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‘Thanks to Hayden and Reynott, I’ve already received offers from four universities abroad and one scholarship’

Apeejay School Noida student Shubhra Rashmi, who wants to pursue Computer Science at a university in the US or Canada, says the role of technology is likely to increase in the post-pandemic world

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Apeejay Noida student Shubhra Rashmi has secured an admission offer from the Arizona State University in the United States, along with three other American universities. Aspiring for a career in Computer Science, the class 12 student first got the idea of studying abroad on a family vacation to the United States in class 9. In a wide-ranging interview, she reveals how, apart from his family members, Hayden and Reynott and her school have also played an important part in helping the teenager pursue her dreams of studying abroad. Edited excerpts:

Please tell us about your educational journey so far.

For fourteen years I’ve studied at the same school, Apeejay School, Noida, since Nursery. In class 11, I chose to pursue Sciences with a subject combination of Physics Chemistry, Maths with Computers. Now, I am in class 12 and will be appearing for my Board exams this year. After school, I want to pursue Computer Science as my degree for higher studies at the university level.

Which universities are you looking at for your plans to study overseas?

I have applied to about 10 universities and have already received four offers including a scholarship. One of these is at Arizona State University, from where I have received a partial scholarship offer which will enable me to cover my living expenses. In the beginning I did some research and identified a few universities that offered impressive courses as well as facilities for international students such as in-campus housing for me. I shortlisted 10 universities and right now I have got offers from four and I am still awaiting for others to get back to me by March. So, I will make my final decision by the end of March.

How was your family’s response when they came to know you had won the scholarship?

My father, Himanshu Shekhar Jha works as head legal with Reliance Industries Limited and my mother is a homemaker. Both of them have been very supportive of my decisions since the very beginning. They were the ones who pushed me to chase my dreams. When I was in class 9 I visited the United States. It was on this trip that I was impressed with their schooling, atmosphere and overall environment. My parents have always supported my thought process and I was told I was free to choose a career there. When I told them about the scholarship, they were extremely happy. For now, my parents and I have agreed that I would pursue my higher studies at the University of Arizona, but we may revisit the decision in case I get an offer from any other major university such as the University of California.

How did Hayden and Reynott help you with your preparation?

I first came to know about Hayden and Reynott during a webinar held in my school auditorium when I was in class 9. Since it coincided with the year that I had visited the United States, the thought of studying abroad had already germinated in my head. When I came to know that Hayden and Reynott helped us prepare to study abroad, I was very thankful to the school for providing me the information and their services in the school itself. Since class 9 was way too early to begin preparations, after my class 10 Boards, in class 11, Hayden and Reynott began helping me with the preparation for the SAT exam that one needs to clear to study in the United States. They assigned me a teacher for Mathematics and English. I attended weekly classes with Hayden and Reynott which were really useful for my preparation. Their teachers were a big support, too. In the next stage of the application process, Hayden and Reynott again came to my help. Essays are a crucial component of the application process. Divija Ma’am, one of the editors at Hayden and Reynott, helped me get my essays right. I used to talk to her and discuss the appropriate approach, sources and content for my essays. They had to be informative and interesting at the same time. That is where Divija Ma’am played a big role.  For the common app platform, with which we can apply for multiple universities, students have to choose a topic from eight essay options available. Divija Ma’am helped me collate facts for the essay and ensure that I stayed within the word limit. She also gave me material and guidance on which topic to choose and what to include and exclude.

Two other teachers who were really helpful during my preparation were Jyoti Ma’am and Shubham Sir, who taught me Maths. Also, Niladri Sir was instrumental in helping me finalise the right universities to apply to. He helped in shortlisting in finalising the universities and identifying those institutes at which I stood a good chance of succeeding.

How has Apeejay School, Noida, helped you with your preparations?

To begin with, I required some paperwork and letters of recommendations from my teachers. I was in contact with the current class teacher, Mrs Surabhi Gupta. She was really helpful with the paperwork and the letters of recommendation from my teachers. Also, I am thankful for support from the other teachers and my Principal, each one of them has been able to add some value in my life.

Going forward, what are your career plans?

I have realised that for the next year, the world will be focusing on technology. During the Covid-19 pandemic technology came in very handy. It is likely that technology will continue to play an important role in everybody’s lives in the next year and even further. I think that will be a sector that would be able to provide me a secure job. So, I am likely to pursue a career in Computer Science after my graduation, but I think it is a little early to make up my mind at present.

Why did you choose the United States in particular for your higher studies?

I have applied to universities in both Canada and the United States. But I was favorably disposed towards the latter because both my maternal and paternal uncle stay in the United States. Whenever I used to visit them, I received encouragement and guidance from the both of them. When I stay abroad, I am sure I will be home-sick and I am likely to seek a comfort zone and familiar faces.

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

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