When it was announced that Dr Raghuram Rajan was going to visit Krea for a talk, one could feel the energy shift in the student community. Dr Rajan, the former RBI Governor and a member of the Governing Council at Krea, was one of the most significant reasons that attracted us to the promise of Krea University. To listen to him in person, know about his experiences and draw from them is what all of us had eagerly waited for. And now the moment had arrived.
Welcomed by cheerful applause, Dr Rajan began his talk with a succinct presentation on India and its economic vision. In the light of the 2022 Union Budget, he elucidated how India is changing – what is right with it and what is wrong. From the employment rates to the COVID-19 data, he highlighted the importance of statistics and what they reveal about the current world. Dr Rajan emphasized the importance of education and schooling in the future by narrating observations and anecdotes from his own life. Citing a few schemes and policies, he talked about how the present India connects to its past and how the same mistakes should be avoided in the future. With the graduation of the first batch of SIAS right round the corner, Dr Rajan laid out an outline of the situation of youth and jobs in the current India. Towards the end of the presentation, he gave a few brief alternatives to the existing vision that mainly involved the need to “focus on upskilling” the people and shifting to providing greener services.
The presentation was followed by a fruitful Q and A session where the students got a chance to directly interact with him. This was one of the best parts about the talk since it was visible how Dr Rajan’s presentation had intellectually stimulated the students to discuss the real issues in the world. From questions on the startup ecosystem and cryptocurrency to concerns about youth, employment and education, as time went by more and more number of hands went up. His witty humorous comments here and there kept the conversation light-hearted, encouraging the students to be more comfortable to open up.
One of the main lessons that Dr Rajan accentuated on was to not dwell on the past for too long and rather focus on what we can change in the now – even if it concerned the past few years. Dr Rajan ended the talk by signifying how important it is to fight for a better India and how each of us can add value to the society simply by being the best we can be.
Embracing the space-time continuum with some laughter and overthinking.
Students Make it Big with New-age Roles in Risk and Financial Advisory, Digital Consulting, Financial Planning and Analysis, Risk Consulting and Modelling, Business Analysis, Management Consulting and Valuation Consulting
Sri City, March 24, 2022—IFMR Graduate School of Business (IFMR GSB) at Krea University today announced that 165 of the 175 students who sat for placements have been hired by leading global and Indian consulting, finance and technology companies, while others have been hired for roles in strategy, marketing and operations. Notably, students got new-age roles in valuation consulting, risk and financial advisory, digital consulting, financial planning and analysis, risk consulting and modelling, business analysis and management consulting.
This year saw a total of 78 recruiters, of which 34 were new recruiters. Some of the prominent recruiters included Barclays, EY, Deloitte, KPMG, PwC, JP Morgan, Wells Fargo, Credit Suisse, Accenture, Société Générale, CRISIL, Temenos, Tiger Analytics, ZS Associates, Cognizant, Infosys, Wipro, Oracle, HCL Technologies, Genpact, Philips, Tata International and Northern Arc, to name a few.
With next-generation finance, technology and manufacturing operations projected to be a more than a trillion-dollar opportunity for India between now and 2030 by consulting major McKinsey*, IFMR GSB’s focus in recent years has been to marry management with operations and technology that results in exciting careers and entrepreneurial opportunities for students. This year the average salaries were up by over 10 percent across the top 25%, 50% and overall, with the highest salary offered being Rs18 lakhs per annum.
“With the pandemic accelerating the shift to digital transformation, IFMR GSB’s focus on embedding data-science across all subjects attracted a large canvas of new recruiters to the campus,” said Prof Lakshmi Kumar, Dean of IFMR GSB at Krea University “While the average salaries have grown across bands, it’s heartening to note that students are pivoting more to exciting roles that provide them long-term career growth than merely be fixated on compensation and benefits.”
