With Love- To all my Grade 12 Parents!


Indian-Parents

 

Hi,

Tomorrow, is Grade 12 results for CBSE students in India. Tomorrow, is a day when many of the students I have met the year long will be finally getting their results of all the hard work that they have put in the year. I must also mention here the parents who are eagerly looking forward to tomorrow and in some cases their level of stress and anxiety is more than that of the kids themselves-Big day right?

Tomorrow, is also, the day when new achievers will be named and celebrated- District Toppers, School Toppers, State Toppers and National Toppers. These top 1% students will be covered in Media, Feted by their respective Schools, Teachers and even Government. Kudos to you and must say well deserved. I am sure your parents/families will be really proud of you.

If you do the maths close to 1 Million students have written the CBSE exam this year out of which only Top 1% will be celebrated which means some where around 10,000 of them. These Top 1% would have their life/career paths set and future already secured in some of the countries best colleges but my concern lies with what happens with the balance 9,90,000 students who may be branded as failures by not only the people around them but sadly in many cases by themselves because the moment the students do not get the correct percentile right to the correct decimal places- the student start questioning themselves- Am I good enough? Am I made for the field I really think I am good in?

I had this student with me last year who had given his grade 12 exam in Sciences and wanted to be an Engineer. Full of life and energy- Really creative and a good writer. Give him a 1000 word essay to write and he would come up with one of the best ones in the class and although, I could clearly see that,  his strengths lay in a creative field but he still wanted to be an engineer- not because he wanted to be one but because his “Parents” wanted it for him. Sounds familiar? Result- Disappointment. His science result was average and not the one, that could get him a seat in one of the good engineering colleges. So he opted for the second option- doing a science degree from one of the regional colleges. Result- again disappointment & heart burn. 

The family reached out to me and requested me for a counseling of the student- what I told them left them a little shocked- I said, leave the student- I want to counsel you first!

-to be followed.

 

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5 Things I like about school career fairs!


As part of my job, I travel to lot of School Career Fairs not only in India but also overseas to represent my organisation and over the years I have come to love my visit to each one of them, each school has its unique way of organising these fairs but there are a few things which remain common across all school career fairs and the way they are organised.  

Here are the 5 things, I love the most about representing my organisation at school career fairs;

1. Get to experience new places, customs and hospitality

I have travelled to lot of different places for school career fairs overseas, places such as Bahrain, Muscat, Dubai, Dammam-Saudi Arabia and at each of these places I have had experiences which have made me a better person in life. simple things like how do you initiate a conversation with people of different nationalities, how do you represent yourself and your institution, they all teach you so much about life.

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         Above Picture is of me at a School Career Fair in Indian School Al Ghubra-Muscat

2. Love chatting with kids at school- It’s like going back in time

This is the part I enjoy the most-talking with kids in school, they are so full of energy, potential and dreams that suddenly it is like that you travel back in time to your own school days, you know, the days you were in Class 9th or 10th and nothing seemed impossible, you could dream of anything and it was not out of your reach.It refreshes me just to talk to them.

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Above is my picture with Akash a student of Class XI at Indian School Al Ghubra, Muscat. Akash wants to be a Nuclear Engineer when he grows up, had a really great time interacting with him. 

3. Love talking to Parents 

If the students are the one with dreams in their eyes, their parents have got the job of being practical and finding out the best for their kids, they are full of questions about career choices that their kids can take up, what will be the growth potential, what kind of salaries can they expect and so on, the idea of their anxieties can be judged by a simple fact, that, I have got parents of students still studying in class 6th coming up to me for advice. Just goes to show their dedication towards the success of their children.

4. Love to find out more about education sector from all over the world-Network

At most of these overseas fair, you get an opportunity to interact with not only the students but also education providers from around the world all under one roof, just for e.g.- the last fair, I was at in ISG-Muscat, I had a great talk with representatives of Universities from Canada and Australia on how higher education was provided for in their respective countries and what drives students for the graduate and post graduate programs in their countries. It was a tremendous conversation, which could have never happened were we not at that venue.

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Above is the picture of the Career Fair hall at Indian School, Al Ghubra-Muscat

5. Love the honour of being the face of my organisation

This is one of the thing I love the most, the pride of being the face of my organisation, being the first person to take my organisation to new places and people, get to talk about the values that we represent and the traditions that we uphold. That to my mind is the high point of these wonderful school career fairs.

For those of my friends who may not be aware-I am currently working with Apeejay Stya University as International Marketing Manager. Prior to Apeejay, I have worked with organisations like IMT-Ghaziabad, IMT-Dubai, Satyam Computers, HT Media and Windchimes Communications.

