Indian students were invited to a “Meet & Greet” organised by GOPIO Manhattan at the Indian Consulate in New York. The GOPIO-Manhattan (NYC), in collaboration with the Consulate General of India in New York, organised the “Annual Day for Students- New & Existing from India” studying in the Northeast.
The program was organised to connect them to the community and provide mentoring opportunities as well as to raise awareness of Consular services to students from the Indian Consulate. On October 21st, the event took place in the Indian Consulate in New York. Participating in person or remotely were students from a variety of institutions in the Northeast.
GOPIO Manhattan’s co-secretary, the event’s chair, and emcee, Ms. Bhavya Gupta, welcomed everyone to the programme. She opened the evening’s events by extending a warm greeting to Mr. Randhir Kumar Jaiswal, the Indian consul general in New York.
“Welcome to all the students from India with an open heart as you pursue your future studies here in the Northeast region and help in the growth of the economy here in the USA and back home in India,” said Ambassador Randhir Kumar Jaiswal, evening’s host.
The goal is to expand this programme to include more students from the pool of 200,000 students who come to the USA for further studies, to attend in person more interactive sessions and gain exposure to various services offered by the Consulate for the benefit of the students, from registration at the Consular Portal, to cultural events, to mental health support in the USA. He also noted that this year Indian students were the highest among the international community in the USA.
Following this, GOPIO International Chairman Dr. Thomas Abraham gave a speech in which he urged the speakers to mentor, inspire, and direct the students. Dr. Abraham also works as an adviser to GOPIO-Manhattan.
“In the 1960s and ‘70s when a foreign student joined a university, he/she was given a host family, now with the connected world and social media, the host family concept went away and the 4.5 million Indian Americans could serve as the host family to the new students,” said Dr. Abraham.
Following the introductions, Ms. Bhavya Gupta asked the moderator, Mr. Gautam Mukunda, and the evening’s principal guest, Ms. Chandrika Tandon, to a fireside discussion.
As noted by Ms. Tandon, a philanthropist, Grammy-nominated artist, and humanitarian, “Students can succeed whether here in the USA or in India, as long as they put in their work with honesty combined with hard work and dedication.”
The Tandon School of Engineering at NYU has a merit-based admissions process, and she went on to say that the incoming class has a very promising future. She emphasised that both new and current students today have a lot more major options available to them, including computational biology, which was not available a few decades ago.
Ms. Tandon gave the Tandon School of Engineering at New York University a $100 million donation. A fireside discussion was held with Ms. Tandon by Mr. Gautam Mukunda, Research Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership and host of the podcast “World Reimagined” on Nasdaq. He asked her about everything from her professional career to music to philanthropy, starting with her travels.
Professor Rajasekhar Vangapaty, executive vice president of GOPIO-Manhattan, opened the panel discussion, which was conducted by Mr. Rajeev Kumar Goyle. In this session, there were seven panellists who were asked to respond to various inquiries.
Attorney and instructor at Wichita State University, Mr. Rajeev Kumar Goyle, chaired the panel and shared his experiences with the students. He allowed the panel to help students decide on their majors and future paths. He further urged the Panel to think about the fireside talk and express their opinions.
At the NYU Stern School of Business, Associate Professor of Tech, Ops, and Stats Mr. Srikanth Jagabathula, a Robert Stansky Research Faculty Fellow, presented his experiences with the students and advised them to “wear different hats, multi-task, go out of your comfort zone, explore and discover.”
When discussing his own journey from an F1 to an OPT to an H1-B to a Green Card, Mr. Dilli Bhatta advised students to “ask your employer whether they will sponsor your visa or not, but you give your best services.”
Mr. Shivender Sofat, President of GOPIO-Manhattan, attended online and spoke to the kids about the value of mentoring. He also covered chapter activities and encouraged everyone to volunteer and join GOPIO Manhattan at upcoming events.
Mr. Siddharth Jain, a GOPIO Manhattan board member and programme coordinator, opened by offering a prayer of condolence for the late Dr. Krishnan Goyle, a life member of the organisation and the husband of Ms. Vimal Goyle, GOPIO Manhattan’s vice president and founding life member.
A GOPIO Foundation Day First-Day Cover and a sheet of 20-Deepawali Stamps were presented to the Chief Guest Ms. Chandrika Tandon and the host ambassador Randhir Kumar Jaiswal by Mr. Jain after calling on Dr. Abraham.
In his closing remarks, Mr. Jain expressed gratitude to the panellists, panel chairperson Ms. Chandrika Tandon, host ambassador Shri Randhir Kumar Jaiswal, deputy consul Shri Varun Jeph, and the consulate personnel. President Shivender Sofat (who attended remotely), EVP Professor Rajsekhar Vangapaty, Treasurer Braj Aggarwal, Co-Secretaries Dr. Lisa George and Bhavya Gupta, and Raj Punjabi were among the other GOPIO-Manhattan representatives present at the conference.
“The students had an excellent time networking with students from different universities as well as with speakers and the Consulate and GOPIO officials, and we plan to do a much bigger event next year,” added Dr. Abraham.
GOPIO-Manhattan Chapter has recently launched a number of activities in keeping with its aim to help the less fortunate and the general public. Every month on the last Monday, the Chapter organises a Community Feeding when vegan or vegetarian lunch is served to the poor and homeless at Manhattan’s Tomkins Square Park. The chapter requests help from the public by asking them to volunteer or sponsor the initiative.