Edited by Calvin L
Note: T5E’s Exit Survey 2021 was conducted in the month of June to study graduating student’s perspectives of life at IIT Madras. The survey had a total of 374 responses across the entire 2020 graduating class (UG + PG) answering the survey out of which, around 65% of the participants were UG’s (B.Tech + DD+ MA) and the rest were PG’s (Msc + MTech + MBA + PhD + MS).
The survey explored various aspects of a student’s life like Lifestyle, Personal, Career, Academics, Extra-curricular and Opinion.
The following article focuses on the extra-curricular aspects of a student’s life at IITM. From PoRs to hotly contested inter-hostel events, let’s explore them all!
Groups/Teams that you were a part of
The most popular PoR choices among respondents were Saarang, Shaastra, CFI clubs, and Department Fests, which was pretty much expected given the size and the popularity of the teams in insti. This shows that a large proportion of people prefer to be part of cultural groups. Clubs under Shaastra, Saarang and Department Fests have a diverse group of people, ranging from undergrads to postgrads.
From the survey, it is clear that people have actively participated in all varieties of clubs/groups ranging from cultural to technical ones.
Why did you take up those PoRs?
Clubs and teams are full of exciting activities – events that offer enhancement of soft skills, experience in teamwork and leadership, and public speaking – that one would hardly encounter in their traditional classroom courses. The work done by a team is a major factor in deciding the extra-curricular activity one partakes in. This clearly shows that people want to learn something from these teams and clubs that will help them reach their career goals. Apart from this, making new friends and meeting new people is another guiding factor. Additionally, taking part in any extra-curricular activity broadens one’s network in insti – the connections one makes here will be lifelong. Peer pressure, seniors’ advice, and the prospect of a job or a scholarship also play a minor role in choosing PoRs.
Inter-hostel competitions are a fantastic way to make friends and exercise hostel spirit. This year, UGs and PGs were lukewarm about LitSoc, which isn’t surprising. Last year, UGs and PGs had an average rating of 2.28 and 2, while this year’s average ratings are 2.15 and 2.45 respectively. While its popularity has definitely improved among PG students, overall, there doesn’t seem to be a marked difference of opinion between UGs and PGs vis-à-vis LitSoc: a majority of either demographic rated this section with paltry 1s and 2s.
TechSoc was the least popular of the inter-hostel events. Evidently, there is a lack of eagerness among UG and PG students alike. Last year, UGs and PGs had average ratings of 2.2 and 1.9, while this year’s average ratings are 1.84 and 2.2 respectively. Among UGs, especially B.Tech students, the popularity of Techsoc has plummeted, with a vast majority dishing out the lowest positive rating. Nonetheless, it is safe to say that PGs’ enthusiasm for inter-hostel competitions has increased due to a reasonable jump in average rating given by them.
Schroeter was easily the most popular event among the inter-hostel competitions, with an overall average rating of around 3. Last year, UGs and PGs had an average rating of 2.91 and 2.67, while this year’s average ratings are 2.8 and 3.18 respectively. Although there isn’t a significant difference in the UGs’ ratings, the zeal shown by PG students to participate in Schroeter this year is quite remarkable.
PoRs’ impact on your CGPA
When an individual takes up a PoR, it is imperative that they instantly settle into a balance between academic and extra-curricular life. As evident from the survey, a whopping percentage of respondents felt that their CGPA was not significantly impacted. In fact, most students believe that being a part of different clubs and teams has only improved their time management skills and hasn’t negatively affected their academic record.
Participation in competitions makes team members think outside the box, especially when a fair bit of technical acumen is involved. Members are exposed to designing softwares like CATIA, ANSYS, along with coding on Python and Matlab, all the while burning the midnight oil by performing experiments at workshops. Therefore, it becomes a very productive environment to enhance one’s technical skills. The Exit Survey clearly shows that more than 50% of respondents were able to acquire a new skill which would eventually help them when they face the corporate world.
A majority of respondents were a part of Saarang, Shaastra, CFI or Departmental Fests during their stay at insti. They were genuinely interested in the work done by a club/team, which was a major factor in their choice of a PoR.
Overall, a general lack of enthusiasm towards inter-hostel competitions was observed; it was not surprising when compared to the previous year’s analysis. Interestingly, PG students showed renewed interest and eagerness towards inter-hostel events this year, as compared to UGs. Schroeter was by far the most popular among inter-hostel competitions, followed by LitSoc and then TechSoc.
PoRs are worth a try, if one can leverage them properly. They enable one to make new friends and to expand one’s social circle beyond their department/hostel. They give everyone an opportunity to represent the institute, to enhance their leadership and collaboration skills, and a much-needed breather from the stressful life at insti. Core positions, especially, present students with the rare opportunity of managing different teams within a hierarchical structure, with no pressure or downside of failure.
PoRs can be a direct contributor in shaping students’ careers, especially for non-core sector companies – they may even help you land a good internship! Join a team that has enthusiastic members and a great culture that helps you learn skills you wouldn’t learn elsewhere. Fret not! Proper time management and a good balance between academics and extracurriculars will not have a detrimental effect on your CGPA. After all, PoRs are crucial for a good college experience and these are the memories that will stay with you for the rest of your life.
Take a look at other articles in the Exit Survey 2021: Exit Survey 2021: Lifestyle – The Fifth Estate, IIT Madras (t5eiitm.org)