09 Feb Varun Kedia ’13 – Why is mentorship important?
Varun Kedia graduated in 2013, having spent 10 years at Woodstock. He went to the Cass Business School in London and graduated with a BSc in Business management. While at university he started and ran an event management business.
How did Woodstock Shape who you are?
I think Woodstock shaped me to become a better learner, in terms of trying to see the bigger picture in everything and being more skeptical in a world where so much information is thrown at us through the news, social media etc.
Growing up in Mussoorie surrounded by such an international community, It modeled me to truly become a global citizen helping me understand diverse cultural sensitivities and gave me emotional intelligence which has helped me on both personal and professional fronts.
What are you involved in now that you’re passionate about?
I am now working in Nepal in the energy and health care sectors. Renewable energy is something I have always been passionate about. I am currently working on promoting hydroelectricity and introducing greener and more efficient construction technology and solutions to the developing country. Additionally, both health care and health education are lacking in this part of the world and our company aims to fill the gap by operating world class standard hospitals and medical institutions across the country.
Why do you think mentorship is important?
College is a very confusing time for most of us in terms of what we want to do after we graduate and where we want to end up. Having a good mentor to guide us through this decision-making process can make all the difference in our future career. I was very fortunate to have had a great Mentor, Woodstock alumni Nikhil Chouguley whom I met in London as I was exploring internships and job opportunities there.
I would also like to stress the advantage of having a mentor from Woodstock because as you mentioned earlier wood stockers, regardless of the batch have a unique understanding of each other which makes all the difference when giving/receiving advice.
What is valuable about the WS experience and why we understand each other in a unique way?
I think the experience we share at Woodstock is unique from the way most others grow up, we are all hundreds of kilometers away from home and share in the same difficulties of daily life. All cultural, social, and economic differences disappear as your friends become family. For me that was one of the most valuable parts of the Woodstock experience, it gave me family everywhere in the world.
How important do you think it is for WS alumni to be able to reach out to each other professionally?
I think its very important. Networking professionally is more important now than ever. The Woodstock alumni network is a fantastic community with well accomplished people in all industries across the globe. It is a community where people will genuinely seek to help you regardless of personal interest.
A small example would be, when I was working on my final dissertation for university I was able to interview Dalia Mujumdar ’01, she is the Managing Associate in energy at Linklaters which is London’s most prestigious law firm. She gave me deep insight as well as references to other people in the industry which made all the difference to my paper, helping me earn a distinction.
Across the world, the WS community has members who are decision makers at the forefront of their respective industries, and generally are very willing to help. We should all take advantage of this community to help and get help from fellow alumni.
Do you think WS alumni connect is important to help alumni connect with each other?
Yes, it’s a great tool to see what WS alumni are doing across the world.
A note on your time at Woodstock
Who did you most look up to at your time in Woodstock?
There wasn’t just one person, there were great teachers and dorm parents throughout my time at Woodstock. Someone who does stand out though is Mrs Das, an elementary school teacher I had.
What do you miss the most?
I miss life at dorms the most, going to Char Dukan with friends. We had some great times!
What were you involved in during your time at Woodstock?
In sports I represented Woodstock in the inter school cross country races throughout my years there. I was also very involved in student life as I served on the student council as the Menu head of the school, and was also part of the dorm council. As part of dorm council, I ran the hostel coffee bar, which was my first experience with business and entrepreneurship. I also played trumpet for the school band.
Connect with Varun and other Alumni by signing up on Woodstock Alumni Connect today.