Exploring New Frontiers: A Journey of Multidisciplinary Learning at the Young India Fellowship
Arav Shah takes us through his journey of personal and professional growth during his year at Ashoka University
As one of the youngest students in the Young India Fellowship, Arav Shah (YIF’23) describes his year-long journey at Ashoka University as one that has significantly helped him carve out his career trajectory and given him uncountable memories. A science student in school, Arav pursued liberal arts and sciences at Jindal Global University where he specialised in Psychology and Economics. When most of his fellow undergraduate students were either sitting for placements or going for master’s programmes, Arav decided to apply to YIF to better understand his interests and prepare himself for his advanced studies.
From studying Astrophysics to Statistical Inferences, Arav claims that YIF’s multidisciplinary curriculum helped him learn about things from so many different perspectives and introduced him to new ways of approaching a problem. “Having studied economics during my undergraduate programme, I never thought I would enjoy a basic ‘Introduction to Applied Microeconomics’ course as much as I did. The course taught by the esteemed professor A.K. Shiva Kumar made me learn so much about Indian Development and Foreign Policy. His class provided me with a novel angle to approach developmental studies and has been one of the highlights of my YIF journey.” An experienced content writer, the Critical Writing course helped polish his writing prowess and became one of the formative experiences. For his Experiential Learning Module (ELM), Arav worked with the Indian School of Development Management (ISDM) to build a maturity model aimed at social purpose organizations. This 8-month-long journey turned out to be transformative for him as it was one of his first formal professional experiences and gave him the opportunity to him to work on a real-world project, designing relevant and impactful solutions.
Having spent a year and a half attending lectures on Zoom during the lockdown, YIF gave Arav the opportunity to immerse himself in a multitude of activities and extracurriculars beyond the classroom. As a passionate footballer, he would regularly be found on the football field practising with the team or partaking in events like the Ashoka Premier League (APL), an annual intra-university football tournament. Arav was also a part of two student-produced plays, Amar and Chaya and Comma along with being a staff writer for The Edict, an independently run student newspaper at Ashoka University.
The Mentorship Programme and the Alumni-in-Residence Programme had a profound impact on his YIF journey. They provided him with the avenues to seek guidance and support from many established, experienced, and driven individuals who have achieved remarkable feats and are well on their way to becoming top names in their respective domains. The Alumni-in-Residence programme helped him network and build lasting connections with many successful alumni.
“YIF’s diverse cohort taught me a lot about the life that lies beyond an undergraduate education. All of my peers came from such interesting backgrounds, carving out a niche for themselves. Interacting with them and learning about their unique experiences gave me immense clarity about what I want to do in my own career.” says Arav.
(Written by Saairah Mehta, a rising second-year student studying Political Science and International Relations at Ashoka University)