The Consulate General of India in New York in cooperation with GOPIO Manhattan organized the ‘Meet and Greet Students from India’ studying in the Northeast to connect them to the community and providing mentoring opportunities as well as to raise awareness of Consular services to students from the Consulate. Students from many universities across the Northeast participated in person and via Facebook Live at the event hosted by the Indian Consulate on March 31, 2023.
The program started with a welcome by Dr. Varun Jeph, Deputy Consul General with his welcome to the 135+ students in attendance and many more online. He summarized the event introducing the speakers and the topics that will be discussed by them and informed the services offered by the Consulate to the Students. He invited the student’s Consul General of India at New York Mr. Randhir Kumar Jaiswal to begin the evening’s proceedings.
The host for the evening, Consul General Randhir Kumar Jaiswal, commented, “Namaste to all Young friends. A very warm welcome to the Consulate, your Home and my office.”
He further highlighted there are two sets of students we deal with, one that are here and the others that come here from India. This Student Meet & Greet is an effort in the direction of you connecting with each other and being there as you grow in this new land of opportunities. We are the fifth-largest economy and climbing to become the third-largest economy. He added that there are 1 million students among the 34 million diaspora who are going to play a very important role in that and be the real champions.”
Consulate official Ms. Satpadi Tagore invited GOPIO International Chairman Dr. Thomas Abraham for his remarks. Dr. Abraham serves as an advisor to GOPIO-Manhattan and started with “Namaskar and addressed the students by reflecting on his journey fifty years ago with an example that a simple phone call back home would cost around $3/minute. There was a concept of host families. With the advancement of technologies and ease of communication and growth in students, there is no more such need of host families. Starting in 2021 and following session in Oct 2022, and today, we are hosting these sessions to connect you with the community, professional achievers and the Consulate for help with issues or in case of emergency. He noted the number of students across Columbia, NYU, Pace, SUNY Bufallo, Touro College, UPenn, NJIT and other universities represented in the room.”
GOPIO Manhattan Co Secretary and Chair for the event and emcee Ms. Bhavya Gupta then introduced and invited the panelists for the evening Mr. Akshat Tewary, an immigration attorney, Ms. Sanjyot Dunung, CEO & Founder of Atma Global, Moderator Prof Srikant Jagabathula from NYU, Mr. Anthony Irudhyanathan, President Zillion Technologies and Prof. Rajashekar Vangapaty.
Mr. Srikanth Jagabathula, Robert Stansky Research Faculty Fellow and Associate Professor of Tech, Ops, and Stats at the NYU Stern School of Business, moderated the panel starting with giving each speaker a min to talk about their background. He channeled the conversations across the topics of immigration to job search to internships, teaching assistantships etc. with the fellow speakers and engaged the audience. He shared his experiences with the students and said, “Wear different hats, multi-task, go out of your comfort zone, explore and discover.”
Ms. Sanjyot Dunung, CEO & Founder of Atma Global, shared her experiences with the students about her journey from India to England to Chicago as she experienced the culture shifts. She added that it doesn’t necessarily matter at what age you move to a new country. The concept of culture shock, learning new values, attitudes, understanding how people do things, can be startling at the very beginning. She bridged the two cultures with every summer trip to India to retain and touch that Indian cultural experience. She indulged the panel to assist students in formulating their choices of major and career path.
Dr. Bernadine Waller, Columbia University “reflected on the mental health issues ranging from anxiety to depression and all in between. She highlighted the various reasons the stresses that are faced by Students such as job search, internship search, competitiveness, loneliness etc. The optimal way to deal with it is “One Bite At A Time.”
Mr. Shivender Sofat, President GOPIO-Manhattan, who joined virtually told the importance of mentoring to the students, discussed chapter activities and motivated everyone to volunteer and become members at future events held by GOPIO Manhattan.
Mr. Siddharth Jain, GOPIO Manhattan Board Member concluded with a quote from Rumi: “It’s your road, and yours alone, others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you.”