The EU-China Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT), better known as Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI), was agreed on Nov 2013. Just to set things straight, this is not a full-on trade agreement but a “pact” for the EU to create new investment opportunities for its native companies in Chinese market by eliminating discriminatory laws and practices (that were only accessed by Chinese companies and corporations from third world countries). It was the combined idea of German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, and anxious Chinese President, Xi Jinping, to get this deal finalized after enough  concessions. Disregarding the proposal of early consultations with Biden-led US, Merkel-Xi had other plans. History speaks that Germany do carry good trade relations with China. To think of it, the largest EU investment sector in China is the automotive industry which is obviously a big deal for Germany. But we can’t conclude that Germany will be the only beneficiary here - several fronts need to be considered. Above all, this is just an agreement in principle and the deal’s full text is yet to be published. So it is up to the European parliament to ratify and mark it green for the BIT to finally commence from 2022. Nonetheless, the following illustration would brief out things:
For people with utmost curiosity, you can still refer to the key elements of “the most ambitious deal” published by the EU, here.
THE RECIPROCITY GAP – a major concern
After noting the pros, challenges are now weighed in terms of imbalances created in EU-China FDI flows due to [buzzword] “lack of reciprocity”. Backtracking it shows that EU has been way more receptive to foreign investment than China with the latter operating in a restrictive FDI regime. And if reciprocity persists, anti-globalization sentiments might fuel an erosion of support for the European producers and consumers. So the treaty “is supposed to go” some way to rebalancing this. But in factuality, it supports the theory of one-sided fulcrum.
THE INVISIBLE HAND OF GEOPOLITICS
 THE IMPACT ON TRANS-ATLANTIC RELATIONS
In December 2019, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi answered a question saying that it was unlikely for a “developing economy” like China to come to an agreement with the [Brexited] EU. But with strategic intentions, Xi intervened personally to snatch the deal within the window of opportunity. Thus the seven-year long-awaited video conferencing got a fair bit of coverage on December 30, 2020. But it got backlashed that the accord might create friction in EU’s relations with the incoming Biden administration. The view would clearly weaken Biden’s “efforts for a closer US-EU check on China”. Even if the CAI is neither signed [due to the US pressure] nor implemented, China is +1 for creating chaos and controversy amongst backers and opponents of the agreement in the European Parliament and among other member states. It is a symbolic win too good to pass for the dragon.
 AN IRON FIST (NO MORE) IN A VELVET GLOVE?
Romanticizing different versions and believing in soft power based on hardcore facts is what India has been through. But the changing world order did make the tables turn for the aforementioned. Indian diplomats and policymakers now deal in High Level Dialogues (HLD) circumscribing this BIT. But it transpires to be negative for India’s foreign policy assumption that Europe is in for the US’s ‘Indo-Pacific’ strategy that is meant to “rebalance” China’s reign. Without Europe as its ally, the strategy is a road to nowhere. Quite knowingly, Merkel hurriedly reached out to PM Modi to persuade India to accept CAI as a market access pact while continuously harping on the importance of the India-EU trade deal. To this, the French diplomat asserted NSA Ajit Doval on “forestalling China from manipulating Europe” thereby hinted at Raisina Dialogue (India’s premier foreign policy conference) to boost Indo-Pacific partnership. So, at the end of the day, India, fortunately, is not in the dire position and must climb down from its ivory tower to assess the reshaped world order.
 THE FINAL WHISTLE‘THE DIPLOMAT’ concludes that the EU should rethink its China policy and introspect its coordination with the States. An EU-US solidification will have more leverage in relation to China and can be a “catalyst for a broader multilateral coalition of concordant countries to promote the rule of law and to blunt Beijing’s efforts at economic coercion”. But for the European geopolitics, the pact is still meant “to defend NATO territory” and achieve stabilization.
In the beginning of 2020, my peers and I would have never imagined attending college through laptops and mobile phones. Yet, here we are left with no choice but to hold on to the fragments of our expectations with a grateful heart and mind. As the year commenced with a fun-filled week of orientation in August 2020, I felt welcomed in this vibrant community of students, professors and staff.
