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October - 2007 - issue > Campus Reporter
Magnum Opus Applying innovation @ campus
Christo Jacob
Monday, October 1, 2007
Taking a leaf from Azim Premji’s vision ‘effective and scalable models that significantly improve the quality of learning in the school’ Wipro has come up with this unique program for final year engineering students across the country.

Wipro has invested in a team of 89 mentors and architects in this program and also has spent a significant amount of effort in designing and breaking down the project which is then distributed among 55 colleges. This initiative hopes to create a spirit among the students to be a part of a virtual team that works for a common theme under a collaborative development model. “Wipro was successful in attracting some of the best expatriate architects into its fold for designing this project,” says Rajesh Ram Mishra, Chief Technology Officer - Telecom and Product Engineering Solutions, Wipro Technologies. These architects have developed Service Level Objective framework (SLOF) as a mega theme for the project.”

Magnum Opus is envisaged to make programming ability a key competency amongst engineering students. The students who are eligible for ‘Magnum Opus’ were shortlisted based on Wipro’s ‘Campus2Career program’. It is an initiative to facilitate the smooth transition of students from the academic world to the professional world. As part of this program, a multi-stage programming contest called CodeZap was organized across the country to identify the key competency areas for fresh campus graduates in order to accelerate their entry into projects.

Today many MNCs are giving opportunities to engineering students to apply their classroom learning in the real business world through individual projects during their final year. However, Wipro is the first company to create the concept of a collaborative platform to create and execute multiple projects under a single theme — ‘Magnum Opus’, which is distributed among engineering students across colleges in the country.

Over 450 students were shortlisted to contribute to Wipro’s Magnum Opus program, and were divided into 100 plus groups of three students each. These groups were mentored by senior managers within Wipro who provided continuous training.

With the budding innovators in an initial stage of the training driven by practicalism, a prototype of the project was demonstrated in the campuses in order to give them an overview about how to integrate the project and the challenges involved during the implementation. Further, in order to hone the cub programmers’ skills, Wipro launched a website ‘Campus2Career.wipro.com’ to act as a platform for the students to equip themselves with learning materials like videos and power point presentations provided by their mentors and other experienced techies at Wipro.

“The impact of the project has been beyond our initial expectations about it,” says Srinivasan Viswanathan, Chief Architect of Magnum Opus. “Close to 60 percent of the projects were on par with industry standards, which we straightaway integrated into our main projects. A few students have gone beyond and actively contributed more than what was required under their assigned projects and also helped successfully integrate the 150,000 lines of code.”

Delighted with the astounding success of their first initiative, Wipro plans to extend its opportunity to 2000 students next year. With the initial challenges addressed, it will be investing more on infrastructure and mentors in the coming year. This will help Wipro achieve it’s goal of mentoring budding innovators on a continuous basis to meet industry standards, recognizing the best of innovations from the best minds in the country and to come up with solutions that would be beneficial for the Indian society at large.

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