Going Abroad Is Not All About Education
In an event organised by ‘The Think Tank’ and ‘AIESEC in Manipal University’ on the 23rd of August, one of the institution’s very own, Dr. Arun Shanbhag addressed the students of MIT about his experience abroad and had an insightful discussion pertaining to almost all walks of life with both freshmen and seniors.
Unlike most club-related events at MIT, ‘The Think Tank’ and ‘AIESEC in Manipal University’ kept true to the designated time of six pm. Such was the frenzy caused by the enthusiastic first years, unknown to the erratic timings of MIT clubs, that if you were a senior casually strolling in fifteen minutes late, you were in for a shock. Saying that the room was at its capacity would probably be an understatement. All that did not seem to matter to Dr. Shanbhag as he took the students through a journey which would ultimately come to an end in Manipal. According to the professor from Harvard, the idea of going abroad is still shrouded by a heavy mist in India, and he was there to simply provide better clarity.
According to Dr. Shanbhag, the general misconception that Indians have about Americans not being equally smart had something to do with a large population of Indians being reluctant to purse their education abroad. “You should see how diligent they are towards homework. I just need to scribble something on the board, and they do it. I don’t need to specify it to be homework. We discuss, they learn and they apply it in their homework”, the Harvard professor said. He also said that the Indian system unfairly prioritized the grade system and felt that the most successful people are those who can manage others.
Besides education, he also stressed on the need for experiences. “If you were to go to Japan, you would be shocked by their adherence to traffic rules. They stop their cars even when a cat crosses the road!” He felt that the key to success was hidden in our passion, creativity, and an insatiable thirst to take risks. “Three things: Work hard, Read, Constant Practice. This is my so called mantra, and I urge every one of you try it out once”, Dr. Shanbhag said. The professor will be moving back to Manipal very soon.
Although the venue was poorly chosen by the organisers, who had failed to accurately estimate the turnout for the event, ‘The Think Tank’ and ‘ AIESEC in Manipal’ got it right in most aspects. The timing was ripe and it attracted freshers like moths to a fire, there were no hiccups and the event was very well received.