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Key Takeaways From Panel Discussions With Alumni of Top Schools Abroad

Posted on Sep 17, 2019
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“Nothing that you do here in India can prepare you for a life as a student abroad! It’s a whole gamut of experiences you’ve never had before.” A bemused Shravan Hanasoge, graduate from Stanford shares his views.

Shravan Hanasoge holds an MS and PhD in mechanical engineering at Stanford University. Post-graduation, he went on to take up postdoctoral positions at Princeton University, New York University and the Max Planck Institute. Today, he is a faculty member at the Department of astronomy and astrophysics at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai.

This is not the opinion of just one alumnus from Stanford. ReachIvy.com hosts a number of conversations at the Speaker Series, which is an In-Office chat with alumni from prestigious colleges in the world. We had noted speakers from Harvard University, University of Chicago, Stanford, Wharton, MIT, and more. These speakers are today highly accomplished professionals in their respective domains. They have traversed through the entire journey of education, professional excellence, and mentorship. They have been in the shoes of students, and they have experienced life as mentors, educators, social change agents, and more. Our students were curious to know all about college life, and education in a top school abroad. They were also keen to understand outposted panned out post education at a premier college. Was it worth all the investment of time and money?

“Sure it is!” says Bindi Dharia, alumnus of Harvard Business School. “It wasn’t easy to pay off the loans, but in the end it works out as a wise and profitable investment. The bonus of an improved personality, greater confidence, and a rich network of international students makes it all worth the effort and time!”

Gautam Shewakramani, alumnus from MIT, is the India Country Head for Quora, and quite the pathbreaker in his own right. His foray into technology based company happened because of his intimate exposure to cutting edge tech solutions while he was studying abroad. His interaction with his classmates, professors and other MIT alumni has helped shape who he is today. “Deep dive into the classes and workshops that are being organized in your school. These classes are worth a million bucks!” he says.

Abhijeet Satapathy, alumnus from Harvard owes a lot to his alma mater. He connects with top international professionals, who are just an email away. “World class education does not just open your mind; it opens doors that is otherwise not accessible to all!” He speaks from his own experience.

Students want to know what are the key takeaways of life in a foreign country. How did they navigate through the cultural and social barriers?

Abhijeet Satapathy recollects that his biggest challenge was how to manage his finances as a student living on campus. Even small challenges of getting a credit card seemed like a monumental hurdle. ‘Of course, today, there is a plethora of credit options, financial tools to help students. Back then, things were not this streamlined,’ says Abhijeet.

Ruchi Hanasoge, an MBA from Harvard and undergrad from MIT shares some of her experiences living abroad. ‘Culturally, it is tough to fit in, but eventually one learns to go with the flow. The key aspect is that you have to be flexible enough to be able to blend in, but still stand out with your own identity,’ says Ruchi. She toughened up during her college days. After working as consultant with Bain Consulting, she plunged into entrepreneurship in a male-dominated weaving industry. Ruchi’s education and experience living abroad has prepared her for the life she lives today. “Be adaptive, and be ready to experiment.” These are her key takeaways.

To Students Aspiring to Study Abroad:

There is a lot you can learn as a student abroad. You learn to interact with people from different cultures, societies, professions, and mindsets. You learn to work with people you’ve never met before. The learning that takes place in the international campus far exceeds what you could learn in your local school. As a future professional in a global workplace, you cannot afford to stay ignorant or close-minded. An education abroad prepares you for every challenge that comes your way in your professional life. Get a chance to hang out with alumni of schools abroad. Seek their knowledge, experience, and how they overcame challenges. Learn from their mistakes. This is the BEST way to prepare for your career.

ReachIvy.com hosts a variety of Speaker Series and Webinars to help students get acquainted with the world outside. Take the opportunity to participate and engage with these noted speakers. Build your network even before you study abroad. To know more about Speaker events, visit this page: https://www.reachivy.com/events.html