Oh, The Places You’ll Go – Mentor’s Conclave ‘23



University life is like no other – fresh out of high school, most of us have a general idea of what we want to do, or we don’t; Either way, as we go along with each passing lecture, questions are more prevalent than answers. While navigating such an uncertain and competitive world, learning from others’ experiences is a boon. Mentor’s Conclave ‘23  was one such event, that brought together four of the most popular aspects surrounding a student’s future – Higher education, Internships, Jobs and Entrepreneurship, and exceptional speakers across the categories. 


LeanIn Manipal, organisers of the event, are a chapter of the global community of the same name. They seek to empower its members and enable them to flourish in a holistic manner. Such seminars and talks are part of their vast portfolio and help motivate and inspire young students. 

Three seminars, spread out over the course of three days, took place in hybrid modes at the MV Seminar Hall. Without further ado, here are the talks, each compelling in its own right. 


Seminar 1: A guide on Masters after BTech 

How many times have we all wondered if a master’s degree is the right fit for us? If so, where do we go? What do we need? –  The questions seem to barrage us, and this seminar, delivered by Dr Neera Inamdar, sought to provide some sense of direction. Dr Inamdar is the head of the Manipal Centre for European Studies (MCES) and the Chief Editor of the Manipal University Press and specialises in Global Education. 

She stressed four main aspects, namely: Planning, Decision Making, Communication Skills and Awareness. Plan your trajectory, and map out all your priorities and options as per your needs, whether they be academics, financial requirements, etc. A good map will take you to the right destination, especially one of your choice. She reiterated that decision-making is crucial; To build the larger picture, one has to effectively make decisions regarding smaller tasks, such as internships, work experience, and scholarships. Communication is the foundation of all applications and pursuits, and therefore, she encouraged students to develop their creative and analytical writing skills, both of which come in handy with research, theses, etc. Lastly, be aware of all your options – whether it is the choice of country, its political climate, its living conditions, or scholarships – everything needs careful perusal and understanding to make the right choice. 

An eloquent speaker, Dr Inamdar opened the audience’s minds to overlooked opportunities, and areas of improvement and, more importantly, gave them fuel to pursue their goals with conviction. Look beyond the confines of MIT – and you might be able to mine gold! 


Seminar 2: How to get internships – Jobs Vs. Research 

Supriti Vijay and Tanvi Anand are both MIT Alumni and have a minefield of experience in the research domain. Ms Vijay is actively involved in the Research Society at MIT and is a research intern at Lakehead University. Ms Anand is currently pursuing her Master’s at the University of Texas at Austin. 

Open LinkedIn, and you are likely to be floored by the sheer number of opportunities you find. How does a student prepare and execute their plans effectively, especially when the stakes are so high? Our two speakers answered these questions while drawing from their own experiences. A single sheet of paper, that is to say – your resume or CV, is the key to opening locks in the modern job or research market. Fine-tuning this key is perhaps the most confusing part, so here are some of the pointers the speakers mentioned:

  1. Learning: Learn to assess which roles are the right fit for you, and what skills you would need for the same. As you build your base block by block, it will be sturdy enough to help you get a headstart. 
  2. Interdisciplinary Approach: Hard and Soft skills go hand-in-hand when it comes to building a solid resume. Being well-rounded gives candidates an edge in the application process. 
  3. Applying: Social media can be the worst distraction for the majority of us, but weaponizing it to your benefit is perhaps the most powerful arrow in your quiver. Cold e-mail companies, use Twitter and LinkedIn to build connections, look into Telegram and Google groups – industries are always looking for new ideas, so you might as well shoot your shot. 

Finally, to round off the journey, we look at the approach after obtaining the internships. Be hungry, give it your all – and maybe a little bit more. The payoff is not always evident, but if an individual can persevere, better opportunities eventually open up. 


Seminar 3: Challenges faced in Establishing a Start-Up

If there is a single buzzword that has taken the world by storm in recent years, it is that of entrepreneurship. Establishing and running a start-up is a task that appears to be a molehill, but in reality, is a mountain that must be scaled with careful consideration. This is what Priyansha Mishra, founder of OnHerWay and alumnus of MIT aimed to do – dispel the myths and false ideas surrounding start-ups. 

We have all felt that tiny spark of a dream when watching Shark Tank – the dream that, someday, we can chart our own paths. The talk delved into these questions, which help with mapping out a business, from beginning to take off. Here is a mind map for the same, with relevant information regarding the A-Z of building a start-up. 

(Template Credits: Canva)

In addition to the above, she stressed the importance of having a good hypothesis to build a product, and not paying too much mind to market fluctuations; Markets change all the time, and you have to know how to ride the wave of changes, there can never be a perfectly “correct” time to begin. The Q&A sessions provided useful insights and interactive discussions, and the seminars ended on a fantastic note. 


These seminars were well-curated and executed wonderfully. A learning opportunity of immense importance, the speakers were informed, experienced and enthusiastic, while the talks themselves answered old questions and opened up new ones. We are young, and perhaps more than a little confused – but as the audience learnt throughout, who isn’t? The world is brimming with chances for everyone – all that is left is to find them and chase our goals as best we can. 


Written by Rachana Raman for MTTN

Featured Image by Adobe Stock


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