April 21, 2015

Success Story : Divyanshu Thakur (MVD at IDC IITB)

Hello everyone,

I am Divyanshu Thakur. I studied automobile engineering and always wanted to design cars and bikes since I was a kindergarten student. I also do cartooning and you can see my work at facebook and twitter. I had sincerely practiced for the CEED exam and got a good rank at the first attempt itself. Then I was called for interview at IDC and I got selected for Mobility and Vehicle Design, the only stream which I opted for.

Some quick tips:
  • Do not spend money on coaching classes. It is not necessary at all.
  • Keep practicing sketches every day, focus more on basic sketching.
  • Many people will post ‘mind blowing’ sketches on the CEED group. Don’t be deterred by them.
  • Make sure the sketch you made today looks better than the one you made yesterday.
  • Read newspapers and blogs regularly.
  • Do not use colours in the exam at all unless instructed. It will waste your time.
  • For the interview, be honest with the panel and accept if you don’t know something.
  • Portfolio is the most important component of your interview.

How did I prepare?

For Part A this blog itself was enough. In addition to this I also looked up for several articles related to the posts in this blog. I was also a part of a facebook group called ‘CEED 2015’ which was indeed very helpful. Make sure you find the appropriate group and stay updated with everyone.

For Part B sketch very basic things like lines, circles, squares, diagonal lines, etc. Do not sketch cars and complicated objects all the time. Although I recommend for every 3 hours of basic sketching you can spend another hour to sketch what you want to. It is important that you diligently practise every day if you are serious about getting a good rank and not just ‘getting through’.

During the exam:

Part A had negative marking scheme hence I had to be careful. I chose not to attempt any question at all which I even had the slightest doubt about. This is also where you can get clever and use the tools around you to solve some questions.

For eg; there was a question which had a silhouette image and in the options were four rotated views of it and I had to select the correct one. Instead of twisting my head I quickly traced the image on a paper and matched it with the options given. Saved a lot of time.

Part B surprisingly had 5 questions this time instead of the usual four. Time management became a serious priority here. I chose to attempt the questions with the highest weightage first and the decision paid off.

After the exam:

I did not wait for one minute. Right from December till the second week of March I continuously worked on my portfolio. I decided that I will present my design in a maximum of 15 pages. Out of all the sketches and designs I made, roughly 25% of it went into the portfolio. But I kept all the discarded designs in a separate folder. During this timeframe I also learned photoshop and rendering 3d models. They helped a lot. I had worked day and night sometimes just to get the smallest details to perfection, I am not exaggerating.

The DAT:

I was asked to sketch a tractor in front three quarter view. The second question had an image of a 3d shape which resembled an extruded parallelogram with the dimensions marked out. I was asked to make the shape out of card paper. I had not carried any sort of scale or cutting tools with me, but the IDC staff were very co-operative in providing the tools. The emphasis was on craftsmanship and finishing of the product. I had a lot of experience working in my college lab cutting metal tubes and grinding them to perfection, so this task was not that difficult for me. Here also, timing is important. Make sure you run with the clock if not ahead of it.

The Interview:

My panel consisted of three highly experienced professors. First I was asked about where I was from and where did I study, why I am studying engineering, why didn’t I apply for NID et. al. Then I was also asked if I knew AutoCAD, I did not know anything more than 2D drafting so I just said I know the basics but not proficient with 3D modelling. Which is when they said how can you do engineering when you don’t know AutoCAD. That made me silent and they commented that I must learn it. I nodded in affirmation. One of the senior most panelist asked me what is first hand projection and what is third hand projection, which I had no idea about. Then they pointed out a mistake which I made in my application form. I wrote 1.2 billion = 1200 crores as the population of India (It is 120 crores if you’re wondering.) I was asked to write the figure with all the zeroes in it and they told me to count it in crores which is when I realized my mistake and I laughed at myself, the room burst into laughter looking at my mistake. Then they wanted to know which is my favorite Indian car and why do I like it. Then I was asked about how a gudgeon pin is fitted inside a piston and was asked to sketch it. The other question was what material is used to make the pistons. Then I was asked to explain how the tubes in a race car chassis is cut to shape. I explained them how it is formed using weldments. Next they went a little too technical by asking about welding processes, thankfully I knew all that from first-hand experience. They also asked what is the relation between the current provided for welding to the amount of heat generated. I had completely forgot about the equation “Q=I2R” which they told me in the end. Next I was asked what Kirchhoff’s law is. And again I said I do not know. They questioned me whether I had been taught electrical theory in college? I said yes and also added that I forgot all that since it was taught in the second year. They mentioned that I have quite a few bikes designs in my portfolio and questioned whether I like bikes or cars more. I had presented the design of an electric bike and they asked me which kind of bike you think is suitable for Indian roads. I said naked bikes work well than faired bikes. Then they tossed a question that you simply just remove the fairings and make it a naked bike, can’t you? I had to explain that there are ergonomic differences between the two and that the latter is only suited for the race track. They wanted to know what my dream project was. I answered that. They asked why you did engineering if you wanted to become a designer since your childhood. I asserted that I wanted to understand how a vehicle works from within, only then I believe I would be able to design something that is practical. That’s why I went for engineering first. They were also intrigued about some of my designs and how I rendered it, I explained the process and that’s when I presented them with my sketchbook which they went through.

It was a really good interview experience. I could not answer most of their questions but I stood confident and assertive.

I have attached some of the designs from my portfolio.

You can contact me at facebook. I would love to help you :)



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