This summer I attended Stanford Pre collegiate studies at Stanford University, USA. I understand my obligation to elaborate upon my experience at Stanford, but instead of dwelling on how we learnt about mutual funds, ETFs, option strategies and arbitrage opportunities, I would prefer to talk about my enrichment in terms of moral values and exposure rather than the academic aspect of it.
As part of our interaction with the department for undergraduate admissions, the speaker stressed upon the fact that the foremost objective of Stanford, whilst creating an academically motivated student body, was to ensure the formation of a holistic community which also formed the foundation of the principles which govern the selective admission process.
Upon asking other students as to which factor might have proven favourable to their admission in this course, I often found the answer to be the proper utilisation of time. This combined with the fact that the students utilised their time by devoting it in doing something they were passionate about rather than peer or parental influenced choices. I came across students who had their own trading business, applications and games, tech companies. This experience taught me the principles of time utilisation and also creativity.
An event held each night, as part of our dorm meeting, ‘Spotlight’, gave each participant time to speak about events which have affected their lives. Here I realised another principle, we in India often overlook, of sensitivity. We often do not realize the background of people and experiences they might have been through but, unintentionally, pass comments or our actions, in certain cases, speak for themselves which may not be perceived as welcoming. During the course, I realised through a diversified student culture, that everyone had a struggle, a past or a story to tell.
The most important change I realized, was that the world and its concomitant competition are limited not only to my school, Delhi, or even India for that matter but people from countries as varied as Palestine, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, UAE have multitudes of talent at their disposal.
All in all, my experience at Stanford introduced me to global learning and gave me clear directions for my future endeavours.
(the author is a student of The Shriram Millennium School Noida)