Shaastra Spons and PR Core
The journey begins
Krishna (who also goes by as AKT) still remembers the date; it was the 11th of July 2017. He was too scared to check his own JEE rank that his parents had to do it for him. The moment he realised he was getting into his dream college, he was elated but, more importantly, relieved.
Entering the campus felt like entering a forest – nothing but trees, grass, and animals all around and he would often be lost in the campus during his early days. Now he looks back at the memories attached to this beautiful campus.
Home away from home
Having heard several stories about hostels and mess food, AKT came expecting the worst. To his pleasant surprise, the mess food was not too bad, and though the hostels were cramped for space, he only ever returned to his room to sleep. He fondly reminisces about the fun times at Ramu – a popular food joint and a hang-out spot in insti.
Being an introvert, AKT limited his interactions to his factory mates and a few seniors in the early days. Fortunately, he ended up meeting a few awesome people later on, who he hoped would be friends for life.
Krishna was quite intimidated by the sea of brilliant people, the vast number of activities happening and shied away from participating in most events in his freshie year. He volunteered for an event in Saarang (which ended up being a fun experience) but did not attend most fundae sessions. He regrets this later in his insti life. However, he joined the Electronics club of CFI (Centre For Innovation) as a coordinator and continued to be a part of it until his junior year.
Electronics Club Outing – January 2019 – Coord Year
It took him one full year and a lucky conversation with a friend for him to consider applying for the position of Head in the Sponsorship and PR team of Shaastra. What drew him towards the role of Corporate Relations Head, in particular, was the challenge of calling an unknown company executive and asking them to sponsor the fest. AKT had indeed come a long way from being too intimidated to attend fundae sessions to looking forward to cold-calling potential sponsors!
Being the Bigwig
Having had a fun and successful tenure as CR Head, he continued in Shaastra the following year to become the Spons and PR Core. He and his co-core built a dream team, and then the pandemic hit. All the robust preparation now felt fragile because of the uncertainty of the fest happening in the first place.
Having a capable team and a reliable co-core, they quickly pivot the plan to focus on a completely online event. The team fought through multiple setbacks – sceptical sponsors, zero on-ground PR opportunities and made the best possible of the resources in hand without losing motivation. The team ended on a high after surpassing expectations on sponsorship raised, a PR campaign that reached the office of the education ministry, and multiple other activities around the theme of Shaastra 2021.
It was an incredible tenure, with a lot of learning, that could not have been possible without the support of the Spons team, the core team, and a very supportive CoCAS.
Ethnic day – Spons & PR Team – Feb 2020
AKT fondly remembers the last day of Shaastra 2020, when the Spons team went on an impromptu Pondi (Pondicherry) trip in a Zoom car at midnight. His memories take him back to when he would gate-crash potential sponsors with his team and all the “interesting” ways they would use to get access.
This team was the turning point of his insti life – personally and professionally. He was lucky to find the support that pulled him through the breakdowns during the dreadful intern season, and what happened later is a whole different story. He came out as a much more confident and capable person after spending two years with some of the best people he has met in insti. He only wishes he had joined the team a year earlier and ended up with a lot more memories.
No more a fresher
Krishna remembers his freshie year as intimidating but memorable. He advises freshies to explore various opportunities that IIT Madras offers and not be scared to get out of their comfort zone.
He also warns against slacking off in academics, as the good grades in the initial semesters will go a long way! He reminds us,
“Don’t worry too much. Everything will work out in the end!”
Sushanth Shenoy & Rhea Abu