One thing that makes the work environment at Bell Labs very different from that at IITK is that there is hardly any perceivable notion of juniority/seniority. At IITK, for just about each and every thing that I’ve been involved in, there has been some kind of hierarchy :

For Techkriti/Antaragni and the other festivals, there is the system of Coordinators-Asst Coordinators-Secretaries-Volunteers. For clubs again, there is a similar hierarchy. In general, a 4th (final) year is considered “superior” to a 3rd year, leave alone 2nd and 1st yrs…it is not explicit, but it is reflected in the attitudes of people.

Here, excluding salaries, everyone seems to be level : I’m interning here for 3 months and I get a cubicle of the same size, with the same facilities as full time employees, including a computer, Internet, email account, proxy quota, printing quota, comp, phone, refreshments, lunch and so on.

moreover, my mentor (who did his Btech from IITM and then a PhD from UWashington) has no problems coming to my cubicle (which is a bit far from his cubicle) to see what I have done…. I just phone him, tell him that “I’ve done this this this and am wondering how this should be done”, he says “okay, ill just come over there” and comes here.

At IITK its standard for a senior to call a junior to his room, when he wants an update on the progress of some work. As far as I know, no senior at IITK has ever gone to a junior’s hostel for this purpose, in fact, they generally avoid going to hostels where the juniors stay (except during the initial week of the odd semesters to do ‘you know what’ to the freshers, also some of them come to see the hostel preparation festivals).

3 Responses to “114828091880288021”

  1. vikram aka pogo Says:

    Hi Cherian,
    I have the same feeling as you have mentioned but I think that phenomena(ego matters) is essentially an innate one. I mean you got to have a very broad outlook and then only the encironment (which is ideal for anyone to work) will be accomplished.

    Best of Luck for the intern. I still remember your debt( of the print-outs that I had taken)!!!

  2. Abhinav Says:

    Hi FVM,

    I believe that at IITK this hierarchy is pretty much lesser than at other places. At other institutes the seniors are addresses as Sir/Ma’am… whatever. Whereas over here it is not so. Some sense of hierarchy will be there and I believe it is kind of necessary. But then I have also seen seniors coming to the juniors room to see the progress or get the work done. I have seen this happening during Techkriti with the Coordi coming to my room 🙂 and I also have gone to juniors’ rooms. So I guess its depends from person to person.


    PS: I am also starting to get into the bloggin world… soon you should be seeing some post… 🙂

  3. Cherian Varkey Mathew Says:

    To V and A :
    Well I was just comparing the situation at IITK and here.
    Both systems work, its just that I feel more at home when things are level…somehow I feel that in a hierarchy based system, sometimes influence etc might overshadow merit which causes unhealthy feelings.

    The seniors coming to juniors to initiate some work is something I have seen, but I havent seen any case where a senior comes to a junior’s room to see the progress.

    To V : I’ve lost all track of all the people who havent paid for the printouts.

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