Thank you for your time.

Cheers,

Ankur Vohra

A moral story about ignoring warning signs in school!


warning

This is the story of a boy from a middle class family, who lived in a sleepy suburb near Delhi. He was studying in Class 10th with a happy family, like all boys, he was celebrated and pampered. His parents loved him and his younger sister adored him. He was the apple of their eyes. The boy although was a little shy and chubby, to the extent of being Lazy but no one in the family seem to be bothered about it and certainly not the boy himself.

When in School, he was another average kid, he did not know why but he felt lost in the crowd, not able to make sense of the usefulness of studying Algebra and History. He felt a little out of place and took shelter in being a little disconnected from his surroundings although couple of Teachers did tell him that he had potential which he was faltering away but unfortunately none could pin point or rectify the reason for his disconnect. He too had a feeling of being incomplete of not living up to something but what was that “something” he could not find out.

School went by as fast as it had come. The time had come for our boy to choose a career, will it be Science or will it be Commerce. He was confused. The opinion of his friends around him added to his confusion. He had been in School for 12 years but he did not know what is it that he wanted to do in future. Although one thing he knew was that he loved studying Literature but he did not know If a career could be made out of it. Leave alone that, he had no idea of the implications this decision would have on his life.

So, he went about taking advice, he went to his family, who like all middle class parents wanted their son to be either Doctor or an Engineer. Literature was out of question as it was treated to be a little too “Feminine”.He consulted his friends, who too shared the same opinion. He was a little taken aback with the prospect of studying Maths and Science but as was the case with our boy he choose to go with the flow and landed up in Science. After all it was just the matter of studying Maths and Science for next 2 years, he thought. During the next 2 years he did what others were doing, went for IIT coaching, after school tuitions became a norm, his family supported him blindly. Their Son was on his way to glory, or so did they thought. Nobody saw the signs of him struggling with grades or being disinterested in class.

But, the boy always felt something missing, he could not understand why he hated going to  maths classes, why studying was such a pain, why he felt suffocated but he could never make sense of these signs. After all he thought this was his only destiny and he carried on resigned to his fate. He Never went far with science but his father was there. Supporting him as always, wanting the best for his son, even if it meant having to send him to a costly private engineering college.

College came and went but the boy again could not make sense of any distress signals. Teachers not giving due attention, Not being able to get the kind of returns for the efforts that he used to put in. But, he carried on, at least his family was happy and he had his friends around. Not surprisingly,The only classes he really enjoyed during those 4 years were all not related to Science or Engineering. Time passed and the graduation day arrived. All of his friends got jobs easily, while he had to work his heart out to end up in one. He never really knew what was he supposed to do in a job, He had only worked to get one because everyone around him was doing so.Not to be left behind, he made sure that he got one and made his family proud.

He joined a Blue Chip IT company, everybody was so proud even he was happy and proud. At last he had proved himself but that suffocation and negativity carried on with him even in job. Everyday at job he had to force himself to work. His colleagues got recognition while he did at best a mediocre job. Everyday he put in more hours at work but he just could not compete. At last the signs caught up with him. He could no longer work under this pressure of living a mediocre Life, a Life of being an achiever in others eye, while being a failure in his own.

He started listening to his heart, got the self confidence going in his abilities and at last realised his potential. He started reading literature, writing a blog, did an MBA in Marketing, started doing what he loved doing and more importantly got the respect of those around him.

Today that boy is well on his way towards his goal, although the journey for him has just about begun. He his happy and satisfied, that he at last is moving in the right direction. Only regret that the boy has is If only he would not have ignored the warning signs earlier, he would not have to go through all these years of struggle but then I guess, this journey has only made him stronger for the battles of Life ahead.

This is a true story and that boy is me. I have learnt the lesson of my Life the hard way. My story carries a message for a wide section of the society especially Student Community. Although, I will agree a lot of awareness has come in since the year of 99, when I went to school, I still find these messages of equal importance.

As the CBSE results day draws closer and college admission rush begins, my simple advice to student community will be- “Think a lot more before zeroing in on a specific course!”. Do it only if you are 100% sure. Lot of your time and investment will go into college, choose wisely.Always keep the larger picture in mind. Do not be myopic and take career decisions under peer pressure. Try to see yourself 5 years down the line and visualise if you would be happy in the field that you are choosing and finally, Do not ignore the Warning Sign, if you have to drag your body into the class without your heart in it.

I wish you all the best!

Disclaimer: For my story to reach out to a wider audience, I have made this blog post an entry in Colgate Moral of the Story Contest– ( A Blog on keeping a track of warning signs for your gums!)

Cheers,

Ankur