When virtual classes began, I admit it wasn’t easy. Sitting in front of the screen for hours and actively participating in classes soon became a mundane routine. I would often switch places to attend classes, would keep my camera on to make myself more visible, and try things to embrace the rigmarole of online classes. Professors would give a choice to students about turning cameras on because they understood our anxieties of presenting ourselves online. The courses were also modified well to suit an online setup. All the reading materials were available on Canvas – an online classroom tool. Group projects were tailored to suit the online medium. Amidst all this, we students would often talk and share how different things would be if we were on campus at that moment. Isn’t it funny how students would try to skip classes on campus in the pre-pandemic world and now we can’t wait to be on campus?
Attending Krea has been my first experience of meeting people from different places and cultures. I am learning how to communicate with others by striving for balance between openness and sensitivity. Creating WhatsApp groups for the whole batch is something I am truly grateful for since that was a major point of communication to socialise beyond classes. Of course, apart from the abandoned Discord groups!
We had a choice to join a maximum of five clubs, but it would become tough to engage in all of them. I was only active in two of the five I joined. It was refreshing since I could also talk to people who were not in the same class or cohort as me. Club activities are something I continue to look forward to whenever we get a chance to catch up.
Being at home while being a part of a university can be arduous. During the second wave, numerous students and professors struggled to balance the two. Whether there were house chores to do, family members to take care of, to recover and rest yourself or having to stay in the house for long periods of time- all of these reasons had naturally caused a lot of stress. But empathy being one of Krea’s core values, I am glad that the professors had given us students some leeway by simplifying assignments and allowing us to manage our time to make things easier for us. The first year is over. While it might be easier to lament about how one-third of my university life has already passed online, instead, I choose to look at each and every moment as precious lessons I learnt along the way. The university has played a huge role in making the transition smoother and more comfortable. More than anything, I feel like I have gained a peek into the possible futuristic lifestyle that will be dominated by technology.
Embracing the space-time continuum with some laughter and overthinking.
‘It was the Immersion Day experience that set my heart on getting into Krea!’
For a student who always stuck to exploring interests and topics within her comfort zone, Krea was a breath of fresh air. Surrounded by subjects that slightly nudged her away from familiar territory and exposed her to a plethora of disciplines, with talented peers from hundreds of cities across India, Aishwarya’s learning journey here has been nothing short of amazing. Straight out of St Thomas Residential School in Trivandrum into the hustle and bustle of University life at Krea in Sri City, Aishwarya shares with us her journey as a Krea student right from the unique admission process to experiencing Interwoven Learning in her first-year.
How did Krea happen?
I found out about Krea from an old school friend who went through the website and thought it was something I would be interested in. This was the first time I had come across the “liberal arts” concept, and it was very foreign and abstract to me. I must admit that I did not give much time or research into understanding the courses being offered, but the promise of a unique admission process is perhaps what pushed me. I was so busy preparing for various entrance exams and attending college interviews that I almost missed the application deadline for Round 3 of admissions. In hindsight, I cannot believe that I was ever that close to missing out on studying here!
What prompted you to pursue your learning journey at Krea in the beginning?
It was the Immersion Day experience that made me set my heart on getting into Krea. I was not nervous, intimidated, or scared at any point of the process, unlike the interviews and selection processes I had been a part of before. I wanted my undergraduate experience to be stress-free, especially after the hectic schedule I had put myself through in school, and the very welcoming and friendly environment during the KIC made me realise Krea was the right place for me.
Entering Krea right after school, how different was the experience?
In school, I was the kind of student who never stepped out of my comfort zone and I always stuck to rote learning and memorising concepts even if I did not fully understand them. I have always wanted to change this habit of mine, and the learning process at Krea has helped me learn, un-learn and re-learn several things. Initially, I was apprehensive about doing Mathematical Reasoning, Scientific Reasoning and Introduction to Topics in Computer Science in the first year, because I shied away from these subjects in high school. The course faculty helped me revisit concepts I had previously learned in school, and I developed the skills to approach problems differently.
