I am Saiyam Hota, I graduated from Modern School Barakhamba Road in 2019 and I’m currently a pre-final year student at Shaheed Bhagat Singh College, University of Delhi pursuing Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) with a minor in Economics.
Even before I joined college, I was aware of the famous ‘Society Culture’ in Delhi University and personally was also extremely involved in my school societies, I was the Vice President of the Commerce and Economics Society and an active member of several other societies. Hence, I had decided that I will make the best use of this Society Culture to gain knowledge, build my network and improve my skills.
In my first year of college, I worked for the Commerce Association of my college in the capacity of the Joint Secretary, organising several events, workshops, seminars and social impact drives including a National Level Conference on Business and Management. I was an extremely active debater and was part of SBSC’s first institutional team to win a Parliamentary Debate. I was an active member of the Young Entrepreneurs Society, where I contributed towards the ideation of profitable projects, intellectually enriching events and was recently promoted to Research and Development Head. I also participated in several competitions and won at a few Business Plan and Case Competitions. I captained my team to the National Pre-Final Round of GSM 2020 organised by Deloitte (Offices of the US) where we were among the top 50 teams out of 5500+ participants from across India.
However, the major highlight of my past year has been With You; For You. WYFY is a Startup that aims to be the one-stop shop for all your Mental Health needs. Check out: https://www.withyouforyou.co.in/.
I started WYFY with a few seniors from DU with the goal of creating positive change in society, countering the lack of awareness and breaking the stigma that is currently surrounding Mental Health in India. My colleague, Siddharth Tuli, first mentioned this idea, where he talked about the need for a safe platform catering to Mental Health needs. What personally drove me was the fact that despite claiming to be a modern society, the general perception about Mental Health is shocking, an Indian teen suffering from anxiety is scared of telling his/her friends and parents because he/she is afraid of being judged.
It took us 3 months to get the right team, convert our ideas into tangible work, onboard professionals and get the app ready. Our app lists professionals, provides daily tasks, promotes intuitive journaling, has blogs, mood logs and lets you share the story of your healing. The work at a startup never ends, after launching, the work and responsibilities just increase. I currently serve as the Chief Strategy Officer at WYFY.
I would recommend the aspiring entrepreneurs to work on the following skills- Patience, Persistence, Curiosity and Creativity. They can do so by reading, working on live projects with startups, interning with startups, networking with individuals in their areas of interest. Start believing in yourself, people might doubt you but you should never doubt yourself, just because you’re young doesn’t mean you aren’t ready, Mark Zuckerberg was 19 when he started Facebook and Warren Buffet purchased his first stock when he was 11.
Now in terms of how to make the most of your college life:
- Join various clubs and societies, work in the societies you find interesting and engaging.
- Interact and network with as many people as possible. A strong network is extremely helpful no matter which field you are interested in.
- Gain as much work experience as possible, intern at various places, do live projects, start your own initiatives. Don’t be afraid of experimenting, college life is all about learning and exploring various fields. This will help you gain career insights and find your interests, do tangible work and don’t just intern for certificates, your skills matter more than a certificate.
- Attend webinars, seminars and conferences by experienced speakers, they will help you gain knowledge and a new perspective.
- Attend competitions such as Debates, Quizzes, Case Competitions etc, they will improve your skills, knowledge and also help in networking.
- Do online courses, to learn new skills and make yourself more employable.
Don’t be afraid of taking risks and trying new things, always remember that you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.