Thursday, 24 December 2015

Why recommendation letters are a vital link

Originally Published in The Hindustan Times Education Supplement

As application deadlines approach pressure is on not just the applicants but also
the recommenders. If you work in an educational institute or a large corporate
setting, there is a chance you may be asked to write a recommendation letter on
behalf of a student or employee.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

'Set aside time to explore other pursuit'

Originally Published in The Hindustan Times Education Supplement

Applicants I worked with last year have completed their first semester of studies abroad. Most of them come back to talk about how eye-opening and enriching the experience has been. In a nutshell, the resources, exposure and peer interaction they have encountered over the past four to five months has far exceeded their expectations. What is even more wonderful is that this feedback comes from students at all caliber of institutions – from the Ivy league to the large pubic college to the ‘third tier’ private colleges. All of this happy news comes at a time when current applicants are agonizing over unexpected early admissions results, mid-term grades and SAT/ACT test results – will it all be good enough? Can I make it to my dream college? These are understandable worries for applicants and families, but it is also important to remember that aiming for the best college possible does not mean that something less is failure.

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Indians studying in the US are a profitable investment in talent

Originally Published in The Hindustan Education Supplement

Recent Open Doors Report data from the Institute of International Education revealed that the number of Indian students enrolling in higher education in the US grew by 30% last year.

This data was all over the news. But what does it tell us about education in India? It reconfirms what we have known for a while: India is a difficult place to get a good education. This is not because its institutes for higher learning are low in quality, but it is because there are not enough of them. 

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Explore study abroad options in Australia

Originally Published in The Hindustan Times Education Supplement

Australia has recently become a bigger spot on an Indian student’s map of dream study destinations. Already ranking high as a holiday location, there is no doubt that Australia is filled with beautiful scenery and has an adventurous vibe, but now we know its educational facilities do not fall short either. In fact, the number of Indian students in Australia is increasing at an annual rate of 15%, with a cohort of 48,500 Indians last year. Here is a quick glimpse of what Australian education has to offer. 

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Plan to study in Germany? Here's what you should know

Originally Published in The Hindustan Times Education Supplement

Lately Indian students have become attracted to studies in Germany. There are many reasons for the recent spike in interest, not the least of which are reports that higher education in German universities is free. While technically this is true, there is a lot more to the picture. If you’re thinking about studying in Germany, here is what you need to know.

Monday, 28 September 2015

Study medicine abroad, directly after Class 12th

Orginally Published in The Hindustan Times Education Supplement

When students ask about studying medicine outside India, my first piece of advice is always to proceed with caution. No matter where you are in the world, the best course of action is to study medicine in the country where you intend to practice. The field of medicine is highly regulated by governments and medical education is often subsidized, which limits the numbers of seats available for non-citizens.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Know before you go: Points for students and parents

Orginally Published in The Hindustan Times Education Supplement

Colleges in the US will start within the next month and students are already starting their educational journeys beyond India’s borders. If you or someone in your family is headed off to college abroad this month, here are some helpful tips for a smooth transition.

Monday, 24 August 2015

How to choose your major at a business school

Originally Published in The Hindustan Times Education Supplement

Often business school applicants ask which global program they should consider if they are interested in a particular management subject, such as corporate finance, marketing or human resources. They want to know which program is “good” for each subject. The fact is that most of the top global business school programs are strong in all subjects and typically the core curriculum will be common to all students, whether or not a concentration is chosen.

Friday, 14 August 2015

Applicants who are disabled should check for special accomdation

Orginally Published in The Hindustan Times Education Supplement

Academic accommodation for learning differences

Most would agree that the topic of learning differences is not commonly acknowledged or openly discussed in India. Hopefully the success of popular films like Tare Zameen Par have helped to open up the conversation somewhat, but I also want to do my part by raising the issue of academic accommodation for students with learning differences. These can range from dyslexia, dysgraphia, attention deficit disorder, and other learning issues (see for a list of the most common) and they range in severity. It is important to acknowledge that no learning difference is too insignificant. Every child should have the chance to succeed.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Pick the right varsity, get funded too

Originally Published in The Hindustan Times Education Supplement

It is no big discovery to learn that undergraduate education abroad is expensive. As of August 2014, the annual cost of attending college in the US is approximately $50,000 to $60,000 or Rs. 30 to 36 Lakhs.  That is a whopping quarter million dollars over four years.  While this estimate does college fees, living expenses and insurance, additional costs will include travel to and from India. And, if a student elects to attend a summer term or do an extra year, expenses increase.

