Leveraging his love for STEM helped him solve contemporary problems

– Shantanu, NYU-Abu Dhabi

Shantanu loves science and technology, and believes that engineering is as much about imagining the future as it is about solving societal problems. This is reflected in the projects he has pursued over the last couple of years, and is also highlighted in his university applications.

He learned Java and Python through online courses. His interest in electronics led him to develop a gesture-based controller for a Micro Aerial Vehicle (MAV). Shantanu created an inexpensive system to estimate various pollutants in canals and made the data accessible through an app for local villagers in Punjab, to build awareness of fertiliser usage. An agriculture intensive state, Punjab faced a cancer health threat from excessive use of chemical fertilisers.

At age 15, Shantanu also started a social initiative with the aim of providing underprivileged children opportunities for holistic development. Growing up in different air force bases shaped Shantanu’s thoughts and ambitions. Living in big cities and small towns across India and abroad made him question the hierarchy that existed between children of air force staff and civilian workers. Unhappy with the discrimination and disparity in opportunities to socialise and learn, he started “Sparsh” – organising games, talent shows and producing short films. Sparsh grew into a community with rural women artisans using an e-commerce portal to generate income for themselves.

Shantanu is pursuing a bachelor’s degree at NYU-Abu Dhabi, which he feels is a great melting pot of culture and diversity. He is looking forward to new experiences and is passionate about learning photonics and optoelectronics to improve modern devices and change the way we communicate.

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The fundamental role of independent educational consultants is to help students explore college opportunities and find the right place for them to succeed academically and socially. IECs don’t get students admitted—they help students demonstrate why they deserve to be admitted at appropriately chosen schools. They help students find colleges they might not have heard of—often out of their region—and they help students put their best foot forward.

Here are 5 things families should consider when looking to hire an IEC:

  1. Does the IEC belong to a professional association such as IECA with established and rigorous standards for membership?
  2. Do not trust any offers of guaranteed admission to a school or a certain minimum dollar value in scholarships.
  3. Ensure that the IEC adheres to the ethical guidelines for private counseling established by IECA.
  4. Find an IEC that visits college, school, and program campuses and meets with admissions representatives regularly in order to keep up with new trends, academic changes and evolving campus cultures.
  5. Do they attend professional conferences or training workshops on a regular basis to keep up with regional and national trends and changes in the law?