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Posted at: Jul 11, 2018, 12:11 AM; last updated: Jul 11, 2018, 12:11 AM (IST)TEEN ACHIEVERS

‘Don’t let one failure define you’

‘Don’t let one  failure define you’

Simran Saini

Seventeen-year-old Tarannum Pratap is all set to fly high after being awarded with the prestigious Tata Scholarship worth Rs 2 crore to pursue undergraduate course in Cornell University, New York. She would be leaving for USA in August and is looking forward to studying economics and mathematics. An English Olympiad winner, Tarannum aspires to serve as a global ambassador. 'Living a purposeful life is my end goal'. In an interaction with Jobs and Careers she shares her journey from the City Beautiful to New York. Excerpts:  

How did you find about this scholarship and what preparation you made for it?

I have been working hard to achieve my aim of getting into the prestigious university for the past one year. The application for Tata Scholarship is the same as that for other students, and if you're an Indian requesting financial aid, your application is considered for the scholarship. My SAT score as well as 97 per cent score in Class XII were the key factors in securing the admission to four-year undergraduate course in economics.

I received assistance with the admission process from my mentor Benjamin. P. Stern, CEO of Ivy Achievement, a New Jersey (USA)-based admission consultancy firm.  I had signed up with the firm in 2017 to build my profile for applications to US- based universities.

Tell us about your academic achievements.

Besides being academically strong all through my school years, I had been participating in a number of contests. I had won the gold medal at the international English Olympiad in 2017 and I was also the 'city topper' in Class X ICSE board examinations from Strawberry Fields World School.  I have also served as a global ambassador for thought for food, a global non-profit and volunteering with Khelshala (a school for under-privileged children).

What excites you the most about studying in the USA?

I can explore different avenues and don't have to stick with one field or subject. I also find appealing their focus on innovation and practical learning and their encouragement of innovative and unconventional methods.

What are your future plans about your career?

My plans in terms of a career path are quite fluid right now. I do know that I want to work for innovation and change which leads to a purposeful life. I have always wanted to serve as a global ambassador.

Any tips you would like to share with other students aspiring to get into an Ivy League university in USA. 

There were two major takeaways from this process for me. Firstly, you should know to not let one failure define you. You will fall down, but you have the strength to get back up as well. Secondly, self-awareness and self- reflection is important to take note of how you are performing and actively working to better yourself. Having a good counsellor goes a long way, too.

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