Monday, 6 July 2015

A good recommendation letter is the key to success

Originally Published in The Hindustan Times Supplement

Having great recommendations for global business school programs is a crucial piece of the application. However this does not simply mean that you must secure a letter from a manager at work which is full of superlatives about you.

The golden rule, when it comes to recommendations is NEVER write your own recommendation – there are many steps you can take to avoid this common trap where your boss tells you to write the letter and he/she will sign it. This is a bad approach because your recommendation letter will most likely sound exactly like your essays, with all the same grammatical mistakes and presentation style.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Taking the GMAT or SAT? Learn to multi-task

Originally Published in The Hindustan Times Education Supplement

As deadlines approach, some applicants still have not completed important components of their applications. The cause of delay often seems to be timing, scheduling and an inability to multi task. A common strategy for Indian applicants is to ‘take time off’ for GMAT or SAT preparation or to complete the essays. But the concept of time off is a luxury that will only hurt you in the long run. 

Monday, 22 June 2015

Applying abroad? A five-point plan

Originally Published in The Hindustan Times Education Supplement.

5 Things Indian students should know if they’re considering undergraduate study abroad. 

Often I meet applicants who want to study outside India (mainly US and UK), but who seem to be unaware of some of the major components and requirements of the application process. Here is a list of things I wish everyone knew before they think about whether study abroad is the right choice for undergraduate studies. 

1.) Different academic criteria count in different places – If you want to study in the UK, your 10th board marks (or 10th standard school marks if you haven’t taken a board exam) and your predicted 12th standard board score will be taken into account for admission. However those who wish to study in the US should know that every school report card and mark sheet must be sent to the college with the application from 9th standard onward. No report card can be omitted. Board scores are also taken into consideration, but continuous assessments from 9th -12th standard are important criteria for US universities. 

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Get the most out of online learning

Originally Published in The Hindustan Times Education Supplement

Online degrees, distance learning, MOOC’s (Massive Open Online Courses)– whatever we call it, many students are becoming more and more interested in technology-enabled education. In fact, earlier this month Coursera announced the first MOOC-based MBA degree with the University of Illinois College of Business. It almost seems as if students no longer have to struggle for an admissions seat, travel half way around the world and pay a quarter of a million dollars to get a global education.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

SAT vs ACT : Which is right for you?

Originally Published in The Hindustan Times Education Supplement

Should I take the SAT or the ACT? I hear this question regularly. The honest truth: It does not matter. Colleges view both test equally. Most US colleges require either the SAT I or the ACT with writing.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

How to take a power break

Originally Published in The Hindustan Times Education Supplement

Summer is just around the corner and students everywhere are starting to make plans for how to spend their free time. While younger kids can still get away with lazy days of sleeping late and maybe a fun family holiday, students who are in 9th to 11th standard should be finding ways to spend their summer more productively.

Friday, 27 February 2015

How to select your subjects wisely

Originally Published in The Hindustan Times Education Supplement

Students in 10th standard are busy preparing for upcoming board exams. But for many, an additional looming turning point is subject choice for the 11th and 12th standard. As I meet students who are facing this decision, I have found that there is a lot of misunderstanding about which subjects you should choose and why.

Monday, 23 February 2015

MBA Admissions: Be resourceful

Originally Published in The Hindustan Times Education Supplement

I get questions all the time, ranging from the obvious to the obscure. You may be surprised to know that I actually do not have all the information stored in my brain. Just like everyone else, I use technology and other compiled resources to answer questions and provide students and families with the information they need. Some resources are better than others, so today I’ll share my favorite picks with you. I hope that as the next application cycle begins, around July this year, readers can use this list to help them get started and answer basic questions.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Missed US deadlines? Apply for these countries

Originally Published in The Hindustan Times Education Supplement

It is the New Year and most of the undergraduate applications for the US were submitted on December 31st. If you are not headed to the US or you did not manage to get your applications done in time, there are still lots of options when it comes to study abroad.