To sum it up, although learning in Krea is not always a cake walk, it is extremely rewarding and I always gain something new at the end of the day.
What about Krea has changed you or given you a new perspective?
I would say that the people in Krea are what make the institution what it is today, and I have never before met such a diverse, motivated, and caring group of people in my life. I owe the kind of exposure I have received over the past two years to the professors, the staff, as well as my peers, and I know it would not be the same elsewhere.
How has Interwoven Learning (IWL) helped you discover or enhance your interests?
I always knew that college would be a formative experience, but Krea has turned my life topsy-turvy, in a good way! I ran for the position of Finance and Resources Representative in my first year and was fortunate to be a part of the first student government. This is something I would never have done before! I pushed myself to try new things, meet new people, and make the most of my newfound independence.
I have to admit that the foundation courses in the first year, although they did open up a plethora of options, ended up making me a little more confused because my interests have always been all over the place. I always knew on some level that I wanted to pursue a major in Economics, and the Interwoven Learning aspect helped me figure out my other interests, and how I could pair them best with Economics.
What are your future plans?
I don’t have solid plans yet– I am considering a Master’s in Public Policy or an MBA, but I’m keeping my options fairly open and I’m hoping to get a better idea once I’ve started my third year at Krea. Working with students has always been my passion, and I hope to build a career in the education field someday.
If you could share something with aspiring Krea students, what would it be?
I think the one thing that sets Krea apart from other universities is the fact that there is room for all kinds of people with diverse interests- and you will always find a space or group where you would fit in and be able to pursue your interests. Apart from the wonderful experiences (both academic and otherwise) I have had so far, I am most happy about the fact that I found wonderful friends here.
Currently majoring in Economics and taking courses in Business Studies and Psychology in the School of Interwoven Arts and Sciences at Krea University.
In school, we are given a range of subjects to study. In college, there is a world of difference! Yes, there are various courses to choose from and attend. However, it is also a deep-dive into that one field or subject for 2-3 years. With the increasing number of options available, I admit that I was confused about what to choose, which discipline to explore and figure out how it aligns with my interests. Unlike the many people who already had a clear idea of what they wanted, I took some time to accept that clarity doesn’t happen so quickly and it is perfectly okay to be clueless at first.
In high school, like most teenagers, everybody gave different advice. Some advised that I should follow my interests. Some cautioned me to keep my future in mind, while others reminded me to be practical. After months of thinking and analysing my options, I realised that all it takes is three simple steps, a step-by-step process that I followed while selecting my Major as a sophomore.
1. Know what you are good at
There is always the scope of surprising yourself by finding something you are unexpectedly good at in college. Krea’s first year, that way, will be a revelation of sorts. When the time comes for you to choose your Major, you would have a fair idea of what it is that you are looking to explore. It is not necessary to excel at that subject area, but be aware of the skills that are required and how it would help you in the future.
2. Identify your interests
Here comes the typical question- what are your interests and what role does it play in your academics? You can like astronomy and nothing else in Physics, or enjoy creative writing but may not be interested in Literature otherwise. College is when you need to think broadly. When tasked to opt for your Major, answer the following questions: Which Major has courses where most of your interests lie? In which Major are you ready to take a few courses you may not like just for the sake of the ones you do enjoy? Remember, to know about one’s interests is a superpower in itself!
3.Yes, be practical too!
Creating a path for yourself, aka by choosing your Major, is a daunting task and requires you to account for every little aspect right from interests to occupations and future potential. I have learned that when we begin college, our knowledge on future careers is extremely limited. But the more you explore, like in the first year, the more your mind opens to a number of opportunities. Amidst all this, my curiosity really helped. So don’t hold back- Ask professors, the internet and people around you about the rich variety of careers available in your list of interests and strengths. Gaining knowledge about the paths that are built and then deciding on your own will also act as a motivator.
