Sanjita Mohapatra of Odisha made the state proud by winning laurels by securing the 10th rank in the prestigious Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), 2019 examination.
Her long cherished and awaited dream of being a collector is on its way.
The 30-year-old has bagged the position after four attempts, through sheer dedication, determination and consistency.
Chasing her dreams
A mechanical engineer by profession, Mohapatra had quit her job to prepare for the UPSC examinations.
She had also qualified for the Odisha Public Service Commission but didn’t join because she always had dreamt of becoming an IAS officer.
She was put into engineering as she was a meritorious student. But she never gave up on her dreams.
A brief background of Sanjita Mohapatra
Mohapatra was born in 1990, in Sundargarh and then shifted with her family to in Rourkela and completed her school and higher studies from the same city. She had joined Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP), as the assistant manager, after her bachelors’ in mechanical engineering from the CET BBSR.
She left her post at RSP and shifted to Mumbai post her marriage. Mohapatra got married in 2017 to Biswaranjan Mundari, a manager at the RBI in Mumbai itself.
Her father Shaktipada Mohapatra is a retired government employee who is with his younger daughter Sarita who is an employee at BHEL, Bengaluru. Their mother Anjali is at Rourkela in the pandemic. The Mohapatra family celebrated her achievement virtually.
How did Sanjita Mohapatra prepare herself for the exam?
Sanjita Mohapatra accredits her achievement to self-study and constant support from her family. She stated that she never studied for long hours, but was rather target-based. She shares her success story:
She prepared a weekly schedule and made sure to complete that. She considers it to be her key towards her success. She also took up a three-month crash course for her optional subject, sociology.
Sanjita believed in quality and hence never stressed on the number of hours she studied.
She said: “The most common question I am asked is how many hours of hard work do I put in. But I believe more in quality to the time put in. My focus was never on hours but the target I had to complete. I followed daily and weekly schedules and studied accordingly.”
She also laid stress on an individual style of studying depending on their preference.
She pointed out that it is necessary to figure out an “own style of studying” rather than getting influenced by the toppers which will lead to confusion.
Sanjita is thankful to each member of her family who have played an important part in her achievement.
She said, “My parents, my school, my in-laws, my husband who continually motivated me are all the shareholders of this journey. My friends and colleagues at SAIL and Rourkela Steel Plant have also helped me their way possible.”
Sanjita’s experience in the UPSC exam
After the results, Sanjita Mohapatra had posted a candid self-shot video and spoke of the happiness and the hard work which has been constant throughout her journey. Though all her papers and interviews went well, she never imagined she would rank so good a score.
In the interviews after her achievement, she spoke of her fears of taking the examination amid the pandemic. The interview was held while wearing necessary protective gear and maintaining social distancing norms.
She was asked a variety of questions from the current scenario of migrants and the condition of women in the 30-minute long interview. She insists the UPSC aspirants should talk to their families for motivation and emotional support.
Odisha also has other achievers who managed to crack this arduous and reputable exam.