IES results are out and Jatin Kumar is the topper from the civil engineering branch. Read this extraordinary story of an ordinary boy…
Has the feeling of being No.1 sunk in?
I never expected number one rank, yes I thought that I would be getting good rank, may be under 10. But after downloading the results, when I went to ‘find button’ to quickly search my name, I found it right on the top of the list.
It’s the biggest stage for any engineering aspirant, and to perform in Indian Engineering Service (IES) exam, conducted by UPSC is indeed satisfying.
Whom did you speak to first in your family?
It was my grandfather, as has been the inspiration to me all my life. He is a retired headmaster.
After that, I spoke to my mother, father, grandmother as well.
The news must be there in your city. What’s the reaction like?
All the relatives, friends are really happy and congratulating me.
In fact, this kind of feeling I first had when I cracking IIT JEE Exam, and the same feeling I am reliving with IES exam.
Post results, with the kind of accolades, calls and recognition, I’m unable to feel that I’m a common man. They are making me feel like a rock star.
How it actually started?
I did my schooling from my home town Bhatinda. I was good student and participated in quizzes, science fairs and other educational activities.
After 10+2, I cracked IIT JEE and got admission in IIT Delhi in civil engineering branch.
Getting into JEE must be a proud moment for your family. Tell us a little about your family and how has been their support?
It has been a great support. I told them, I wanted to prepare for this exam along with job. They said we will fully support you.
My mother is a government school teacher and my father works at a chemist shop.
Most of the family members are from teaching background and it is this that gravitated me towards studies.
What motivated you to prepare for IES exam?
In 2014, through college placement, I joined Power Grid, a government of India undertaking. During this period I was posted at the site. It was a construction project, so I have to daily go to the site and supervising all the labour work.
It was then I thought that this is not what wanted. Being a civil engineer, if I were to could contribute more effectively, I should prepare for IES. So, I decided, in future whenever I got a corporate centre posting, I would be having weekend of two days, and would start preparing for IES exam.
When did you get the corporate office posting?
I have been in Gurugram office for around one year now.
So in one year and first attempt you cracked IES?
That is right.
How did you manage preparation along work pressure?
My office timings were from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm. I planned my studies in such a way that by 5:30 I use to finishing off my office work. I use to reach around my room at 6 pm. After resting and refreshing for half an hour, at around 6:30 pm I use to get on with my IES exam preparation.
I started with basic concepts. For first two-three months I just went through the basic concepts. Then I took the test series of IES Master. The test series really helped me to prepare to the level of UPSC.
Given IES is an extensive exam, how did you structured your syllabus?
First of all I went through the entire syllabus. Initially I skipped some topics that I were little demanding.
After that I joined IES Master Test Series. The test series is designed in such a way that you get ample practice questions. I followed the IES Master test program rigorously and that helped me a lot.
At time students getting good GATE score tend to skip PSU job. What would your advice be?
Any PSU or engineering services is good. I learnt a lot in my job.
Having work experience if you tend to take some exam again, you have an edge above the others. And this edge is not only in interview but in technical part as well because you appreciate concept in a better way, as you get to know how the things are done in the field, actually.
Because IES is lot more applied, you are better prepared to tackle the questions, not to mention the interview.
Tell us a little about your stint with Power Grid?
I was a complete fresher in the field, having read concepts well in the college. When I joined Power Grid I was directly put into a site job. Though I did not have much experience, people at the site were really helpful. They me setting the work priorities i.e. is the things that must be ensure at the site.
These were not the kind of things that you would have read in your college. The practical things are different, like at site you have to deal with human resource, with various other stakeholders. I was involved in compensation for crops damage for the farmers. So you have to deal with farmers as well.
I had to convince them with regard to the amount of compensated. I was also responsible for taking various clearances and report to various forest departments.
These are the kind of things that you get to learn only on job.
What is your message to the IES aspirants?
Hard work is the key to success. Keep practicing as many questions as possible because with practice you also get to increase speed in the objective questions, as well as in the conventional questions.
Make sure that you have to practice everything, and follow the test series schedule rigidly, and not miss out on test, because if you have a backlog it becomes difficult to cover the syllabus.
Also, have confidence in yourself because it’s something that helped me a lot. While preparing for IES along with job, I was confident that I can still do it.
For working professionals, I would say that it is not that you have to go on leave, you can manage it. May be you might take a little longer.
When are going you going to Bhatinda?
What is your message to your city?
It’s a small city with closely knitted community and very helpful neighbourhood. I would like to thank each one of them who helped me in my 22 years of journey.
In fact, everyone is really helpful. I want other people from the city to come with such success stories and make my city shine on the map of the country.