Now imagine these three pointers intertwining like a venn diagram. Bear them in mind, weigh the pros and cons, but most importantly- be open to learning new things and embracing change.
The core and skill courses in Krea have been very helpful that way, especially for someone who gets confused easily amidst a plethora of options. I would have never known that I would enjoy coding if it were not for the Coding Course! The first year is like a snapshot of different fields; there is a lot in the mix but with answers to these questions listed above, your Major selection in your second year at Krea becomes a cake walk!
Embracing the space-time continuum with some laughter and overthinking.
If you ask the students of our education system to describe the process of entrance examinations for their tertiary phase of education, there is a high chance that you would hear the words “competitive”, “stressful”, “pressurising” in abundance. Some would say it is a rat race choked with stiff competition and undue pressure.
But, how do these assessments truly define the multidimensional facets of a student in a myriad of sectors, be it academic or non-academic? Are these examinations considering the reflections and ideologies of the student? Are they exploring the portal into their mad-hatter imaginations, to see how they view the world?
Well, I, for one, believe that the most terrible consequence of the system is bulky bags, heavy hearts, open textbooks, and closed minds. However, as a candidate for the Krea Immersive Case (KIC), I was led into a gateway for change…a window that opened multitudes of windows to the world!
As most stories go, once upon a time, a few months ago, I came across the Krea University application form. When you log in to the dashboard, the first question that greets you is an essay to define your personal story. At first glance, this question filled me with a sense of existential dread, because it prompted me to ask myself the elusive philosophical question- “Who am I?”
My first answer would probably be that I am a person who has grown up spilling ink on walls and notebooks, and it would also be my concluding statement because I still spill ink on notebooks and drawing paper (begrudgingly missing the presence of walls). However, I felt that the answer was too vast to encapsulate all the fragments of my heart. Then, I scrolled towards the end and realised an optional question in its stead. We could define our personal story through any medium, be it art, writing, or videos. At that moment, I was thrilled to see that someone finally wishes to see glimpses of my imaginations and ideas instead of my scholastic abilities first.
I submitted an art and writing portfolio which took me a while to compile. But, as an artist, I felt that my words and art expressed the dwindling enigmas and epiphanies of my soul. The application had other features that stood out from the conventional process. There was a space to share your past academic and non-academic works, extra co-curricular activities, and so on. The application process substantiated why the liberal art programme was “the one” for me.
I wanted to be a part of the liberal arts programme because I have so much love for learning, learning without restrictions, learning without fear of failure…learning for the love of learning. It is unconventional but multidimensional in all walks of life. I know that it will allow me to break boundaries. These boundaries are not only geographical, but also the boundaries that breed discrimination and indifference. I want to work for inclusivity and intersectionality through creative expression. If my dreams can be contained in an academic bucket, then that bucket is liberal arts.
The prologue of my dreams began with the Krea Immersive Case. The Krea website will describe this “assessment” as an entire day of various events that learn more about the personality and the ideas of a candidate, beyond conventional academia.
But before the official KIC, we had an informal ice-breaker with a senior buddy and other candidates to feel comfortable in the formal rounds. I still smile ear-to-ear when I look back at that event because it was wholesome to witness candidates befriending each other amidst a competitive set-up.
On the day of KIC, we went through different events- a case study presentation, a group discussion, writing a reflective essay, an interview with the panel, and finally, a quantitative aptitude test. For me, the case study presentation was on “Art and Social Change”. It was filled with heart-wrenching works of art rooted in racism and poverty. It made me ponder and brim with emotions when I spoke about my ideas. It allowed me to examine my privilege and listen to the opinions of different people. It taught me that art will continue to exist in dark times as an essence of hope.
If you Google the ‘top 10 ways to nail your university interview’, one of the tips that show up is to talk to the interviewers like you are talking to your friends. This analogy simply means that you should express your ideas freely, without hesitation. Theoretically, it is ideal advice. However, it is also an open secret that there are certain barriers not meant to be broken. But, my experience with Krea was all about breaking my pre-existing notions of the system.
