Our today’s blog post covers the highlights of a session with Chander Mahadev. This man who needs no formal introduction possesses a rich experience of 30 years in the field of Journalism and Media. An eminent media personality, he has worked with the Princeton Review, the Indian Express, and the Times of India. He is currently the Director, Institute of Media Studies, Shri Ramswaroop Memorial University, Lucknow.
An essay specialist, Mr. Mahadev has left no stone unturned in mastering the art of transforming essays from good ones to great ones. No wonders, his dedication and expertise in the English language have earned him a title of “Wordsmith”. And, he is a ‘Moving Mentor Mahadev’ for all his students. With a magic of his pen, he has transformed the lives of hundreds and thousands of students over the past many years.
Our discussion brings forth a topic of essays: the study-abroad essays that are required for admissions to foreign universities. Mr. Mahadev highlights different areas where Indian students lack when it comes to Essay-writing.
With a magic of his pen, he has transformed the lives of hundreds and thousands of students over the past many years.
Unfortunately, our students get groomed in an environment that is driven by content-based learning. There is no emphasis, whatsoever, on research-driven or innovation based educational system. It is, therefore, not surprising that our students fail miserably at essay-writing or statement of purpose (SOP) related tasks. Their essays lack self-reflections and thus, there are frequent rejections from top universities.
Our Wordsmith recalls one such case of his student who was quite successful in his professional life. Notably, he worked as a system administrator at Satyam Computers. Despite his strong profile, he had faced repetitive rejections from Ivy-league colleges. Determined to get into an Ivy-league, he approached Mr. Mahadev. Together, they both worked at creating his stronger application. A major problem identified was with his essay that reflected no unique element. Further, there was nothing that distinguished him from other applicants. It took them 14 hours of a brainstorming session to dig a story from his life that would ensure success. The result was an inclusion of anecdote from his childhood days in the essay:
My father was an engineer and was posted in a city that lacked the infrastructure for quality education. The only schools in the city were government schools that had no classrooms or blackboards. We were taught alphabets on sand dunes. The initial years of my education were full of struggle and hardship. Today, I look back to realize that it is those tough years of my life that have made me the person I am today.
The student found it embarrassing to talk about the quality of education he was exposed to and thus, would never mention it to anyone. And, in his attempt to do so, he even forgot the importance of self-reflection.
Only if our education system was strong enough so as not to be content driven, our students wouldn’t feel a need to seek the help of career counselors or essay specialists to write the essays of their own lives- Chander Mahadev
It took them 14 hours of a brainstorming session to dig a story from his life that would ensure success.
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The Unfulfilled Dreams of Our Parents
The age-old theory of parents to live their dreams through their children has deteriorated the quality of our educational system. Each parent sees a future doctor/engineer in his/ her child. Thus, it has made our pattern of education marks driven. It is unfortunate, however, that we parents become obstacles in their path. They are not encouraged to take risks in their lives. In fact, we don’t even encourage them to pursue their dream careers. As a result, there is no passion. The result is poor quality essays with ideas stolen from others. There is no creativity or uniqueness.
It is unfortunate that we parents become obstacles in their path.
Final Words: There is so much to learn from this man who is on a mission to set new parameters in the education sector. And, there is even more, to learn from his mantra in life “Don’t say it but show it!”.