Straight up, I love taking interviews. But my blog hasn’t reached the level yet where anyone will be willing to give one for me.
So what do you do? You turn to your friends, of course. I have lots of folks over in IE-EnC, the technical club of MIT. They, in collaboration with IE-Mech are having their own Tech Week pretty soon. They needed publicity. I needed some answers. A perfect give-and-take.
I “managed” to catch up with Anirudha Nayak, the Technical Head of the club. Why him?
- Because he was present during that time at the infodesk. Or, he is present all the time at infodesk. (He LOVES it).
2. He has been a long and constant support for TVT.
He is frank, honest and witty over here in talking about the ongoing Tech Week.
Why do clubs keep a “Tech Week”? You guys get your own category to organize your events in Tech Tatva. The same events, the same audience, the same locations. Why do it twice?
A: Simple. Because that’s for the fest. This is for our club. And as much as we enjoy working for the college as a whole, somewhere we feel it should be on us as a club to be responsible for the success or failure of our work. Hence, the Tech Week.
“PRAXIS” sounds like some Star Wars term. How did you guys come up with that name?
A: There are two theories around the naming. You can ask for the more interesting to our club president Aditya Raju. This is the story he has told me to say :
It was late in the evening in an AB5 room. The floor incharge was frequently reminding us, “Anna time ho gaya“. We were of course in our own world. Some from publicity team were doing the chartwork at one corner. At another, the executive board members of both the clubs were scratching their heads on the name. Two names were shortlisted – “Technovators” and “Praxis”. There were many ridiculous names been thrown. Finally, all gave up and chose the latter.
That day, the only one happy with our decision was the floor incharge. We finally left the class after all.
Organizing whole lot of events continuously for 5 days ain’t an easy task. How is your preparation process like?
A: Yes, it is a mammoth task. But good planning and a wonderful team helps ease the process. Events were being discussed 2 weeks before. Then the art works for publicity has to start at least 10 days prior. And of course, the infodesk 5 days prior to the D-day. It’s actually the final 5 days when all of us are tested. Workforce needs to be distributed, the organizers and the board should be on the same page and things should just go as planned. Currently I’m sweating a lot now, as I speak!
Ohh, I thought that was because you were nervous for the interview. Hard luck.
Anyways, talking about the art work – how do you guys manage to pull those off? It’s a pure technical club. You might have one or two who are incidentally artists. Do you have to rely on them or everyone contributes their bit?
A: Bro. We are engineers. We need to be good at EVERYTHING. We do learn art here. ECE people learn the art of soldering. Mech guys need to deal with EG sheets. This then becomes a cakewalk.
Yeah, right. And we electricals learn the art of drawing circuits. How wonderful (sighs)
Speaking of this collaboration now. ECE and Mech – so very different from each other. Can they really be friends?
A: Surprisingly, yes. This time around, we thought of changing the tone of our Tech Week. Make it more diverse and big in terms of the kind of events. I mean how cool is that – you get to explore an entire new domain or stick to yours, or do both under the same roof!
And we are not as different as you think. We both have “soldering” work, although the uses are polar opposite. For SolderMan, we have brought the two together in a way where students from both the branches will participate in a relay event of sorts.
It’s the perfect place for Mech guys to friend some of the ECE girls!
You bet! And anywho, there’s no KC to..you know…
How can we not talk about the KC demolition now? Apart from that hearbreak, it’s must be a back-break for all you infodesk people to set up stalls at a much cramped space. Do you miss sitting along the road, watching people roam from and to every corner? And more importantly, has the shift in place affected the visitor count?
A: It sure, has and it was expected. But the cramped space has actually brought our other companions from different teams together! We are having SunBurn right now (enter some crazy EDM music in the background). Some of their crew were selling their tickets here (next to their infodesk) along with us. What we used to do was send some of the people visiting us over there and likewise they used to request their visitors to check out our events. This give-and-take forged some friendships.
You are probably the only third year guy to actually love sitting at the infodesk. I can consider you a veteran then. So – what is your strategy to convince people to buy that one delegate card?
A: It starts off with a simple conversation starter : “Can I have your one minute?“. Most of the people reply in yes. Explain your events patiently. Let them grasp the important parts of it. If you feel they are interested, give a little more details. I guess the more interesting the events are at its planning level, more easy it is to make people register for it.
Of course, you need to be all smiles and friendly with them.
But come to think of it, why would students take part in events at such a time when sessionals are just days away?
A: Sessional preparations can’t just be made through reading/writing. Your brain needs exercises. And events here would make your brain fit to go through those menial tasks a bit easily.
If you manage to do something productive here or in any Tech Week, you will gain much credibility than a few more GPAs. Trust me. I want people to participate in wherever they feel interesting. Beyond Praxis or any college-level fests.
Alright. Now for the burning question : Why should people choose Praxis over other Tech Weeks? Please be controversial
A: What I can vouch for is our unique events. They are innovative, fun and challenging. And, as I have mentioned quite a few times now, the Mech-ECE combo is dope!
And finally, a question in everyone’s mind : How much have you paid me for this interview?
A: More than the cost, your blog and our Tech Week is at stake. Is it really working? If it doesn’t, I swear I’m gonna kill you.
Praxis is being held right now, every evenings till 5th Feb at NLH.
Just FYI. Not that you have to attend. Nah.