from, a thousand-plus and growing, updated, standards to safely follow to reach the pinnacle of success. As a result, IEEE is star studded with many Fellows and even Nobel laureates. Future technologies are discussed most often. You could be chosen as leaders as well. Look around! You won’t see this ‘conducive atmosphere’ elsewhere. So, ethically and effectively use it and Grow!
4. You get recognized, celebrated and congratulated more often for what you have done to your fellow members and to the society at large – more frequently than with any other organization on this planet. All that you have to do is to volunteer. You can enjoy every minute of it!
5. Around 330 Sections in nearly 160 countries, 10 in India, are active and alive with numerous IEEE programs. Students and YPs are given guidance and freedom to be the sparkling crystals of these events. This is training par excellence, plus opportunity to meet with and interact with experts, public, and government hierarchy – to elevate oneself into a real engineer.
If you are excited about these opportunities, you would see yourself utilizing your membership in IEEE most effectively. Once you are an active volunteer, you can’t go back to an ‘unnoticeable’ status. At IEEE, you also get mentored to reach higher levels that you desire to reach.
Prof. V K Damodaran is fellow of Institute of Engineers India and life member of IEEE (NY). He was also Past Chair of IEEE Kerala section. He held positions as Director of EMC (Energy Management Centre) and Ex-officio Secretary to Govt., later as Honorary Vice Chairman of EMC; Director of Science & Technology and Environment, Govt. of Kerala; Regional Electrical Inspector to Govt. of Kerala. He is an execom member of KSCSTE and EMC Kerala. He is active in promoting Energy Conservation and Management, Renewable Energy technologies, and Environment protection within India and abroad. He is the Chairman of Centre for Environment and Development, Trivandrum and also the Chairman of Foundation for Advanced Clean Energy Studies.