June 05, 2015

Success Story : Gautham T R (IITK)

Unlike most of the entries here, I got into the M.Des program at IIT Kanpur through

GATE(Mechanical Engineering). Though I started preparing for CEED earlier this year, right after

GATE, I got a chance to face the interview.

This blog has enough information about CEED and candidate experiences. I started following every

post in here, a big thanks to Prasanna Sir for his timely replies to all the e-mails.

I’d like to share my interview experience here so that all of you getting a chance through GATE can

get some idea.


As soon as I got the result I knew preparing a portfolio was very essential though the requirement

for a GATE candidate is only B.E project. I wanted M.Des since the time I found out about it and I had

an idea of what would give me an advantage over the others.

The time I had to prepare portfolio was just one week (between result announcement and interview

date) and knew that was not sufficient time. Prasanna Sir helped with what I can and should be

doing. You have to make up as many ideas as you can and sketch them. There were so many

questions in my head what type of sheets to use? , how to make sketches better? , how many to

make? etc. I did all in A4 sheets. My sketching is just average so I watched a lot of tutorials online.

In total, I made around 10 sheets which are not many compared to B.Arch candidates nor was the

quality as good as theirs. I have a hobby of carving and I took all those pieces with me to show. I also

took B.E project synopsis along with me. All GATE candidates from B.E brought their entire reports

and those from B.Arch got their portfolios. [ B.Arch students writing GATE are eligible for IITK and

IISc ] and the rest were all through CEED.


For me, this chance was something I just did not expect as I did not clear the cut-off for IISc this year

and I assumed it would be the same for IITK and hence I mentally prepared myself to not take it too

hard if I failed the interview. I was happy for the experience.

After reading a lot about these interview experiences I thought it was just the portfolio which made

the strongest impression and assumed those with the folio got a better chance at it, but that’s not

entirely true.

Anyways, I was very curious to see others’ portfolios and do some self assessment. The inferiority

complex that develops when you are waiting in the hall with all these high achievers is over

whelming. And after a point of time I just didn’t want to see anybody’s portfolio because that was

destroying my confidence. And I knew I stood nowhere!

Around 200 people were shortlisted. Just like last year, there was no DAT exam, it was direct

interview. Each time someone went for the interview and returned his/her face showed confusion

and after hearing the questions they faced we were left with the same expressions.

 “If you were given the right conditions to grow a plant, which plant would that be?”

“How to prevent plucking of leaves/flowers in parks?”

“What kind of flower would you like to grow in your garden?”

“How to get to the fish market in your city?”

“How far has the Salman’s case gone?”

These are questions which check the way you think, I guess. Answering that plant question with a

mango tree because you like mangoes or papaya tree is ordinary and expected. Something like a

Venus Fly Trap, pitcher plant or a cactus would be different, right?

And these were questions asked to those from B.Arch and NIFT! Those with the best portfolios in the

hall. Apparently they didn’t even consider their portfolios in the interview, just flipped sheets and

gave it back. I was perplexed. But somewhere, back of mind, I felt it’d be better to showcase my

carved pieces and answer questions based on that than face questions such as these.

My turn came after lunch. Panel of three. One panellist walked out as I entered. As soon as I sat

down the first question was “Why not M.Tech ?” I answered.  I made sure they could see that I had

brought something to show and immediately asked me to show my previous work. Exactly what I

wanted. Asked a few questions on them. One panellist was interested in work and other kept asking

about design and my direction towards it. The fact that I had made a portfolio being a GATE

candidate probably put an impression that am inclined towards the program and they were happy to

see that, I guess. They asked a few questions about the ideas in the file. I had a few products and few

related to visual comm. A couple of logos which I had made for quizzes. But I don’t think any of that

mattered as they just flipped and passed it back to me after a few questions. I really couldn’t

evaluate how it went after I got out of the room. It was just weird and for some reason because of

the reactions I got I thought I let it slip right through my fingers. It hardly lasted for 10 minutes. But

that was the same for everybody. The interview was very short for some reason. And it was not at all

a pleasant feeling thinking about it over and over again.

In the morning they had said only 26 vacant seats this time. And that was like an alarm to me every

morning until the day I received “THE” email. Excited , looking forward to it.

Here are a few works of mine.

I’d love to help you: gauthamtr.mail@gmail.com

Oh and talking about help, I’m very grateful to Prasanna sir, Prabath – IITKanpur and Tarun Babu - IIT

Delhi who helped me during this process.


Rocky said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Unknown said...

thanks for the info sir..sir what was your gate score at which you recieved a call for interview..??

Unknown said...

hello sir... I'm not from an engineering background and i want to know that engineering related questions ask only in IITK and IISC
DAT ???

Prasanna Gadkari (M.Des in Product Design from I.I.Sc. ) said...

You would need to brush up on your engineering skills for IITK and IISc, because not all, but some questions are from there. Though, they are quite basic such as finding the loads seen by legs of a chair when person sits on it or an electric circuit is given.

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