SHWETA RATANPURA

Winner – Bronze Medal, WorldSkills Kazan 2019

Graphic Design Technology

My journey with Worldskills started more than a year ago. Back then, this was just something I thought I should try my hand at. Never had I imagined, that I would leave everything just to train for the competition and be worthy of the jersey given to me with 'India' written on it.
It is a feeling like no other - to be selected to represent a country of 1.4 billion for your skill, to proudly carry the Indian flag on your shoulders while receiving a medal, it's pretty surreal!

While going through the various selection rounds - from college, the regionals, nationals; with each passing round, I started taking the competition more seriously. I had no idea about the scale or the importance of the global platform that WorldSkills was providing until the Nationals. I was really lucky to be selected in the top two chosen candidates after the national round. It was after this that I really picked up pace and gave my everything to the training and mentoring sessions.

We were training under the WorldSkills India appointed coach and expert Mr. Sathish Narayanan, our classes would go on for 8-10 hours each day, 6 days a week. But that was not all, to be able to perform at our peak at the final WorldSkills competition, we needed to be physically and mentally fit as well. I was exercising daily, attending yoga sessions, monitoring and regulating my diet so that I'lll be comfortable in the foreign environment in Russia later. This really helped me later during the actual competition because a lot of other competitors were thrown off by the climate change and had fallen ill during the four days of our test modules. The arena in which our workstations are set up is humongous, because it houses more than 50 different skills and it stretched over an expanse of 74.8 hectares. To even visit the nearest washroom and back is quite a walk. And on top of that, the modules are really intense and the 6 hours of the competition are really crucial and tiring. So it was really important to be fit and have high levels of energy throughout the 4 days of the competition.
As for the test projects related to Graphic Design, it's not just about how creative you are but about how well you can use the limited time and resources, work with strict restrictions and still come up with innovative ideas for the brief given to you. It's also about your knowledge of softwares and industry specific technicalities.

While my 4 years of education at the National Institute of Design helped me think creatively and stand out with my ideas, the training provided for WorldSkills helped me use my creative strengths, understand my weaknesses, and strategically work on how to score the maximum marks at the competition. Candidates from countries like China, France, Russia, etc had been training exclusively for WorldSkills for more than 4 years. Thus, personally, I would say it's really important that a candidate comes from a design background, because one year of training is a really short time to learn about Graphic Design as well as channelize those learnings to perform at WorldSkills.

Lastly, I'm really happy that I learnt so much over the last year, met amazingly talented people, got to visit and explore the cultures of different countries, found friends that I can call family and made some of the best memories of my life!

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