Name - Vaibhav Poddar
Position - I.E.S. Officer
Organisation - Government of India (Ministry of Defence - Military Engineer Services)
DOB - 2nd September 1988
Place - West Bengal
I was born in a Rajasthan Marwari family in Kolkata on 2nd September 1988.
I did my entire schooling from ICSE/ISC board in Kanpur till Class XII. Thereafter, I graduated from BITS Pilani, Pilani campus as a Civil Engineer in 2011. I had also cleared IIT JEE but was not keen on joining programmes of other disciplines, so I preferred BITS over IIT.
Yes definitely. I had interned with JSW Steel Ltd at Vijayanagar Plant (JSW’s largest steel plant) for 2 months and with Larsen & Toubro, Baroda for about six months, as a part of course curriculum in BITS; where I got the opportunity to have the first glimpse about corporate world and how it works.
I was a Civil Engineer by profession and wanted to utilise my knowledge & experience in a place wherein I can directly benefit the people. And Engineering Services gives that opportunity where I can serve the nation.
Desire to exploit my knowledge, education, and practical experiences to directly benefit the common man has been my greatest inspiration in my success journey.
I wish to give full credit to my Mother who supported me at each stage in fulfilling my dream. My teachers & textbooks at BITS have helped me a lot in scoring good marks. I gained proper guidance by interacting with senior IES officers and colleagues.
Determination, Dedication & Discipline are the 3Ds essential for successful preparation for the IES exam. I had taken the guidance from well-established coaching centres at various stages during the preparation.
I used my college Books & notes, coaching guidance to prepare for the exam. I consulted previous year question papers to gain insight and prepare myself with exam paper patterns. Also, I took a coaching test series which helped me a lot to revise topics and gear up to score better. More and more practice of questions helps in getting accurate answers with time management.
Fully agreed to. I believe around 9 months is sufficient to study & revise topics and polish oneself to clear the exam. I had developed a daily topic-wise plan along with revision timelines and my dedication to clear exams helped me in adhering to it. I used the online test series as a strong tool for real-time simulation of the IES exam and also acted as an aid in revision of topics. I used to study as and when I got time without compromising on other essential tasks. I did not pressurise my mind to study which helped me in having an effective learning rather than going for time bound study hours.
I did not bound myself by setting daily study hours, but studied as and when I got time to complete daily targets. This helped me in better study of topics. I was not much distracted, as I believe in the 3D principle of success. Also, my focussed approach gained me good scores in test series- which was another motivating factor for clearing IES exam with a decent rank.
College textbooks & class notes have been the primary source of preparation. I also consulted last year's questions to get an idea on topics of more relevance than others. It is one’s detailed understanding of topics which helps in scoring marks rather than specifics of books. Content is more or less the same irrespective of the author.
I experienced a very professional and warm attitude of the Interview panel composed of a Chairman and 3 Industry experts/ Professors. Questions asked were related to civil engineering based on practical applications and some related to HR. Overall it lasted about 20-25 minutes. The panel looks for Officer like qualities, namely, confidence level, soft skills, how one tackles a question asked, the level of humbleness, dressing up sense, etc. These qualities play a major role in scoring good interview marks and can be a game-changer.
UPSC interview is a very important phase of the Engineering Services Exam. Joining the Interview guidance programme of various coaching institutes gives actual insight of UPSC interview. One should give maximum no. of mock interviews, which boosts our confidence for the actual interview. Interacting with seniors & colleagues gives an idea of the type of questions being asked. One must remember that the interview is a check of the candidate's Officer-like qualities and his fitness for the job more than a test of his technical knowledge. So, the candidate should work on improving his soft skills and for that attending mock interviews gives a clear picture of areas one needs to focus more. Its thorough preparation can actually help in fetching good marks and securing decent rank.
Entire ESE preparation & clearing the exam revolves around the 3Ds i.e. Determination, Dedication & Discipline, which are the prerequisites to crack ESE. Aspirant should carry out his Self-analysis to have a clear mind-set of his goals in life and the level of preparation required to achieve it. Though Officer-like qualities are a must in one’s personality to become a Government Official, one can always work on them if he lacks them.
As an IES Officer, I am the Engineer-In-Charge responsible for Construction & maintenance of Infrastructure in my Area of Responsibility. The profile is techno-managerial and involves a high level of man management.
Maintenance & construction of Buildings & roads
No such specific job. However, every project has its own challenges, which makes executing each job memorable and a great learning.
One should have a focussed approach and be honest to oneself to clear the UPSC exam. A holistic preparation will always lead to successful end-results.
I plan to remain in Defence Services and continue serving the nation.
Lack of a clear picture of exam and Interview pattern was my initial roadblock. Honesty to myself & acceptance of my weaknesses and strive to overcome those have been my strong tools in overcoming the obstacles.
Be clear of what you want in your life. Realise your capabilities and nurture them. Understand your weaknesses and give your best to overcome them as soon as possible. An undertaking with honest preparations will always yield best results.
My Mother has been my role model who has guided and mentored me through all the ups and downs of my life.
Success is Achieving what you want and being satisfied with it.
Just go ahead with a concrete goal & plan in your mind holistically and no power is strong enough to shatter your pathway.