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College Application Checklist: How To Make An Impact!

Published on June 29, 2021


College Application Checklist: How To Make An Impact!


Finding your niche and something you are passionate about in high school isn’t the big question here. It is about making an impact using something you are incredibly passionate about. A common mistake several applicants make is that they make an impact, but use something they do not have strong opinions towards. Unless you pick something you are genuinely interested and invested in, there is no way to make an impact that satisfies you.

While applying to colleges in countries like the USA, and especially to colleges like Harvard, Stanford, or other top-tier colleges, one of the biggest challenges students face, apart from the GPA and grades, is the extracurriculars (ECs) that they want to include in the application. Whether it is sports, public speaking, theatre, or any other pursuit outside of school, students try to take their ECs to another level by participating in championships or applying for scholarships. Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to do ten different activities and be good at them; instead, having just one activity you are highly passionate about can say a lot about you!

Having said that, it is not always easy to make an impact. Here are the critical steps to make an impact using your extracurriculars:

Step 1: Identify

The first step is to identify your niche and your passion. This step requires taking a deep dive into everything you have tried and done for as long as you can remember. Students often mistake doing what other students at top-tier colleges did to get accepted into them. However, it would be best to find something that makes you happy and something you can continue to do for your four years of high school. It does not have to be mainstream –you do not have to pick a popular sport or a musical instrument or appear in your school drama to get noticed. You can turn something as simple as organizing, calligraphy, or track and turn it into something that shows your determination.

Incidents as tiny as running a marathon in the second grade can make you think about your interest in track. Even growing a sapling for a school project can make you realize your love towards the environment, making it much easier for you to take up environmental issues as your extracurricular!

Step 2: Invest

The next step is to invest more time and hard work into your EC. Once you identify your interest, you must take time to explore different aspects and branches of the activity. It is often a trial and error method, and there may be times where you dedicate much time to something only to realize that it is not meant for you, and that is perfectly normal.

After investing time and interest into your activity, you will either realize you want to continue working towards it in high school, maybe even in college, or that you need to re-evaluate everything. In the second case, you’re back to square one, but it is not as bad as it sounds since failures are learning experiences too. After a couple of tries, or just one, you’ll know that it is time to move on to the next step.

Step 3: Impact

The last step is how you make an impact and take your passion to the next level. Once you have invested enough time and achieved the first two steps, you will know what to do, whether it is starting a petition related to climate laws, representing your state in sports championships, or even being the next Mary Kondo for organising, or taking part in marathons for significant causes, like fundraiser marathons and Keep The Beach Clean marathons. The last step is your canvas: you can paint it however you like. Make an impact.

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Career Counseling: How Student Mentorship Programs Help Unlock Potential

Published on May 10, 2021


Career Counseling: How Student Mentorship Programs Help Unlock Potential


Have you ever felt confused about what’s the best career choice for you? Be it deciding the stream to pick after high school or choosing the best summer school program. It’s always easier to rely on the conventional choices or taking the path that your parents want you to take but 5 year down the road it becomes your own to deal with.

In recent Times, there is this vast pool of information regarding career and there are various student mentorship programmes focused to help students gain the required guidance and map out a career route. In India, gradually the concept of career counselling is becoming more and more popular amongst students, as well as the parents. Effective Student counselling in India is the need of the hour to facilitate all rounded career preparation of students.

Lets see what that looks like and why it is important to seek mentorship for students.

What is Career Counselling?

It is a stepwise approach towards forming an effective career plan which suits your interests, fulfills your need, matches your aptitude and helps you improve an overall sense of personality. There are various tools like psychometric tests, aptitude tests and personalised student understanding that are used to measure a student’s caliber and understand his/her inclination towards a subject.

There are qualified professionals to do these tasks called career counsellors or education consultants. There are consultants solely focused on overseas education like Ivy league mentors, Abroad education consultants etc. These counselling sessions are highly personalised and guide you with the latest information on admission criteria, admission committee expectations and merit scale etc for various schools & colleges.

Need of career counselling & Student Mentorship Programs

  1. Reduces Confusion : With Career counsellors working in this field, it’s easier to rely on their methods and tools rather than getting caught up into the self made pros and cons list which only gets us so far. An experienced career counsellor can tap the potential of a student and effectively help them focus on their goal.

