The six Stanford Fellows — V. Keerthana Devi, Anukruthi Atluri, Nikhita Guduru, Atluri Hari Chandana, Bhavyasree M. and Pujitha Nalluri — who just returned to the city from a three-day Eastern Hemisphere Leadership Meet-up in Dubai, are flush with new ideas and perspectives. It was a global meet which saw Fellows from across the world exploring layers of design thinking and ways to think out of the box.
The girls from V.R. Siddhartha Engineering College (VRSEC) in the city were among 15 students selected from India to attend the Dubai meet.
Exchange of ideas
It was a platform to exchange ideas without the fear of being judged, to learn ways to create prototypes and get inspired through shared experiences. They spoke with great excitement about how a women entrepreneur from the host country called Hiba Balfaquih’s inspiring battle with her conventional family background to emerge as a strong individual with a mind of her own, fired their imagination.
Their visit to the Microsoft Office where people are doing some real good work to improve the education scenario globally and discovering that even the smallest of cities are positively impacted by their contribution, has made them richer in experience.
“It took one whole day for me to let the new feeling sink in. I was overwhelmed by the diversity of the crowd, and was particularly fascinated by the activity called ‘Secret Handshake’ aimed at breaking the ice,” says Keerthana.
Learning from mistakes
Anukruthi, meanwhile, was delighted to find a platform that “allowed me to be myself without being judged” while Hari Chandana enjoyed the difficult tasks where she had to push the envelope.
The session which focussed on how to learn from one’s mistakes was the favourite of Nikhita as “I am really scared of making mistakes in whatever I do. It taught me that it is okay to make mistakes as long as you learn something useful from it,” she said.
Bhavyasree says the ‘leadership’ session has had a positive impact on her as she is confidently able to face people now.
Their journey of the University Innovation Fellows (UIF) started in November of 2017 when their names were enrolled in the Stanford programme that empowers students around the world to become agents of change in the sector of higher education.
Equipped with a new experience, they have made a few suggestions in their college, one of which has been implemented.
Inter-department collaboration, creation of innovation coordination team and a ‘maker space’ to build on ideas and introduction of electronic notice boards are their suggestions. The last one has already been implemented.