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‘Hayden and Reynott have helped me pursue my childhood dream of studying automobile engineering abroad’

Having secured admission in the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada, along with a scholarship, Apeejay International School Greater Noida student Sourjyendu Nayak says the application process in order to study overseas needs to be planned meticulously, along with expert supervision



Sourjyendu Nayak, a student of class 12 with Apeejay International School, Greater Noida, is making his institute proud, internationally. Nayak has already secured admission in the University of Alberta, Edmonton in Canada to pursue his graduation in mechanical engineering. Sourjyendu’s father Subhasis Nayak is an assistant vice president with Bata India and his mother, Dr Charu, is a Homoeopathic physician. Apart from the role played by his teachers and family, in a wide-ranging interview, Nayak acknowledges the contribution of Hayden and Reynott, one of India’s leading education consultant firms for test preparation and admission counselling, which  caters to students’ dream of overseas education in the UK, USA, Canada and Europe, among other sought after educational destinations, in his success. Edited excerpts:

Please tell us a little about your educational journey

I was born in Odisha and have been born and brought up in the Delhi National Capital Region. I am a student of class 12 studying Physics, Chemistry, Maths, Computer Science and Fine Arts at the Apeejay School International, Noida. I am planning to pursue mechanical engineering after my school and have already received an acceptance letter from the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada. I have applied to other universities as well and I am still waiting to receive other acceptance letters.

How did you arrive at the country and university of choice for your overseas education?

The University of Alberta was always my first priority since it is one of the top five colleges in Canada. I am also waiting to hear from the University of Michigan in the United States. Education in Canada is really good. When you compare the US and Canada, the United States is more oriented towards practical work. It is more focused on the extra-curricular activities that students pursue as well as the practical work in whatever field they choose whether it is computer engineering or mechanics. Canadian universities, on the other hand, along with the practical work, lay greater emphasis on the study material and curriculum while evaluating and assigning scores to students.    

What kind of a scholarship have you received?
I have received a full-time scholarship for 5,000 Canadian dollars every year. This will cover part of my tuition fee that is to the tune of approximately Rs 25 lakh INR.

What are your long-term career plans?

I will be going for BSc in Mechanical Engineering with a specialisation in automobile engineering. It has been one of my childhood dreams to become an automobile engineer because I have a huge interest in cars, vehicles and their mechanics. I would be doing my graduation and post-graduation in a university abroad and finally settle in India.

How have Hayden and Reynott helped you with your preparation and the admissions process?

They have been really helpful right since the inception of the admissions process. To begin with, they briefed us on the requirements for applying to various universities abroad including how the requisite documents should be kept ready; the minimum SAT score required and the criteria that the leading universities look for while shortlisting students. Their editing and application team in particular was really helpful in ensuring the documents were edited well and were within the stipulated word limit. This was really useful. Also, the application and the college selection team meticulously guided me on which college and university were best suited for the career goals that I had in mind and which college had a good acceptance rate for a particular course and student profile.  Almost all the universities require essays to be written for the scholarship application and Mr Niladri and Miss Jyotika from Hayden and Reynott in particular were the most helpful, especially in this regard. Mr Niladri was instrumental in the college selection process with his exhaustive knowledge about the fee structure, the facilities at the best universities and the quality of faculty.

How did your parents react when they received the news that you had secured the scholarship from the University of Alberta?

They were really happy since this was the first university I had applied to and I wasn’t really expecting that I would receive an acceptance letter and scholarship for the first application itself.  

How has Apeejay School International, Greater Noida, helped you in pursuing your dream?
My teachers have been really helpful throughout the admissions process. When I informed them about my plans they guided me on the kind of universities that would be good to pursue mechanical engineering. Both my Physics and Chemistry teacher helped me with the Letters of Intent. My Principal, Ms Sarita Pande, was particularly helpful in ensuring that the documentation process was smooth and seamless. 

Please share some tips for students who want to apply overseas.

First, I would advise them to work seriously with the editing team for their submissions. In my case the editing team shared valuable advice on certain universities and their selection criteria while considering student applications. I accordingly organised my documents and my CV on this basis. If you fulfil these requirements, the admissions process becomes much smoother.

Secondly, another criterion they looked for at the University of Alberta was how the student had fared after school: Whether I had volunteered with an NGO, or played any sport. In my case, I am a black belt in karate and beyond school I have done an internship in DIU in mechanics and small projects.  In school, apart from my curriculum, I have participated in video editing and computer tech competitions.

Aasheesh Sharma is a seasoned journalist with an experience of more than 25 years spread over newspapers, news agencies, magazines and television. He has worked in leadership positions in media groups such as Hindustan Times, India Today, Times of India, NDTV, UNI and IANS. He is a published author and his essay on the longest train journey in India was included in an anthology of writings on the railways, brought out by Rupa Publications. As the Editor of Apeejay Newsroom, he is responsible for coverage of the latest news and developments in the Apeejay institutions. He can be reached at [email protected]. He tweets @Aasheesh74