SCMS Cochin recently brought out its annual student magazine, Prateek, amidst much fanfare. It was the second year in a row that the students of the institute had done everything, from choosing photographs to the template and design of the magazine. In fact, there was a lot of enthusiasm amongst both the students and alumni of the institute, all of whom contributed in the form of articles, photographs and more, making the whole experience a true success.
The theme of Prateek 2015 was “Hope, Dream and Passion”, and it was clearly visible in the talent pool of the students that had come together to make sure the magazine was a hit with its readers. But what stood out the most for Prof. Anjali A., who guided the magazine team through the process, was that, “Students had designed the entire magazine for the second consecutive year. And they have done an excellent job without any formal training.”
Earlier, the highly popular student magazine would be outsourced as far as the process of designing is concerned. But since 2014, the institute has decided to let students handle the responsibility and they have been doing that with aplomb. Such was the overwhelming response for contributions to the magazine this year, that there was a surplus in terms of articles, individuals in the talent pool and the effort that the students were willing to put in.
Athulya M J, the editor of the magazine, took us through the exciting but challenging process of putting it all together: “We had set out with a deadline of two months to complete all the work for the magazine and we stuck to that. It required 4 edits, but we managed to do justice to the theme of the magazine. As a matter of fact, it is reflected in all the contributions, be it poetry, drawings or alumni pieces.”
But, Athulya admits that there were challenges along the way and it was somewhat tricky to garner interest and enthusiasm at times. However, Athulya admits that the biggest task was, “To get all the articles from students on time. They were busy with academic work and so were we. But once this task was done, we sat together for 12 hours at a stretch and completed the entire design of the draft of the newsletter.” After that, he said, it was smooth sailing.
There were a few minor changes that needed to be made to the draft, but the team managed that with ease. The cover was the idea of another student, Midhun Sekhar, and it made an instant impression. Also, Athulya admits that the magazine wouldn’t have been possible without the contributions of Prof. Anjali, who helped with all of the elements of the magazine. Other faculty members chipped in with their valuable feedback and comments.
Together, the students have come out with a product that they can surely be proud of. But personally, Athulya is happy with the changes brought about in him by the responsibilities of this endeavour. “I have become a better writer with this experience, but more importantly a better coordinator,” he says. “It’s a fantastic opportunity and experience that more and more people should be a part of. The whole process teaches you a lot.” His final words speak volumes about the tremendous learning experience of putting together Prateek 2015. It was an opportunity to learn, to collaborate with others, and, ultimately, to gain valuable leadership experience.