  2. Introduction to new courses: student counselling introduces you to new courses and student mentorship programs like Leadership development programmes and various business courses for high school students which you may or may not be aware of before starting your career counselling.

  3. Clarity of Path: With proper stepwise planning and career mapping , the path towards your choice of career becomes clearer and gives you assurance that you’re making an informed decision. Mapping a career path helps an individual to keep up with the changes happening in the field with consistent personal growth.

  4. Competitive Preparation: Now the market is bigger than ever, with growing job opportunities there is a definitive rise in competition and career counsellors help you prepare for it mentally as well as academically. They help you build the best versions of yourself by examining your weaknesses and providing a plan to polish to your strengths.

  5. Gain Confidence: With a help of a career counsellor a student can understand his/her shortcomings and strengths. This self awareness can be helpful for the student in the long term and equip them with confidence and charisma to make their way into the real world.

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Know The Importance Of Career Counselling For High School Students

Published on April 14, 2021

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Know The Importance Of Career Counselling For High School Students


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‘What do you want to do when you grow up?’

Oh, that hangs heavy over the heads of every high school student. Such an important question thrown at you from every angle. It’ll come to you in different forms – What are you good at? Where do you see yourself in 20 years? What are you passionate about? What do you want from life? What kind of career do you want? Have you decided what you want to do?

This can feel overwhelming and rightfully so. How are you supposed to decide your career at 13, when you can’t even decide what you want to eat tonight? On top of that, you have a hundred different voices in your head trying to tell you ‘what is good for you’.

The noise isn’t music.

Our parents for example, they have spent years grooming you and have certain expectations from you and your future. And if they’re footing your university bill, you have to consider their expectations. Then you have uncles and aunties trying to be a vocational counsellor. Your friends are doing something different, so you feel you should follow them. Then you have leaders of industry. Elon Musk doesn’t care about college degrees, so you might feel that you should skip college. Kim Kardashian is now a billionaire by being an influencer, so maybe you feel being viral is all you want to do.

In all this noise, how are you going to find out what you really want to do? Well for starters, stop thinking about your passion and stop looking at your grades. Start exploring, by actually going to places of work and getting a taste of a profession. If you want to be a lawyer, find some family friend who is a lawyer and ask them if you can observe them work. People don’t mind high school students coming to their office as it makes them feel good about helping. Exploit this feeling as much as you can.

Also, find a career counsellor. A career can give you satisfaction in doing what you want to do. A place where your abilities shine through, to help you perform and get rewarded in return. And career counselling for students can help find that.

Parental expectations – Let’s start with this, since we discussed it earlier. A career counsellor in India will always consider the thoughts of your folks, but will bat on your team. They want you to get where you want to go. And they present options, bridging any gap that might exist in yours and your parents’ communication.

– What choices exist? – Did you know that a career exists in training dogs how to surf? The world is huge, and we unfortunately live in a bubble when it comes to choices. A vocational counsellor informs you about careers that you might not have known existed. It could even be a hybrid of two interests that you have. Who knows?

Building your profile – Say you know your dream job and your dream college. The importance of career counselling for students is that it can help you build your profile while still in high school, even adding some 21st century skills to your arsenal. This is for you to get into that dream college, and onto the career you see in your mind.

Assessment – There are various tools at disposal which provide mentorship to high school students. The career counsellors assess and investigate as to where your aptitude lies. If you’re analytical, it doesn’t mean you necessarily have to go into the STEM fields. Even marketing executives need to be analytical. This is the key benefit of career guidance and counselling. They cut through the noise and help you widen your horizons.

– Back-up plans – It isn’t about creating an escape plan to keep your parents happy, in case things don’t work out. This is about finding alternative career paths within your realm of interest. As we grow, our interests change. It is always helpful to know that you have other possibilities.

Dose of reality – We might have grandiose expectations from our lives, and we might just have people feeding those presumptions. Ivy league counselling doesn’t guarantee a spot in the Ivy league. A career counsellor worth their salt will always tell you what others might not be comfortable saying. They tell you what is within your reach and how to get it, and they definitely won’t sugar coat it.

