Imagine yourself sitting in a group of job aspirants in front of an interview panel. They have given you a topic to discuss on. You know a lot about that topic, but you have never been in a Group Discussion before. What happens?

Now again imagine yourself, alone, in front of an interview panel. They just asked you a technical question, and it happens to be about the topic that you ‘own’. You know the right answers, but you have never really talked about anything in front of people who aren’t your family or friends.

Another harsh truth here is that the other candidates – your classmates – might possibly know as much as you do about these topics and questions. So how will you stand out? Or worse, they do not know as much as you do, but can at least express the little that they do know better than you. The point is, in today’s competitive world, communication skills are as important as any other skills your engineering degree might give you.

An Ahmedabad based commerce college, HLIC, organizes a two day event named Intellectus every year, where they test the aforementioned skills of the participants. Since only one student is allowed to represent each college, it ensures a high level of competition.

Intellectus holds five different competitions – Essay Writing, Group Discussion, Extempore Speaking, Book Review and Personality Contest. The different judging panels are usually eminent personalities from different walks of life, like academicians, communication experts, college professors, businessmen, and others.

Since majority of the undergraduate participants are from courses like BBA, BCom, BA or Law, it becomes interesting for engineering students to compete with people whose business is being able to talk or write well. The participant who has a good performance overall in all the competitions also gets a rolling trophy for their college. Even though winning is a big deal, participating is an experience in itself.

You will see a Law student bring up subsections from the Constitution in the group discussion, or an Arts student explaining your favourite book in a new way. You’d learn a lot more, presenting your ideas and yourself, than you would with your time in an engineering college.

HLIC, the institute which organizes the event, provides accommodation and food to all participants, and goes to great lengths to provide every comfort. The organizers are all undergraduate students themselves, warm and friendly. These are the events that will ensure that your failure in interviews and group discussions will not be because you lacked confidence, stage fear, or suffered from poor communication skills.

This article is part of PaGaLGuY’s innovative internship certification programme for engineering students. Currently, two such programmes are on – one is an Internship in Creative Writing, and the other is a Certification in Digital Media. If you are interested in partaking and bagging a certificate, besides learning the nuances of effective writing, write to us at [email protected]

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