Written on 14 Oct 2021.
Shantanu Khandelwal, Master 2 student had the opportunity to join the selective Stanford Summer Program. He shares his experience in this thorough testimonial.
“Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion”, once said, Mohammed Ali. These words might sound familiar as we quite often hear the saying, ‘life doesn’t go as planned,' but the underlying paramount aspect of that is, ‘Don’t quit’. Here is my story which took my most aspirational dream for a spin, ended it for a brief period, and in the end revived it back with a twist.
Since the day I decided to apply to EDHEC Business School, I fixated all my attention on this one unique offering, Stanford Summer Program. Stanford university is one of the top 3 in the ranking for the best universities globally. It is a university whose experience is just as equivalent to the education you gain from there. A chance to visit, experience, and study at a university inside whose walls companies like Google were formed, is an opportunity of a lifetime for which I was extremely determined. So, when the email came about the Stanford Webinar to explain the steps of application, I immediately registered and that’s where my journey towards Stanford began.
The selection process was highly competitive and exclusive. It was the filtration of the top 6 candidates from a batch of more than 1000 students. It involved sending across resumes, preparing motivation letters, presenting transcripts, and post that, if successful, passing on to Round 2.
This next round was a holistic test of all the abilities. It was an interview round with EDHEC alumni, and for me, the alumnus was an employee working at Google headquarters in California. And that made this interview all the more exciting; to talk to an EDHEC alumnus working at such an incredible juncture of his career.
Post the video interview of about an hour, if successful, came Round 3 of selection, the final round. This was more of an unconventional round of panel discussion where esteemed members of the EDHEC alumni would discuss and debate over the top 6 candidates to be selected.
Being fortunate to have cleared all 3 rounds, on February 14 came an email with the Subject: Stanford Summer International Honors Program (IHP) – Admission.
And just at that moment, that first line of the email made it to the highlight of my life. I vividly remember that day when I was on the tram to Lille to start my trip to Italy when I got that email. I read it nervously, and then I read it again and again. That moment changed the course of my life as now, an undefinable experience laid ahead in front of me.
The next steps were quite simple. I had to register my details on the Stanford Platform to create my Stanford login credentials. Thereafter make the payment for processing of the I-20 visa and once done, make the payment for accommodation and insurance. However, post the payment of the visa fees, news came about the widespread of the COVID 19, and before I knew it, we were in a state of global pandemic and panic. All travels were banned, and the program was made available online. This moment is still edged to my memory as I paused and re-read the email sent by EDHEC that mentioned canceling the program since it was now online.
'Don't Quit!': It wasn’t yet time to give up.
We candidates, who were selected had a group where we had discussions at stretch about the next steps. We then decided to respond back and find a solution. After many emails, long deliberation, and requests, we were presented with an opportunity by EDHEC to defer our admissions, and today, I am proud that I took the step to write an email. I am proud that we didn’t quit on an ambition we had set foot for because a week later, EDHEC accepted our request and deferred it to 2021.
However, the pandemic didn’t have a schedule or an end date. 2020 passed by and we were still in a state of lockdown and social distancing and then came another email at the end of 2020 stating that the Stanford Summer Program for 2021 is going to be online again due to the widespread of cases in the United States of America. And then came another email from EDHEC stating to cancel the summer exchange. The dismay was inexpressible.
'Don't Quit!': It wasn’t yet time to give up.
The same group which was silent for a year started buzzing again, and there went another request email. There was dead silence for the next 2 weeks post which came a reply. A reply we were eagerly waiting for. A reply that gave us the option to either defer it for one last time or attend it online. With my experience of the pandemic, I decided, it’s time to seize this opportunity and start my journey.
I re-enrolled at Stanford and began my journey. I can express my feeling of being a part of the Stanford Club as something extraordinary, overwhelming, and exclusive, an emotion of prestige and honor.
From studying with talents from all across the world to experiencing an atmosphere that lures curiosity, ambition, and creativity that pushes minds light-years ahead! It was an immense pleasure to have myself associate with Stanford and now call myself an Alumni of Stanford Summer School.
There were over 150-course catalogs to choose from to attend at Stanford and I went with undertaking the course Programming Methodology, Data Sciences and Data Sciences and Social Media Impact on Psychology, a very unprecedented yet unique course.
Through these courses, I exposed myself to the world of finance through coding languages like Python and R, as well as fuel my knowledge and skillsets in-universe of Financial Data Modelling, quantitative and qualitative regimes, Stock Market Analysis, Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, and Automation, Business logic and Applications.
This opportunity provided by EDHEC has been one of the many unique offerings infused within the curriculum. Opportunities that make one wonder of the possibilities to have access to, and indeed opportunities that make one incredibly proud to have access to through an incredible institution like EDHEC Business School which I am extremely grateful and proud to be a student of. It provides a holistic cycle of self-development and exposure to be the leading professionals of tomorrow and go into the corporate world and Make an Impact.
'Don't Quit!': Never Quit!
Tomorrow today will be gone and your doing or not doing anything useful will not stop that from happening. BUT it is upon you to do such things today that will make you remember today with happiness than with regret.