As a student, I truly felt heard and seen in my Krea admission process. It further made me realise that rat races make you develop personas, to camouflage your real identity. In contrast, a model like KIC allows you to wear your identity with a dazzling smile. Every assessment should give room for students to be open minds and closed textbooks. Education is a guide to be a good human, and I hope Krea nurtures me into one.
Chahna Ahuja (She/Her)
SIAS Cohort of 2024
A surrealist spilling ink, dwindling between enigmas and epiphanies
The blog is written by Rajashree Sadhu. The Author is a MBA student of IFMR GSB at Krea University
“God always have a better plan for us, though the process might be hard and painful!” that’s what my grandfather told me always. Hey wait, I am not writing this article to give you philosophical advices.
But………. Then What?
Well, this abrupt lockdown of the entire world has bought a lot of unexpected dismay in our lives (especially migrant’s workers and not so privileged section of the society). Yet, isn’t that’s what life is, it happens to us when we are busy having other plans.
We are continuously worried and grumbling about negative things that we are facing due to this pandemic- loss of lives(due to Covid-19), job losses, salary cuts, internships cancelled, business at halt, economy is at a standstill, disruption in supply-chain and above all ‘THE GREAT RECCESSION’ (on its way).
But salute to the frontline warriors- doctors, nurses, policemen, sanitation workers and others who are working day in and day out to help us overcome this tough situation. This pandemic coupled with lockdown (which is the only solution to stay safe) has put humanity into a huge test. It’s an opportunity for all of us to serve the under-privileged section of the society who are not able to get their daily bread due to lockdown and no earnings.
Yet some miserable incidents are happening in few places – like pelting of stones at policemen, doctors when they are trying to help us in this pandemic, such incidents are really unforgiving. This is not the time when we should believe in rumors, be arrogant and thereby create violence in society. We all have to fight this together and cooperate with the frontline workers.
This time too shall pass, so we should focus on the positive things that we are experiencing and how can we make the most of the time that is available to us. If you ever felt that you lack time to do the things you wanted to do then this the opportunity. Up-skilling ourselves, improving our fitness, spending time with family these are the things we always wanted to do. Life always comes to us with surprise gifts, blessings and of course hurdles which makes our lives even better.
We neither know how long will this pandemic last nor how long will this lockdown continue, but we can hope that this period will be over really soon. Optimist will always love to see the positive side of things and so if we look deeper we will realize the good things that we are experiencing at this point.
The environmental pollution levels have gone down drastically, rivers are cleaner than we have ever seen before, we are able to breathe fresh air again and a few endangered species have started to appear in few places. This makes us realize that apart from human beings other animals too have equal rights to live in this planet. Nature always has its own healing process but in our rat race to achieve more we forget that, what we are experiencing now is nothing but the collective karma to humankind! Mother Earth will come alive again and it will be more vibrant than ever before.
There is another aspect of this pandemic- a lot of business opportunities will come up. Make in India and manufacturing sectors will be boosted up far more. Every country from now on will try to be self-reliant. The change in consumer behavior will open up new avenues for businesses. Fintech, digital payments, e-commerce will experience a big boom in the days to come. Medical infrastructure will gain more importance than ever before.
Most importantly this lockdown has provided us a huge lesson- no work is small, everyone has its own importance starting from a rag-picker to a top notch celebrity. Today, we should all be grateful to the doctors, paramedical staffs and nurses who are saving millions of lives in this pandemic.
Life always allows some crisis to occur, before revealing its full bright side. As every cloud has silver lining so does everything in life, for a period we are having a tough time but we will be victorious one day. This crisis will give us the zeal to put the best in whatever we do as don’t know when our day is. This Corona Virus will take away a lot of things from us, but in return it will provide us a life time lesson that will help us in the long run.
