18 Jan 2023 10 min Read

Wonderful Things Can Come From Wondering

– Harsimran’s Story

Who Am I?

Not all who wander are lost – Gandalf. This quote has shaped who I am and perfectly gives a gist of what I want from life.

My mind and I have always had a habit of wandering. My mind is led by my curiosity. The curiosity to find out about new things and keep learning is something I aim to commit to my entire life.

I’ve been fortunate enough to have a diverse set of experiences—from having a wholehearted interest in Chemistry to becoming a baker, from being a Food Technology undergraduate to a female manufacturing intern and then an executive in a food manufacturing unit, I have tried my hand at various different things.

Like I said though, I like to keep wandering. So I wanted to take my learning curve a notch higher.

My Application Process

So In 2019, I learned about the Erasmus Mundus Programme mere months before the pandemic began. I chose to apply to one of the programs, but unfortunately I was rejected.

At the time, being between the job of an essential commodity worker and my monotonous daily routine that I had grown tired of, I yearned to learn something different and new. I wanted to learn about the business aspect of the food industry and switch my focus from operations to research and management of food businesses.

Eventually, I began exploring the Erasmus programme once again. The programme consists of many fields and courses.

The fear of facing failure and rejection again took over me, especially because I was at a crucial point in my career. I knew I had to make the right choice but at the same time, I was wrestling with many internal battles. I felt like I had a lot to lose. I started to feel defeated.

I began to second guess my abilities and wondered how best to approach my application process. Though I’d made peace with past failures, the disappointment still remains and influences my thought process.

My Journey With Kohort

Amid this dilemma, I fortunately met Pavan from Kohort through LinkedIn, and after just a brief conversation with him, I was determined to apply again. I had hope again. With his guidance and mentorship, I applied to two Erasmus Mundus courses.

Pavan is a true mentor because he not only supported me during my application process but also during the post-application anxiety I faced. I had good grades, decent internship experience and full-time work experience as well, yet it took a great deal of creativity and hard work to finetune every part of the application process.

With Pavan’s hand-on approach, I learned a lot. Never before in my life had I received guidance to construct my application in such a detailed and organised manner as I learnt during my application process to the Erasmus Mundus program. It felt nice to receive personal attention from someone who genuinely cared, this is rare in the education consultancy industry sadly.

In the last days of March though, I learned I had been rejected from the first program I had applied to. I had to wait for another month to know about the outcome of the second program. That one-month wait was a very stressful time for me.

After a month’s wait, I got accepted to the BiFTeC-Food4s program with a full Erasmus Mundus Scholarship! I was partly in disbelief and partly over the moon.

I had my initial doubts about so many aspects of this programme and about applying to it. I forced myself to take action anyway and decided to believe in myself and grab this fantastic opportunity. And I never looked back.

Looking back now however, I’m so glad that with Pavan’s help, I could muster the courage to take the leap.

The Road Ahead

Now, I have the chance to study in Belgium, Portugal, Germany and Ireland. I have the opportunity to learn not only through my course curriculum but also about new cultures and languages.

Some wander to study, some wander to experience new ways of growth. Now, I’m off to wander and have the adventure of a lifetime.

I can’t wait to find out what a new place like Europe has to offer. I’ll always be grateful that people like Pavan and his venture of Kohort exist, making such experiences and dreams of students come true.

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