Back in high school, I was more into music resulting in a lag in academics. However with time pragmatic choices took priority over true passion. Then, one day I received an email regarding the I Have a Dream program from Shailey. The timing was right, and, because the workshop was placed during the mid-semester break, it did not clash with my academic commitments. For me the main outcome of this workshop was to understand myself, and refocus on my dream and passion, which I had put on the back burner for a while now.
I have been a participant in the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program during high school. This experience had enabled me to come out of my shell, and overcome my discomfort and inhibitions with unfamiliar people and situations. Further, several years later, through the exercises and activities undertaken during the opening and closing workshop of the I Have a Dream program, I was gradually able to understand myself better and became aware of my patterns. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) session provided insight on my various preferences. This understanding improved my connections with people around me. I became more patient while listening to others and more accepting of different perspectives. I remember one exercise where people were talking about their challenges and what was holding them back. One of my peers was trying to say something and I misunderstood because I was not patient while listening, and naturally, the person did not feel understood. This experience taught me to really try to listen to what the other person is trying to convey rather than guessing the problem.
Working with my mentor, Bhanu, was an amazing experience. He is meticulous, knowledgeable, and helped me regain my somehow lost focus. It was from him that I learned the importance of getting work done. He helped me define goals, and devised means for keeping track, which made things more tangible. Just watching him work, whether it was typing an email, prioritizing tasks or presenting documents, inspired me. My mentor also encouraged me to apply to various organizations for internship positions, and suggested I understand the nature of work such organizations undertake to know if I am well suited for them. This was extremely helpful as it helped me rule out things that don’t interest me. By eliminating what I am not interested in, I could get closer to what I really wanted to do.
As part of my dream project, I wanted to get my songs recorded, as an album or an Extended Play (EP). I was being a bit ambitious in trying to do it in a matter of three months. While the songs are ready, they need to be recorded in a professional studio, and I plan to get this done as soon as possible. If everything goes as per plan and my music is released in the market, part of the proceeds from the sales will go towards charity. My dream indeed goes beyond the duration of this program and I am motivated to keep working towards it. Writing songs make me happy, and I am passionate about performing, it is what I love to do and that is what holds the passion for me. I have also participated in ComMutiny and Music for Harmony, a few of the events conducted by Pravah. I graduate in another four months, and may either study further or get a job, but my passion for music will continue to be my driving force.
Vyom is currently in the last year of his Bachelors in Business Administration degree with a specialization in International Business. He participated in the USG-sponsored Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program in 2010-11, through which he spent a year as an exchange student at a U.S. high school. He was mentored by Bhanu Joshi through the USG-sponsored I Have a Dream leadership and mentoring program for International Exchange Alumni.