Composing a career from intern to leader

How a young problem-solver with a passion for music grew his career from intern to leader of our Analog Audio business

29 May 2024

Vikas SV had his sights set on a full-time music career when tendonitis changed the course of his life. He was a teenager living in Bangalore, India, working on his engineering undergraduate studies and playing guitar with local bands.

“I was playing guitar up to seven hours a day at the time,” Vikas said. “Playing at that level took a toll on my wrist, and it got to the point where I couldn’t play as much.”  

He had to make a choice: get serious about music despite the physical setback or focus on engineering.

“I was always that kid who loved to take things apart to figure out how they worked,” Vikas said. Living in small town in India, he didn’t have access to guitar equipment. Tapping into his curiosity for how electronics work, Vikas built his own guitar pedal to create distortion, delays and other effects in his music.

 “I couldn’t get the pedal to sound quite right, but it really got me interested in analog circuit design and laid the foundation for my future in engineering.”  

Today, Vikas leads our company’s Analog Audio business, a journey that dates back to his childhood in India growing up in a household that prioritized education.

Making an early impact

“Education was always important to my parents. My mother was a rocket scientist, and both of my parents really encouraged me to get my degree,” Vikas said. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Atria Institute of Technology in India, Vikas came to the U.S. to pursue a master's degree in electrical engineering at the University of Michigan.

 “It was my third week in Michigan, and one of the professors walked in and asked for analog students to design a class-D amplifier,” he said. “I signed up right then.”

Vikas’ efforts on the audio amplifier eventually caught the attention of our company, earning him a summer internship.

He was hooked after Week 1. Having the opportunity to work on projects that made a real impact inspired him to soak up every opportunity to learn and take on additional responsibilities.

“Looking back, I had no idea what I was doing, but I had an amazing manager who saw potential in me and guided me on a path that set me up for long-term success,” he said. 

Every year, our company welcomes an average of 2,000 interns, like Vikas, who work on meaningful projects that help shape the future of our company and experience firsthand what it's like to work for a global company. Many of our interns who excel take the next step in their career journey through a returning internship or through our Career Accelerator Program for new college graduates.  

“Our development programs for interns and new college graduates equip people with the tools they need to succeed through technical training, interpersonal and leadership skills training and other hands-on experiences solving real-world challenges,” Vikas said. “The combination of support I received from my managers and our company’s development programs are what set me up to succeed early in my career at TI.”  

Embracing opportunities to grow and lead

Vikas joined our company full time after completing his summer internship. He embraced the technical side of his engineering work.

“I wanted to be the person designing the most innovative circuits and solving really tough problems,” he said. “At the time, I had no interest in leading people, and I actually declined the first invitation to move into management. I wanted to climb the Tech Ladder – which is the prestigious career track for technical leaders at our company – and ultimately become a TI Fellow.”

Vikas continued his path as a technical contributor and worked on several high-impact projects that even led to patents for his innovations. After some time, Vikas stepped into the unknown and accepted a leadership position. The opportunity was a pivotal moment in his career. He began helping his team match their tasks with their passions.

Vikas leading a meeting

“I went from being the person who worked a lot of hours and got things done to being responsible for the results of the team,” he said. “It doesn't matter how good you are as an individual. We needed to deliver meaningful results as a team.” 

To Vikas’ surprise, coaching his team, removing roadblocks and helping people solve problems became the most rewarding parts of his job. “I underestimated how much joy that would bring me.”

Inspiring the next generation of innovators

Today, Vikas blends his passion for music and love of engineering as vice president and general manager of our Analog Audio business. He helps his team unlock new innovations built on our company’s decades-long history developing best-in-class audio technology.

“It’s really cool,” he said. “I have the privilege of leading engineers who are creating the next generation of technology for audio applications in phones, televisions, vehicles, PCs, speakers and all sorts of devices we use every day.”

Vikas quote

Looking back at his childhood and early career, Vikas says he could have never imagined he would be where he is today. “Not only do I get to be part of a company that’s making electronics more affordable through semiconductors – something that had a big impact on me as a child – but I get to help my team reach their career goals and succeed, just like my early leaders did when I was an intern.”

And his advice for future engineers and leaders? Be sincere, act with integrity and always be willing to learn.

“Be yourself and go solve fun problems. If you bring energy to a problem and you are able to show why it’s meaningful and makes a difference, people will rally behind you and get things done,” he said. “There are many opportunities to make an impact at our company, and some of the biggest breakthroughs in my career came about by asking questions and expressing curiosity to my co-workers.”

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