As a young boy, Ketan Birla was always certain about the fact that he wanted a career in wildlife or environment. Like most young kids, his interest in environment grew from watching Nat Geo and Discovery. As he grew up, his passion for the environment grew and inclined him towards the possibility of a career in sustainable development or natural resource management. Though he had the passion and required experience in the field, he lacked the required knowledge to build a career in the field. When he came to Leverage Edu, he had faced disheartening responses from other consultancies, and this was his last resort for pursuing an environmental degree from abroad.
When Ketan first came to Leverage Edu, he was at the threshold of hopelessness, all the consultancies he had visited before had given him negative responses. He says, “I was very disappointed with them; they would think I want to pursue some fancy course from a European University and would try to shove me into pursuing a course like Peace and Conflict.” He was frustrated about the fact that despite having a directed passion towards the course and having completed a Master’s in Sustainable Development from TERI University, he was not taken seriously.
During his first session with Leverage Edu, Ketan started immediately presenting all his documents to us and making us aware of what he wished to pursue, as by now he was quite familiar with the procedures of consultancies. He remarked that what made him choose Leverage Edu after the first meeting was the fact that “It was a breath of fresh air that the team at Leverage Edu was young, energetic, and possessed the required knowledge about the course. All the consultancies I had been to would start googling the universities and course in front of me, here the team was trained, they knew about the programs and colleges for that.” We assured him that his 2-year volunteering experience with Sanjeevani Seva Samithi in Uttarakhand and his major project with Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and The Environment in Traditional Ecological Organization, where he stayed with tribe groups for 4 months, were good training grounds for him to follow his passion.
Despite being reassured by the counsellors at Leverage Edu that his low graduation scores from School of Open Learning will not pose as a challenge and that his profile was fit for the course he wished to pursue, discouraged by the negative comments Ketan had started to doubt himself. But after researching about Leverage Edu, he was convinced to place his trust in our hands. He mentions, “I was sure about the course but not about the specific program or country. I was also unsure about whether to do a Ph.D. or a Master’s.” The team at Leverage Edu first assigned Keta psychometric tests and based on those results a list of universities and programs were shortlisted. Out of the four target universities, Ketan applied to two- Manitoba University and Royal Roads University in Canada. He tells us that after hours of research and analysis with the help of the counsellors at Leverage Edu, he was able to come to the decision of studying in Canada. Brainstorming sessions with the Leverage Edu counsellors helped him realize that a master’s program will be more beneficial to his career trajectory.
Ketan will now be going attending a Master’s in Natural Resource Management from Royal Roads University. The counsellors at Leverage Edu were there with him throughout the entire process, making sure that they reviewed every essay, SOP, and LOR. “The process was smooth and I feel that everyone was very cooperative with understanding my needs and aspirations.” From school shortlisting to visa process, all was taken care of! It is interesting to note that he was just booking his flight tickets sitting in our office and looking up accommodation possibilities with a counsellor.
On being selected at both the places he applied to, Ketan had mixed feelings about the fact that he was offered a course in the next year but extremely relieved about the fact that he was able to get into the universities he wanted. He says, “I’ve been recommending Leverage Edu to all my classmates who ask me about education abroad. I was so glad that unlike other consultancies that I contacted, no one at Leverage Edu tried to push me into something else.”
It would be disappointing to see that a person as passionate about the direction of his career and the field of environment would have to give up on his dreams mainly because of lack of guidance. The disapproval Ketan faced left him feeling pretty frustrated, through the duration of the applications with Leverage Edu we were able to see him grow more certain of his endeavors and ready to create an impact in the world.