Alumni Talks with Soumesh Kumar Nayak
It is one thing to have dreams, but it’s another to take action and turn those dreams into a reality. OPSC Examination is considered to be one of the most difficult examinations because of the stiff competition. We had the opportunity to talk to Mr. Soumesh Kumar Nayak who with his assiduous efforts achieved 85th Rank in the OPSC Assistant Executive Engineer (Civil) 2019. Being an alumnus of the institute, he took time out of his busy schedule to share his journey and guide students along the way.
Following is an excerpt from the interview.
1. Can you walk us through your schooling days?
I started my schooling days from Saraswati Sishu mandir, Banarpal. There I studied from class 1 to class 5. Then I qualified the Entrance exam for Navodaya Vidyalaya and I joined in Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya Angul.
2. How did you come to join Civil Engineering, was it something that always interested you?
Actually, I didn’t have that much idea about Engineering. I just had basic ideas about different branches. When I got a decent rank in JEE Main without any coaching my family members convinced me to do engineering. When It came to counselling in the first round, I got civil engineering.
3. Would you like to share with us your journey at NIT, Rourkela? Any fun memories from college days you’d like to share with us?
Journey at NIT Rourkela was awesome. I started my journey with an aim to get a job in any field and ended it with a love for civil engineering. In the first 3 years I just studied for passing the semester. But when I came to 4th year, I started my preparation for GATE 2018. That preparation developed my interest in civil engineering and finally I aimed for a career in civil engineering. The most memorable moment of the NITR chapter is innovision-2015. As a part of CEST club we made a prototype of the Penrose staircase on a bigger scale. That amazed the visitors. The hard work, tensions and the hurdles were the fun part of this event.
4. Can one prepare for GATE and OPSC AEE simultaneously and how does the exam pattern differ for both?
Yes, one can prepare for these exams simultaneously as both the exams require technical clarity. The only difference among these two exams is their pattern of questions. Most of the questions in the GATE exam are numerical whereas in OPSC they are theoretical. Also, for GATE exam you need to study mathematics and aptitude but for OPSC AEE only technical knowledge is sufficient to crack the exam.
5. What are the job opportunities for civil engineers in India?
Job opportunities in India for Civil engineering graduates are not that prolific. But still many companies are there to recruit the graduates. The major problem for civil engineering graduates is experience. Getting a good job with a decent salary in the field of civil engineering for a fresher is tiresome. But after getting experience, one can increase their scope of jobs.
6. When did you start your preparations for OPSC? What were the initial challenges you faced?
When I first received the notification for the AEE exam, I started my preparation. I had already prepared for the GATE exam so I didn’t feel any difficulties for the OPSC AEE exam. However, I faced a problem in time management. As I joined a construction consultant company, I didn't get sufficient time to study.
7. Is the syllabus taught in our college enough to score well in the OPSC AEE examination?
Yes, our syllabus is quite enough to score well in the OPSC AEE examination. Only building materials and project management are the two additional topics which we need to study ourselves to score well. Otherwise, whatever is in our syllabus is enough.
8. Does internship play a vital role in getting selected for OPSC AEE? How can one go about applying for different internships?
In my case, internship played a vital role. In my interview, the interviewer asked me questions related to contract and rendering processes. Internships helped me to answer those questions. So yes, internship does play a vital role in getting a job in OPSC AEE as well as in any private organizations. So many organizations come to college to provide unpaid internships. Apart from that you can contact professors, alumni for internships. Also, different websites are available to get an internship.
9. You were a part of CEST Club during your college days, so how do you think it helped you in your professional development?
Professional career is not like a student career. As a student, one can survive alone but in a professional career one of the most important things is teamwork. CEST helped me to learn how to work as a team. It taught me how to work with juniors as well as seniors. Also, CEST taught me how to organize different events.
10. People believe that coaching plays an important role in preparation for competitive examinations, what is your opinion on that?
In my opinion people don’t believe in themselves that’s why they believe in coaching institutes. In my case I didn’t take any coaching for JEE main and still qualified for NIT. I didn’t take any coaching for OPSC AEE yet I got selected. It is true that guidance is required for every exam but it’s not mandatory to take proper coaching. You can get guidance from the internet. Coaching only provides guidance to a student to qualify in an examination.
11. What is your daily preparation mantra and what motivated you to follow it consistently?
After coming from the office, I dedicated 2-3 hrs daily to study. And after resigning from my job, I dedicated all my time for the preparation. Studying 5-6 hrs is enough to qualify OPSC AEE. I kept motivated myself to achieve something in my life and get a public job. Working for my home state is my motivation for this OPSC AEE.
12. Which department will you be working under? What kind of work profile do you foresee?
I will get an opportunity to work in the department of Water Resources. I think I will get work in different job profiles. I will get to work as a design engineer as well as field engineer. Also, I will get the opportunity to work with different advanced software.
I would like to thank the club for giving me this opportunity. I advise all the future aspirations to study hard and clear your concept. More you study, the more you learn. That's the only success mantra.
We congratulate Mr. Soumesh Kumar Nayak for his achievement and wish him a bright and colorful future.