Say hello to some of the young trailblazers at Krea
Five young girl students at Krea open up about their journey at Krea and trace their experiences through this incredibly diverse community. Coming from varied backgrounds, both educational and otherwise, their steadfast belief in diversity at Krea runs parallel across their stories. Tracing back to the day they stepped into Krea up until today, these bright young minds have paved their ways with indomitable spirit. Read more on their multifaceted evolution and that one encounter at Krea which spilled out of checked boxes and made them believe that Krea is truly diverse, that Krea’s home.
Cohort of 2023, SIAS
When Chaarmikha stepped into Krea, she had plans set in stone, with an aim to pursue Computer Science and later move into a conventional IT career. But today, she is comfortable exploring further in these unpredictable times. Having stepped out of her comfort zone and having tried new things, she believes she has evolved into a self-aware individual with clarity of intentions.
Chaarmikha founded Girl Up Prerna in 2020, a club under the United Nations Foundation’s Girl Up Campaign and the project is very close to her heart. The club has several activities and advocacy related to gender equality right from donation drives to awareness facilitation. “I started working on this in 2020 and it’s definitely a cause that I passionately work towards.”, adds Chaarmikha.
On diversity at Krea, she says, “Unity in diversity is definitely a line that applies to Krea. We’re all very different from each other but have the same value systems and morals. One instance of diversity that I remember well was during the finals week of the Literature and Arts course. We had to pick and explore the folklore of one language and one person had to research while the other two represented/ enacted and wrote. All of us came from different linguistic backgrounds and different skill sets and it was surreal to see such creativity in each of us.
Cohort of 2023, SIAS
“I come from a part of the society where anyone with a background in science is expected to become a doctor or engineer. Krea was a turning point. It changed this notion for me and opened so many more avenues, I realised I could explore more than one subject at a time.”
In her Admissions essay, Ameena had strongly conveyed her intent to break away from the classic mould of being subservient to the other gender. Ameena was very sure of picking up Biology as her pathway to a career but the foundation courses at Krea made her realise that she wanted to choose Chemistry and that’s exactly what she did.
Experiences have punctuated Ameena’s journey at Krea and she counts on her two-month long internship with Led By Foundation, who empower young girls belonging to the minority community empowerment by providing them with real-life career skills, a supportive ecosystem, and access to the right opportunities and networks. Ameena found the opportunity transformational as it allowed her to work with girls her age and more, facing issues in the society that she too had undergone.
Speaking about diversity at Krea, Ameena says, “ The diverse cohort of students at Krea is something that stands out. Even having a roommate teaches one so much. Two people from different cultures, distinct ways of studying, varied point of views, these really have helped me become a better individual with an open mind.”
Cohort of 2022, SIAS
“ I come from a CBSE school with a science background with no exposure to Arts and Humanities. And then Krea happened, I realised how much I enjoyed these too. I think Krea helped me transform from a solo artist to a team player, the focus now is always on group growth and not just individual growth,” says Maitri.
Maitri believes that the Krea journey has allowed her to keep her core values and principles intact while she has become more grounded, stable and calm. She can now understand claims and differentiate evidence. Ethics has been a course that has stayed with her and thanks to the same, she is now pursuing a capstone thesis on data privacy and ethics.
Refreshingly, Maitri’s take on diversity at Krea brought forward a fun anecdote from her first year , “ I am a Gujarati and through the initial days at Krea I wouldn’t prefer rice as it was in stark contrast to my wheat-heavy diet. And then on occasions of Onam and Pongal my friends would enjoy the feast from a banana platter and having never eaten rice with hands myself, I was introduced by these set of new entrants in my life to try it out (all backed by the science of why eating food by hand is beneficial). I am now a convert and love eating with my hands plus the sambar and chutney are my favorites. This, for me, was an eye-opener into the diversity that the Krea community holds.”
Maitri also set up a Food Bank at Krea during her first year where the surplus untouched food from the mess would go to an orphanage in the neighboring village of Sullurpeta. Maitri wished to do this on a much bigger scale involving the industrial units at Sri City until COVID brought everything to a halt.
