My journey to ESE 2014


First of all, let me introduce myself,

My name is Himanshu Aggarwal, a 2013 batch pass out from BITS Pilani-Pilani campus.

My CGPA is 8.19

From Aug 2014 to Mar 2015, I was working in BARC Mumbai as a trainee scientific officer

The campus life ended and from the well-known fact of low package of civil companies, I also got a low package from the college placements. Being ineligible to give the paper in 2013 and a Gate 2013 rank of 668, I was left with choice of taking the risk of spending a year preparing for the paper or take the job. It took a week to decide and finally I took the challenge and decided to stay at home for the next year. I also had coaching in IES Master during my college training for 6 months in CRRI Delhi. A 9 AM to 5 PM research at CRRI and 5:15 PM to 10 PM class at coaching were the worst days of my life though I liked the coaching part because I could just relax and repeat what I have done in my college(yes my college studies did help me).

Dropping was somewhat easy as I was shortlisted in some PSU’s such as SAIL, so I thought that I will probably sail in at least one opf the PSU and carry on my study for IES but unfortunately that didn’t happen. Regular rejection made me serious towards GATE 2014 in October end and I started preparing for GATE 2014 + IES 2014 from the starting of November with main focus on making short notes for both and remembering for GATE only for the initial 2 months.

GATE paper went well but the result was not up to the mark with a GATE rank of 302 and still PSU’s like RITES rejecting me on the basis of my age. No job in hand and less chances of getting  a job on this rank started haunting me and it was this time I became serious like anything for IES.

From the day of GATE 2014 result up till April end, I completed syllabus for IES 2014(I did it partially before GATE 2014) and in May I did 2 conventional papers every day from 9 AM to 12 noon and 2 PM to 5 PM and used the time in-between to check the papers (I had ample amount of papers with solutions that I got from IES Master during coaching) and 1 hour or less for GS portion(this was a big mistake to prepare for GS only in May and June and I paid for it by getting 27 marks out of 100 in GK portion).

For the last 10 days, I only revised (crammed) my short notes with last 2 days only for enjoyment and relaxing. Just 20 days before the paper I gave BARC interview which I scored really well with 748 marks (I got the white slip, yippee) that provided me with the boost that I had the ability to crack IES and I have a job

The day of exam: At least I cannot say that I was not nervous at the time of paper but on the surface you look calm and ready to drop bombs (lyrics credit: Eminem) (I thought of the same song just before the paper was about to start). The first day of the paper was the worst part for me because of no preparation. The portion I knew got completed in an hour, the other hour was to prevent making blind shots, so I started looking at the expressions of invigilator and nearby fellows. The next day with two objective papers went well and so did the conventional part. I was happy as I almost did 360 to 370 marks paper in the conventional.

The next 2 days went on discussing the objective part in which I was getting almost 300 marks. Now was the time when I thought that I have got a job and this is time to relax and July was complete fun for me. In Aug, I joined BARC with an intention of enjoying the hard-to-get hostel life again to the full. My time at BARC was full of fun. The days went on and I was at home and returning from a religious trip with family and got the news of the shortlist and found myself in that list for which I was pretty sure. I filled up the DAF and started consulting other BARC fellows and college seniors in IES about the strategy for the interview. My interview date was 19 Jan in Delhi and I thought of giving SSC mains paper on 18th Jan in Jaipur so that I could check whether I still remember the technical part or not.

The day arrived and I was there. My panel was Smt. ALKA SIROHI. The documents part was completed and I was the last in the morning session in that panel. While sitting there I got to know about the book of made easy in which questions of various interview panels are discussed. Shiver went through my spine for a while but after 10 minutes came the time when I thought: ab karke kya kar lunga, ye sab moh maya hai. For me, the clock was getting dead slow as I was eagerly waiting for all this to end. After some time, it was my turn and I was called to sit outside the room interview was going. At that time, I spent time looking at the birds wandering here and there in front of me. I entered the room and there were 3 experts along with the head. My interview was small in length but it was nice so now I was somewhat sure of selection.

Again my enjoyment started in BARC. I gave GATE 2015 paper with some of my BARC friends just for the sake that I don’t feel that I have wasted my money in filling the GATE 2015 form and also that we got free ride on Uber. GATE 2015 results were a complete dilemma as I got a rank of 101 when I did nothing to prepare for GATE and a rank of 302 when I prepared a lot which taught me that luck also plays some role. Again I was at home when the final results of IES 2014 came out. I received a phone call from my BARC friend (GSB) saying: bhai tumne paper phod diya hai chauthi rank aai hai tumhari and for a while I didn’t even knew how to react. Then there were more and more phone calls and celebrations started. May be I am able to write this just because I succeeded but at last I want to convey that if you have passion for anything, go for it. May be you come out unsuccessful but at least you won’t regret saying” yaar try to karna chahiye tha” and it will be worth a try (If you are serious).