Career counsellors in India are people with years of experience trying to help you gain some perspective. They are happiest when you are at your happiest. But always know that this is just one person’s point of view, career guidance counselling isn’t the gospel truth. You must learn to always make decisions on your own. Think of it as your own personal leadership workshop. And if it doesn’t work out, change your path. The halls of advertising agencies are packed with engineers. It might seem like everything has to be decided right this instant, but be flexible and find the right kind of career counselling for students. Share your journey with us below, in your hunt to realise your own careers.

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How to plan a gap year? Resources, tools & tips

Published on October 6, 2020


How to plan a gap year? Resources, tools & tips

In one of our previous article, we explored 7 benefits of a gap year and why you should take one right after high school especially if you lack clarity on your long term goals. Since we have covered the why, it is time to check out the how and when. In this article, we will explore how to plan, what tools and resources to use, the best time to start your planning, etc.

A gap year can either be extremely rewarding or wasteful!! If planned well, the benefits can be tremendous. On the contrary, if left unplanned, it can have negative outcomes as well.

While this may seem daunting at first, it doesn’t have to be. We have created this guide to help maximise your experience.

Set Up Goals

The first and foremost thing to start with are your goals. Writing your goals down will help you stay focused and on course to best utilise this time. Below are a few questions to help you get started:

• Do you want to learn a particular skill? Like dancing, cooking, coding, speaking a new language, etc.

• Would you rather volunteer? Maybe at a farm, at an animal shelter, help people build homes, etc.

• Or would you work as an intern and learn how business works, increase exposure in sales, marketing, finance, etc.

• Or would you want to travel and be on the road and learn to scuba dive, improve your photography/writing skills?

• Would you like to start a business and experiment to earn some money?

• Spend time deciding what you want to do – the list can go on

Mental Mapping

During our conversations with both parents and students, we realised that there is a misconception on the term gap year in India. The perception that the majority carry is one where both parents & students think of it as a time for vacation or one that is going to be wasteful. Whereas, it is exactly the opposite of that. While you are primarily taking a break from curriculum-based education, you are required to be diligent, organised and disciplined during the whole period.

Hence, it is important to align your thought process with the outcome and desired results rather than thinking of this as a wasteful time period.

When To Start?

We think that it is ideal to start planning almost a year in advance since most aspects tend to be beyond our control. Constraints like convincing parents, figuring out what to do, financing your gap year, paperwork (if you decide to travel), applications to organisations for work/volunteering gigs, etc. need time to materialise & are most often beyond our control and so it is best to figure these out a year before your gap year begins.

Step By Step Process:

Below is an outline on how to structure the process and how to begin your gap year journey!! While this is a guideline, there can be several ways to do this:

Step 1: Set up your goals on what you want to achieve in your gap year

Step 2: Start your research, speak to others who have done it or who you think can help you guide in this process

Step 3: Network with others who have done it or who you think can help you through this process

Step 4: Get in touch with organisations, understand their requirements, get started with your interviews, admissions process, etc.

Step 5: Start your paperwork – visas, other documentation, etc.

Step 6: Figure out your finances and how you will manage them

Step 7: START & periodically track your progress

Resource Ideas To Help You Get Started

While there are numerous resources and organisations that support gap year for high school students in the west, the whole process is not as streamlined as we would like for gap year in India. Nonetheless, we have compiled a list that will come in handy while you do your own research.

Volunteering Resources:

Indian organisations:

Goonj – Disaster relief, humanitarian aid & community development

Robinhoodarmy – is an organisation that helps in reducing food wastage

Teachforindia – help educate the underprivileged

Indianredcross – provides humanitarian support to human life and health to individuals based in India

Workaway – Cultural exchange, volunteering and working holiday experiences in over 170 countries.

WWOOF – Volunteer opportunities on organic farms, sustainable living and home stays across the world.

Internship resources:



Wrapping Up:

We hope that you can see the benefits a gap year will have if you plan it well. It will have a profound effect on your future if you consider this from the perspective of learning and not something that is a waste of your time, effort and energy.

The life skills and memories that you end up making during your gap year will mostly last you a lifetime and also gear you up for tougher challenges further up in the road.

For any questions that you might have – please post them below in the comments section. One of our advisors will be happy to guide you further.

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