On 20th Dec. 2017, in came one of our role models, an alumni of Atmiya Vidya Mandir Class of 2012, Sarthak Bhai Jariwala, currently pursuing his Doctorate (photovoltaic cells) at the University of Washington, Seattle, to answer some of the highly crucial questions every science disciplinarian would be curious to know:

  • What is research?
  • How is it to be a research scientist?
  • What’s one’s apex priority in college?
  • What keeps one at the edge?
  • The skill set required to be a researcher?

He started his session with a preamble on what is research. He put it befittingly by saying that “Research is where one questions what no one has questioned or answered and then takes a scientific approach to find an answer to it”. To which he also added that “Research is for people who are more interested in knowing more about the process than the final product.”

After which he stated that doing research comes with a caveat. “In research, one ALWAYS has more FAILURES than SUCCESSES.” So, to be a researcher, one of the important prerequisites, according to him, is to be resilient. He explained that another very important quality required to be a researcher was to have a learning approach. The prerequisite for having the latter was well, sheer willpower.

Notably, he said that one goes into research to do exceptional things. And to do exceptional things, one needs to be at the edge. But, a question arises, “How to be at the edge?”

Well, in Sarthak Bhai’s words, or literally, a word: “Bhajan!”

He said that “Prayer helps! A lot! Prayer sort of makes pre-decisions for you”.

For the entreè, he served us with the skill sets one must have while in a university. Two of them worth listing:

  • “You need to have sufficient amount of positive influence in and around you to identify and let go the negative influences”.
  • “When in university, you want to make sure that in your spare time, you work to get better in all aspects of life”.

According to the varied experiences of various alumni, these skill sets are “THE SKILLS” required to survive in a university.

The presentation gloriously ended with an insightful, effective and a lasting notion from Sarthak Bhai:

“The enjoyment comes in the Journey. In the end, learning matters, not the Final Product”.

Written by: Devang Patel (Class 11 Science)