My name is Felix josemon and I have recently won Google Scholarship.
In this blog post I am going to convey how exactly I was able to bag the Google’s prestigious scholarship ‘Venkat Panchapakesan Memorial Scholarship’ which is awarded to 6 students(Not 6 exactly every year, can vary) in India every year.
Who is Venkat Panchapakesan?
Venkat was Google VP who led engineering for YouTube and a humble human being(More)
Venkat was a much loved and highly respected engineer whose career took him to YouTube, Google and Yahoo, among other notable companies. He tragically passed away, too young, after a battle with cancer. During his short time he deeply touched the hearts and minds of his friends, family and colleagues. He taught us to be generous, humble, ever-optimistic and to always find the best in people.- Source
Every year Google selects a certain number(6) of students from colleges in India and award them following-
a financial award of 750 USD towards tuition and education related expenses, and will be invited to visit the YouTube headquarters in San Bruno, California, USA.
Have an opportunity to submit a proposal, and potentially receive a funding of up to 225 USD to spend on growing computer science in the local community.
Dividing following into 3 parts-
I came to hear about Prince Raju, who was one among 6 who won this scholarship last year. Searching his name, gave out the video which he applied for scholarship-
I knew I had to give a try and possibly seek his help. Thus I sent him message on Messenger, to which he happily obliged and shared his contact.
Here is the Application process-
Writing essays was quite easy, getting it right to what is asked is tough task. After writing first draft, I showed it Rohit Sunil and Sagara Sasikumar. They gave me a good amount of Feedback and Suggestions. The essays were further refined with help from Manoj Mohan from SV.CO, who is Cambridge CELTA-certified English teacher.
After capturing a 1min video of myself, I seek out to Siddharth Ram, Centre Head of SV.CO, who is a great story teller and Public speaker.
Are you wondering how India’s First Digital Startup Incubator SV.CO(Previously Startup Village) and I am related? Read here
Next up is Resume and Recommendation letter. I put up an interesting resume and got Recommendation letter from Prof. Ajay James(Faculty at College) and Sanjay Vijaykumar(CEO of SV.CO).
After all set for submission, the deadline got extended to May 26 :). Leaving me about a week more. So I decided to wait.
The same time was when my University exams were postponed. Leaving me enough time. So I decided to drop by Appmaker.xyz, which is a Kochi based startup that helps Wordpress/Ecommerce sites convert to Native Mobile Apps in just minutes. Visit their site- appmaker.xyz
I came across Rethink Foundation, an interesting initiative by Arya Murali( Senior from Gec Thrissur), Sijo Kuruvilla George( Founding CEO of Startup Village) and few others. They had started operation few days back.
#Rethink is a non profit spearheaded by Sijo Kuruvilla George, who is a good friend and mentor.
Rethink curates a wiki for Opportunities. Making it easy for anyone to know about them deeply. When I mean deeply, they list out previous winners, whom to reach out, who are earlier winners and what are key benefits…etc
i.e- Rethink is a talent accelerator & a youth collective — driven by belief that with the exposure & guidance, youngsters would go on to build impactful careers & lives.
Understanding that Google selects only 6 students from India, we thought what made their application( What made them) stand out from 1000s of applications?
We seek help of Prince Raju who could potentially connect us with rest of winners. Ultimately we were able to get previous winners to do hangout sessions with applicants in our circle. I have written a blog of same Rethink blog here-
E-Meeting 6 Venkat Panchapakesan Memorial Scholars
Backstory- As usual in hunt for opportunities, I got to hear of Venkat Panchapakesan Memorial Scholarship organised by…
That really helped! Having an idea of how they set apart their application gave us this leverage which could help our submissions as well.
Part 3- Redo Application
I knew I had to rewrite my essays and redo 1min videos if I needed to win.
Arya divided the questions(2 essay questions) into sub questions and Sijo guided me into writing “Shitty First draft”. Essays were eventually refined and resulted in best essays I could come up with.
Same goes for Resume as well.
And Finally the video! I have done more than 50 retakes(Seriously) for this application. Perhaps this might be the reason, I am not in Indian Cinema’s :P
I uploaded the final video on Youtube on 10:17PM May 26, 2017( 2 hours to deadline). Here is the 1-min video I submitted-
And completed submission before 10:30PM.
It was drizzling outside with cool air and I had happiest feeling in excitement. I decided to walk to where I was staying with hunger.
Below is a pic i took that day-
Fast forward- On 18th September in the evening I received call from Deepak Sridhar, Google India mentioning I was selected as one among the 6 Google scholars from India.
Here is a Official mail of the same-
I immediately called up everyone who made this happen and conveyed them this news. Friends, Family, Mentors…
I called up previous winners with enthusiasm to share the news, here is their response-
I am constantly in touch with them:)
Going to Silicon Valley was my dream since I joined college( even before that too).And this was the moment i been waiting for.
Some of Key Learning I picked up-
Ask and you shall receive.
Seek and you shall find.
Have great friends and mentors.
Doubt the default.
“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
I will be traveling to Silicon Valley in month of October and will cover my further journey here. Update: I got back and I was there for 2 weeks ( Thanks KSUM for covering for the extra week) here is my Experience & Tips for winning(video)
Need any help? Want to talk? Or just sent me wishes? Send in mail to firstname.lastname@example.org [Most preferred way to contact]
Want to know more about Felix and his activities?
Few links to help-
Felix Josemon - Rethink Wiki
Government Engineering College, Thrissur (2014 - 18)
My First Media Hackathon
It was a great moment when you get shortlisted to first media hackathon conducted by Manorama Online.
Join our Facebook Group where we are interviewing Previous Venkat Scholars- Update: read interviews below
AMA with Aditi Mithal ( Venkat Panchapakesan Scholarship winner ) - OpCollege
Read about Venkat Scholarship and what other winners have to say about it. Introduction Hi, I am Aditi. I was in my…
AMA with Sriparna ghosh ( Venkat Panchapakesan Scholarship winner ) - OpCollege
Read about Venkat Scholarship and what other winners have to say about it. Introduction Sriparna Ghosh Hello. I am…
AMA with Nikita Sivakumar ( Venkat Panchapakesan Scholarship winner ) - OpCollege
Read about Venkat Scholarship and what other winners have to say about it. Introduction Nikita Sivakumar Hello…
AMA with Baani leen ( Venkat Panchapakesan Scholarship winner ) - OpCollege
Read about Venkat Scholarship and what other winners have to say about it. Introduction Baani Leen Kaur Jolly Hello. I…
AMA with Saumya suvarna ( Venkat Panchapakesan Scholarship winner ) - OpCollege
Read about Venkat Scholarship and what other winners have to say about it. Introduction Saumya suvarna Hello. I am…
AMA with Rohan Saxena ( Venkat Panchapakesan Scholarship winner ) - OpCollege
Read about Venkat Scholarship and what other winners have to say about it. Introduction Hi everyone! My name is Rohan…
Update 2019: Join this Youtube Live(on 20th August,2019) with 2018 and other scholars: Register here
Join College Opportunities Telegram(install Telegram to access) channel for future opportunity updates. https://t.me/CollegeOpportunities