And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it
This is true of Neelank Sachan, who is extremely passionate about Graphic Design. While he set out to study Engineering in Manipal, little did he know of the opportunities life would open up for him. Now with a job under his stride, and the true example of someone who’s realising his passion, here’s what he told us when we chatted him up.
“Manipal is place like no other, and with students from across the country and cultures, one gets to meet a lot of different people-each one with their own understanding of fun and enjoyment. Manipal is a place where no one judges you, “to each his/her own” and the degree of freedom and safety that I don’t think is present in any other college. Coming to Manipal is/was hands down the best decision of my life. As far as getting good jobs is concerned, after the 4 years of unending fun, it is the exposure that we as students get at Manipal, be it handling college fests to club activities or even clubbing with a variety of people. The people here are out-spoken and that is what gets us to where we want to be along with decent academics. When I think about Manipal, I feel happy.
With respect to my field (Graphic Design), when you look at the world stage there is a lot of competition with designers creating something beautiful every moment, but in India, currently there is boom in demand for designers and illustrators. Loads of startups are sprouting up every day, each with a unique idea and future, all with a hunger for designers. Added to it engineers who are designers are more sought after as these are the people who know the time crunch.
It’s in first year when we don’t have idea about what we would like to be a part of and end up joining a huge number of clubs. I was decent with Photoshop (that does not mean designing), drawing, public speaking and acting when I joined college. At that time there used to a Category called the Media Team during the fests and I happened to volunteer for that. That’s where I met the most amazing seniors who led me to more amazing people. I worked as an illustrator for the team. There was a TEDx Manipal event too that TechTatva, and I ended up making the introduction video for it. With such an exposure in the 1st semester itself, I was inspired to learn and do more. Then I ended up joining Aaina and IECSE. Joining Aaina and performing streetplays gave me a boost in confidence. Aaina is a family, where people greet each other by hugging every time we meet. Practicing day and night with such wonderful people makes one wonderful too. That feeling after we win any play is priceless. At IECSE I was encouraged to make posters and other graphics which I got good at with time. Taking a number of workshops and teaching people design helped me a lot at making me what I am. That feeling when you see a group of people eager to learn is what I found at IECSE, and to be a part of it is what makes me happy. Also I remember the short film making competition we won last Revels. All of these activities helped me in some way or other to get to where I am and making the perfect portfolio for getting what I wanted.
My GPA did not affect my placement. That’s only because the company didn’t care about GPA, but about skills. This is true these days for most of the companies. Not that I would suggest people not to worry about GPA. It’s a balance between what you love and what you’ve to do to get to where you want to be that you’ve to maintain. Schedule your priorities and then prioritize your schedule. Having a decent GPA will take off the load of your back so that you’ve time to do what you love. To all those wanting to know, my CGPA had always been between 6.5-7.0. If you are good at what you do, you should try to become the best.
Designing comes to me as an extension of myself. Coming to personal experience, during my 3rd semester’s end semester examinations, I happened to redesign the Facebook app UI because that’s when creativity is at its peak. I posted the design online for people to see so that I could get some feedback. Later that night I received an email from a designer in Germany that he really liked my design, followed by a few emails from people all around. When I enquired as to where did they see my design, I was surprised to know that a famous German tech news website had published an article on my design! And that’s when I realized that just by doing what we love we can get to places we’ve not even thought of, it’s just the balance that one needs to find between what you love to do and what you need to do. For those interested in designing, I’ll just say that find time and do what you like to, it’s only by practising and giving time that you’ll become good at it. I know a lot of people who have achieved a lot just by continuing to try and try. For any help, I can be contacted on Facebook or mail.
–Neelank Sachan, Batch of 2016
Neelank Sachan has been a part of IECSE, AAINA and has carved a niche with his extraordinary skills in Graphic Design. Currently he is associated with a startup called Cleartax.in and can be reached out on: Dribble or Facebook or at neelanksachan.com
If you want to make your hobby your profession, look out for him!