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What it takes to be CTF's k!ore HR team

Kurukshetra'17, one of the largest techno-management fest in India organized by CEG Tech Forum, is around the corner. Deepak Kumar, HR Student Director of CTF 2017, was kind enough to take time off his busy schedule and spoke to us about Kurukshetra, CTF, HR team and many other exciting things. Here is an excerpt from the conversation.

1) What is the difference between a K!ore member and a Student Director?

We’ve modified the term core a bit by replacing the C with a K to make it  more apt for Kurukshetra (K!). Moreover, it’s a common slang used inside the college. Although there isn’t a very big difference between the two, I guess the title ‘Student director’ has a more formal appeal when compared to ‘K!ore’. So, when we write MOUs we often introduce ourselves as the Student Directors of CTF. 

2)What role does the HR team play in Kurukshetra?

Basically, there are about 20 different teams working for k! and each team needs as many members as possible in order to work smoothly and efficiently. The problem arises when the teams don’t have much time to go look for juniors who can join CTF and help out with the organizing activities.That’s where the HR team comes into play. 

We help find students based on both their personal interests, as well as those who possess suitable talents in order to join and work coherently with a particular team. For example, a junior in charge of marketing must have the ability to communicate well while the design team would require members who have good knowledge of Adobe Photoshop. In addition to this, while the marketing team markets outside the college, we focus on all the activities that take place within the college.                                                                                          

3)HR is known to be the backbone of k!. Can you justify this?

Yes , absolutely. No other team can function without the HR. Not only do we bring all the teams together but also are the only team that looks at k! from the juniors’ perspective. Our job is to get input from the juniors and put their suggestions into action. The juniors are an integral part of the fest and we make sure that they feel the sense of belonging, because even though we have several symposiums and cultural events, Kurukshetra is CEG’s biggest techno-management event and it would be nothing without the participation of the juniors.

4)How is the 'open call' process usually carried out?

Each team requires students from different years at  different periods of time, which is basically why we conduct open calls for the third years first, and then the second years and finally the first years. For the Design and Tech teams, work starts much earlier  compared to the other teams. We then give the second highest priority to the Events and Workshops because those teams need maximum participation from the juniors, both on the days of Kurukshetra as well as in advance. This year , we conducted the open calls based on the skill set required for the different teams. We had the open calls for Events, Workshops and Karnival together and then for Marketing  and Guest Lectures.

5) Is HR all about providing man power?

In addition to providing man power, there are two more key roles that the HR plays, the first being internal marketing . We conduct several events and fests at our college and our Facebook page does a suitable job of advertising outside college. Most importantly, the students in our own college must be completely aware of all the events as well, which is the HR's responsibility. Our other role  is to make sure every team works smoothly by itself. Each team specializes in a particular field and therefore to interlink the teams, HR must overlook the team activities as a whole.

6)How is the internal marketing in CEG right now? 

Right now , we’ve increased the number of posts circulated every day.  The time two weeks before kurukshetra is the most important one  because that’s when people actually look into the posts. Hence we do a good job at advertising in all the social media groups we know during this  period of time.

7)How did u become a part of HR team?

Before I joined CTF, I was under the impression that one must be technically sound and probably even a 9 pointer to be qualified to join  and therefore was a bit hesitant . It was only when I came to my third year that a friend suggested that I join the marketing team as they needed student help. When I joined, I realized I enjoyed the job. Once I was assigned juniors and began working with them I finally began to understand my capabilities and was delighted by the skills and activities of HR. My interest in the HR grew and so I continued in my final year as well.

8)Have you thought of the need for a co-k!ore member?

No.  HR k!ore is a one man role. HR operates with a wider set of juniors when compared to other teams, so one head alone would be ideal for the team. It will make things easier for the juniors as well.

9)What are the challenges faced by the HR team?

The first one is assigning work to the juniors. Say I am organizing a meet today, I need to make sure that at the end of the meet the juniors have something to take back with them. They should have learnt something new and they should every single time in order to keep them interested with the activities. So I need to plan out the agenda for the meet, know what exactly  I am going to say and the tasks I will be assigning to each of them.

The other challenge is working with people’s mindset about HR. Since we conduct open calls for  first years towards the very end, they tend to believe that its only manual work in store for them and it’s important that we make sure that they are involved in much more than just that. This year we had their open call much earlier and so we had ample time to explain to them about all of the activities at Kurukshetra.

10)What do you think are the qualities needed to be a K!ore member?

Time management and optimism. Being in our final year, we have several commitments and so we must be able allocate adequate time to k! and work without letting it disturb our other responsibilities. We also must stay positive throughout as many things are beyond our control and anything can go wrong at any point of time.  For example,  k!  being postponed due to unexpected strikes and the demise of our Chief Minister put a lot of pressure on us but we had to stay optimistic in order to get things back on track.

 11)Has the date change affected the event organization in any major way?

Yes, but positively. We were ready to conduct k! on the 1st of February. Since it was postponed we are now having more time to prepare better. We knew exactly what had to be done, in fact it felt like we were conducting a another Kurukshetra.

12) Why is it important to participate in k! ?

Say you’re a CSE student. This will be a great learning platform if you are the kind who will be looking out for internships and placements  in your 3rd and 4th year. The questions they ask in the tests or  while conducting interviews are all very similar to that of those posed in our coding events. It also serves as a platform  for you to portray your skills and compete with people both from our college as well as outside. Once you’ve participated in these events you’ll get the actual feel of being an engineer. While most students wonder what they can possibly do in such a technical event , it’s important for us to understand that only we being engineers can enthusiastically take part in such events

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