With Kurukshetra right around the corner, Catherine Selvakumar, one of the Kores for the workshops team, took some time out of her busy schedule to give us an exclusive interview. From the latest news about this year’s workshops to the fast-paced life of being a student director at the CEG Tech Forum (CTF), see what she has to say about the 11th edition of Kurukshetra.
GT: How does it feel to be a part of CTF and organising a mega fest like this?
Catherine: I am really very proud to be a part of the Kurukshetra team this year. This has been my dream since my 1st year. I have admired CTF’s work since the beginning, and I am really happy to be in the place that I had always aspired to be. Apart from working for Kurukshetra, we have been working for many other events in CTF. Our main goal is to make people recognise us as CEGians instead of just students of Anna University.
GT: How do you balance both studies and this kind of work?
Catherine: During placements, the workload is very less. Also, we are free after we get placed, so we can put all our efforts into this.
GT: How many students have enrolled as organisers for the workshops team this year?
Catherine: There were around 120 students and from there we had 3 to 4 interviews till we finally had 30 students. The others have been sent to all other departments like events or marketing. We try to make sure that no talent goes to waste.
GT: Kurukshetra mainly caters to the interests of engineering students. Why do we have a stock market-related workshop among the engineering-related workshops?
Catherine: Management-related workshops take place every year as part of the proceedings. We brought the stock market workshop this year because there are many MBA aspirants in our college, and if they want an insight of what happens in the management field after completing their four years of engineering, these workshops will help them gain knowledge in marketing.
GT: Some workshops are helpful only to some people. And it’s a general consensus among the students that the workshops related to CSE and IT are more useful to the students as compared to civil and mechanical workshops. So what’s your take on that?
Catherine: It is us who advertise more about the CS and IT workshops because there is a greater crowd in these departments. For example, when I say there is a workshop on artificial intelligence, it pulls more of a crowd than a workshop that is based on aircraft modeling. We do conduct workshops for civil and mechanical students and they are also equally interesting and informative, but a majority of the students in our college who take part in Kurukshetra come from these domains, so we tend to focus on those more.
GT: How did you find sponsors for your events?
Catherine: Since Kurukshetra has been happening for more than 10 years, some of the sponsors have been supporting the events since the very first year. We recently approached some of the new companies and gave them our brochures. They were really fascinated by the events and workshops. Moreover, Kurukshetra is the only event that is wholly organised and conducted by students, without any interference by the college administration. This really amazed them and they were ready to sponsor us.
GT: How do other college students know about Kurukshetra?
Catherine: There is a marketing team. Initially, we begin with online marketing in Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Once the event gets closer, we go for direct marketing all over Tamil Nadu, including other colleges in Andhra and Karnataka. Totally 20 percent participants come from other states.
GT: How is the student turnout for the events from other states?
Catherine: It is really good this year. About 10% of the participants are from other states like Andhra Pradesh, Kerala etc.
GT: How is this year’s edition of Kurukshetra different from last year?
Catherine: We have a special event called K! awards this year and a new workshop called DIY solar lantern building workshop. Also, for the first time, the drone racing event is going to happen.