MBA Class of 2021, IFMR GSB
A national level tennis player, a classically trained singer and now a management leader in the making, Sai Avanthika looks forward to bringing a change no matter the chosen field.
Avanthika joined the class of MBA in the middle of COVID and the initial interactions were all virtual. “Though it was all online, everything was so thoughtful. Even our orientation ceremony ‘Prarambh’ was packed with industry level speakers, including our current Chief Economic Advisor, Dr Anantha Nageswaran. We had a really warm welcome at IFMR GSB.”
Avanthika is now back on campus and calls it one of the happiest experiences of her academic journey. Ruminating about her journey, Avanthika adds, “ I came in as a fresher, I had no corporate experience but the diverse environment at Krea has helped so much. My batch has peers from 23 states with varied work experience, across the genders and study backgrounds. I was a little nervous when it started but now I have grown into a more confident individual with more clarity and a keen overview of what awaits, what corporate life is going to be, thanks to all the exposure.”
Avanthika believes conversing and ideating with different people, who speak different languages and come with different perspectives because of how they grew up and their own experiences has opened up her mind to a different world.
“In terms of information, the knowledge of people’s struggles, really brings in a balanced mindset. Even in case analysis, this helps, the diverse backgrounds and how different everyone thinks.”
Since returning to campus, Avanthika enjoys going for late night walks through the serene paths traversing the campus with her friends, all of them coming from different regions of India, so distinct to her own self. They listen to music, talk, let out steam and call it a day. And the conversations in itself feel like a cultural exchange, diverse and inclusive.
The sports person in Avanthika appreciates how Krea encourages sports and the good sporting facilities available on campus. She foresees a great scope for expansion, “ I don’t see a lot of girls playing. If I can bring about a change being a woman, if I could inspire more people to pick a sport and play with them, I would be happy. This is one of the reasons I joined the Sports Committee. I really look forward to bringing about a change in the way people perceive sports to be, they still look at it as a fun activity but it’s a way of life.”
Cohort of 2022, SIAS
As a young student, Manvi stepped in with a firm outlook on the ways of life and believes that the journey at Krea has been one of self discovery. “Life is not black n’ white, there is no right or wrong, the experiences at Krea taught me to actually understand, accept and look at things from various perspectives, that there is always more to something than meets the eye.”
Manvi believes the diverse interactions, be it with the professors, students, or support staff has been a powerful means of self-discovery, and has helped her shape her own world view.
Manvi celebrates the diversity and inclusiveness at Krea and reminisces one of the earliest incidents to drive the sentiment home, “I was in a class where we were having a political debate about the way certain things should be. It was a class of 15 people and everybody had a different outlook to bring to the table based on their own life experiences, this spoke intricately about Krea as a community. This opens up our minds, gets the flap out of our eyes and forces us to look outside.”
Manvi has also been a Student Ambassador at Krea and worked closely with the Outreach and Admissions team. She looks back at her time as a young 17 year old, seeking answers and confused about college choices and feels that being a Student Ambassador was her way of paying forward, enabling students like herself to gain clarity. It also reminded her of the growth and change that she had gone through herself.
One of the projects closest to her heart at Krea was her internship with IBM. “ We applied all the facts we had learnt into the project. We had to create a questionnaire using NLP technique to tap into human consciousness to gauge their learning style and the results were used on various IBM learning platforms. We used what we learnt in Computer Science, a course in Brain and Behaviour and Design Thinking. It was a reflection of my Krea journey itself, of applying things in your real life, truly interwoven.”
Initiative for What Works to Advance Women and Girls in the Economy (IWWAGE) aims to build on existing research and generate new evidence to inform and facilitate the agenda of women’s economic empowerment. IWWAGE reported that two in five urban women were impacted by job losses during the first wave of the pandemic, owing to the unnatural development of dual workload of domestic care work and paid work. IWWAGE also took stock of the situation and put forward recommendations to make the ‘future of work’ more conducive to women’s workforce participation.