“What are your plans for the future?” is the most common and frustrating question our generation is asked. And because the pressure from our parents and society isn’t enough, we also face the dilemma of selecting the college best suited to our abilities, and having the college select us back.
To relieve some of this pressure, on 16th April 2017, MASH Project collaborated with Mr. Abhishek Singhal, an alumnus of MIT, IIT and Harvard, to organise “Design Think your ‘Impact’ Statement of Purpose” workshop. The day was off to a good start with more than 40 attendees. After a small introduction of MASH Project and UnitAdminHelp, Abhishek took the stage. He posed the question, “What do you understand by Design Thinking?” and went to explain that it is a method of solving complex problems by drawing upon logic, imagination and systematic reasoning.
All the attendees were shuffled and paired up in groups of two for Mix and Meet. The partners were given time to talk to each other about their dreams and aspirations and to get to know each other. In order to ease everyone, Abhishek and Gautam roleplayed as students facing the same dilemma as us.
The first half of the workshop saw partners interacting and filling in the booklets for each other. As it sometimes becomes hard to frame our own SoPs, the partner method worked effectively. We learned what our partners think are our best qualities and what would make us stand out during the screening process. Following the coffee break, we switched our booklets and started working on the drafts of our Statement of Purpose.
Abhishek taught us immensely effective communication techniques that would help us beyond the screening process of our dream colleges. We discussed the importance of working in the ‘impact’ sector and how it helps us build not only our profile but also our character. It builds our skills and we get the opportunity to learn by solving the complications we face in the impact sector. Having work experience in the impact sector makes one shine during the screening process of colleges.
We need to realise our dreams and work to turn them into reality. We need to invest time in building ourselves in order to achieve greater heights. Choosing a college plays a very crucial role in moulding us for our future. Selecting an institution that helps strengthen us and enhances our skill sets is something we should keep in mind while comparing colleges. We ought to select one that caters to our needs and capabilities. If one is interested in bringing about a change through innovation and new techniques, then they should opt for Stanford and if one is looking to start their own business, then they should apply to Harvard.
He pressed the importance of choosing a field that is wide and will give us the chance to acquire various abilities and flairs, and not go for a field that is tapered. While he showed us many ways to stand out during the screening process and having a brighter chance of getting into a college of our choice, he maintained that there is no substitute for hard work and consistency. One can only gain skills if they work hard and possess the zeal to learn. Being consistent in our efforts is very important. Having sporadic awakenings and hoping that we could get by is not an option.
Abhishek ended the workshop by telling us to keep our eyes on the horizon and working consistently to achieve our goals!
The workshop was hugely successful. All the attendees felt that they had learnt something new that they will cherish for their entire lives. We thank our partners, Human Circle and awfis for supporting us to make this possible.
You can check out few glimpses from the event on our Facebook Album.
It was an incredible experience for everyone present and one we hope we get a chance to witness it again in the future.
– Nimisha Sharma