Meet Alisha Kalyanpur, JIPMER Pondicherry 2nd Year MBBS – Nurtured at Inventure, Ready for the World

1. What are you currently doing?

I am in my 2nd year of MBBS at JIPMER, Pondicherry, studying to become a doctor.

2. Which colleges did you receive acceptances from? Which did you choose and why?

I had the choice between JIPMER and Bangalore Medical College and I chose JIPMER for a number of reasons. For one, it’s known to be a very good medical college for aspiring doctors with a cohort of intelligent students and inspiring professors. As it is a government institute, it comes with patient exposure which is invaluable. It also had some sentimental value as my mother had attended a semester here in her med student days. And lastly, I wanted to be away from home and have that romanticised ‘growing up experience’.

3. How has Inventure helped you achieve your goals thus far?

In Grade 11, I decided that my dream was to become a doctor and Inventure helped me get one step closer to that dream by giving me expert guidance and helping me ace the final exams. There was never any pressure from any of my teachers on me to pursue any particular profession. After seeing many a batchmate who has been pressured into the medical field, I feel grateful for the freedom I received to follow my own path and dream my own dreams. By not being a believer in pure academics, Inventure also taught me how to multitask and manage my time such that 24 hours feels much longer than it is and I think I owe it to this skill that I am surviving med school!

4. Why would you recommend Inventure to a friend/anyone you know?

Inventure has been like a second home to me. All my cherished high school memories are from Inventure. My peer group was very down to earth and the faculty was incredibly passionate and caring. I still recall pieces of advice I was given from teachers, like my biology teacher telling me that if one puts in a little effort every day, no mountain will seem to high to scale. I still wear my uniform shorts around. I am grateful for the habit of physical activity that I inculcated at Inventure, which keeps me healthy and happy. And most importantly, the school’s cheerful environment taught me how to have a positive attitude at all times in life.

5. What were your major accomplishments at school?

Thanks to Inventure, academic achievements like topping the country in ICSE, weren’t the only ones I had. I learnt leadership skills as the vice captain of my house, Adventurers. I learnt about worldly affairs and the art of debate by attending MUNs. I had enriching experiences at MIX for which I was selected to represent the school. And I gained some invaluable life lessons while representing Inventure at tennis events in interschool fests.

6. How have you built/used what you learnt at Inventure… how has the Inventure experience helped you in college/life?

In retrospect, I realize that Inventure is a great school to prepare you for not just college, but life.
One of the greatest lessons I learnt at Inventure which has helped me in college has been optimism. I imbibed a carefree attitude from the happy-go-lucky students and the positive teachers. I know now not to take life too seriously and I feel like this is very important especially in medical college where I’m constantly confronted with heart-rendering instances of disease and death.

Inventure also taught me how to be independent which is vital for living the college life. This I gained by the numerous extracurricular activities at Inventure, from setting up stalls and selling things, to attending leadership workshops by inme, to organising amazing annual theatrical performances (‘Muse-ical Magic’ in my year).

When I hear horror stories from my friends about their ‘coaching days’, I find myself reminiscing about my own pleasant high school days. And to this day when I find myself in a large lecture hall surrounded by a hundred and fifty fellow batchmates, I remember my high school class of ten students, in which my every word would be heard and acknowledged.

7. Could you elaborate on why you decided to stay/study in India? Why not go overseas?

I’ve wanted to be a doctor so that I can make a difference in a few people’s lives. I feel like India has given me so much, from a lovely growing up experience to a cultural background that I’d be proud of anywhere in the world. And so I’d love to be able to give back to my country in whatever way I can. As an aspiring doctor, I feel like if there is a need for medical services, it is here. So it made more sense to me to study in India where I could learn about its endemic diseases and the attitudes of its citizens so that I can eventually get qualified and work here.

Also, I attended a summer school program in the USA during my 10th grade summer that made me realise that India is where my heart lies.

That’s why I decided not to go overseas for college.

Note: Alisha also made it through the written exam to the interview rounds at CMC Vellore and St Johns hospital, Bangalore but chose not to pursue.

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