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Diverse career paths for Ashoka University's Young India Fellows, Class of 2015
Thursday, September 17, 2015
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New Delhi: The fourth batch of the Young India Fellowship (YIF) has been successfully placed this year, across diverse fields ranging from the social sector to top multinational companies. YIF is a one-year postgraduate diploma programme in Liberal Studies at Ashoka University. With a 41 % increase from last year, the average compensation (for profit) offered to Fellows was INR 11.6 LPA.  Apart from those placed, a substantial number have chosen to pursue higher studies at some of the leading universities in the world, such as Harvard, Oxford, King’s College London. A few have also demonstrated their entrepreneurial spirit and are working towards their own ventures.
 
Commenting on the successful YIF placements, Ashoka Founder & Trustee, Dr. Pramath Raj Sinha (also Founding Dean of the YIF) said, “The continued success of our Young India Fellows has further reinforced our conviction that learning rooted in liberal studies is an education for life rather than training for a job. Four years ago, we launched YIF to assess the relevance of the liberal education model in India and to serve as a pilot for Ashoka University. Today, the YIF has grown into a prestigious, highly sought-after PG programme that attracts the brightest minds, the most inspiring faculty and a stellar list of recruiters. We are happy that we have been able to take the first important step in creating a platform that allows students to do what they want to do rather than what they are asked to do. We are very appreciative of the support received from our recruiters, students and alumni in this initiative.”
The placements highlights for the year include:
 
Participants in the Batch
194
Participants in the batch opting out of placements
15
Higher studies
30
Entrepreneurship
6
Total Number of Offers Made
181
Number of participating Companies
85
Placement Percentage
100%
Average Salary (Profit)
11.6 Lacs
 
The various organisations that recruited from Ashoka this year include top corporates such as Citibank, Cipla, Google, Genpact, Goldman Sachs, Boston Consulting Group, Schlumberger, and other reputed names like Ratnakar Bank and Manipal Hospital. About 43% of the total number of Fellows have joined the corporate sector compared to 28% last year. This reflects the increased emphasis by companies on 21st century skills like communication, problem solving, critical thinking, team-building and leadership. The highest compensation package offered by the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors stands tied at INR 17 LPA this year. Sixty percent of the batch has been offered salaries higher than INR 9.0 LPA while 32% have secured an offer made above INR 12.0 LPA. The median salary for the batch has risen to INR 9.2 LPA.
 
Jobs in the social sector have always attracted Fellows, who are keen to pursue their dream of giving back to society. This year too,  38% of the Fellows have been placed in the social sector; some of the prominent organisations include Teach for India, Pradan, Society for Policy Studies (SPS), Pratham, PRS Legislative Research (PRS), and Self-Employed Women's Association of India (SEWA). The class of 2015 had 8 canditates selected for the Mother Teresa Fellowship, which aims to build the next generation of development sector leaders by providing them financial assistance and opportunities for capacity building activities.
 
Prestigious scholarships and entrepreneurship
To further their academic pursuits, 15% of the Fellows have opted for higher education programmes. Many of them have secured scholarships in leading universities abroad. Continuing their asscociation with Ashoka, 11 Fellows are enrolled in the Masters in Liberal Studies (MLS) programme at the University. Among the prestigious scholarships bagged by Fellows this year are the Rhodes Scholarship, secured by Sonali Chowdhry, who will be pursuing MPhil in Economics. Peeyush Khare has also received a fully-funded Yale Fellowship for a Ph.D in Chemical and Environmental Engineering. Other scholarships bagged this year include the NUS Research Scholarship, Eiffel Scholarship and the Lamp Fellowship.
 
Keeping with the spirit of entrepreneurship, 14 Fellows have opted to start their own ventures. For instance, Karmantik, a start-up by two Young India Fellows, aims to foster sustainable livelihoods for artisans by reviving and preserving their traditional craftsmanship and helping them pass on their knowledge to future generations.
 
As part of the programme, the Fellows are assigned a unique mentor to help them discover the right ‘fit’ for them. Moreover, the University supports and encourages students in their independent search efforts to find their preferred careers. Through these various options, YIF aims to provide students with more offers as well as variety of roles to find their best match.
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