Indians have made tremendous contributions to America in a variety of fields including technology, business and education. In fact, they have become such a prominent part of American society that Indian characters have started appearing in American films and comics (think of the Harold and Kumar film series made in 2004 onward and Raj Patel, a character introduced by Archie Comics in 2008). One reason why Indians have been so successful there is that America has provided a great platform for them to grow.
So, to encourage you as you move towards your goal of higher education in America, from time to time we will be posting stories on Indians who, like you, went to America for education and then became great successes. There are dozens of inspiring success stories to pick from. Our first one is on Vinod Khosla, co-founder and first CEO of SUN Microsystems, the company that, among other things created:
- the Java programming language
- the Network File System (NFS)
and also significantly evolved several key computing technologies, including
- RISC Processors
- Thin Client Computing and
- Virtualized Computing
We hope that you will enjoy and be greatly motivated by the enormous achievements of those who went to America before you. (See next post for Vinod’s story).
“An entrepreneur is someone who dares to dream the dreams and is foolish enough to try to make those dreams come true.”
~ from the website of khoslaventures
- B. Tech (Electrical Engineering), IIT Delhi
- Masters in Biomedical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University
- MBA Stanford Graduate School of Business
- Net worth 1.5 billion as of March 2013 (according to Forbes)
- He has created 6 jobs for everyday that he has been in America
- One of the founders of Indian School of Business
His Story For a superb read on Vinod Khosla’s life, philosophy and achievements click here
Vinod Khosla Quotes:
“My philosophy in life is I don’t mind failing in trying new things. But it better be relevant if we succeed. I don’t mind the low probability of success, but I better be impactful if we do succeed.”
“Our willingness to fail gives us the ability and opportunity to succeed where others may fear to tread.”
and here’s one from Michael Jordan, who is obviously a role model for Vinod Khosla
“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty six times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
The ‘solvency certificate,’ which is also known as a ‘capability certificate’ is a letter from your banker stating that you are capable of raising funds equivalent to your tuition fees and costs of living in the United States. Most bankers are willing to give these certificates to their regular customers. This certificate is one of the documents that you will need to send along with your application form to the university that you are applying to.
Note that if the university to which you are applying demands a ‘bank certificate’ indicating the actual funds available in your bank account, then a solvency certificate will not be acceptable.
For many of you who are applying for admission in fall 2014, the months from October to December will be when several important phases of the application process will draw to a close for you. Here’s what you have to do in that critical phase:
Ripples from the smart phone revolution started by technology giant Apple are spreading out everywhere. Apps for mobiles for a variety of organizations and services are being rolled out in increasing numbers. Now, the ETS has got onto the band wagon with its launch of the first-ever official GRE® test prep mobile app on the App Store.
According to the ETS, the app, which is based on the second edition of The Official Guide to the GRE® Revised General Test, gives users access to authentic GRE® test questions from past administrations of the test, answers and explanations by ETS and the ETS’s own tips and strategies for the GRE®.
With the app users can quiz themselves, track their progress with category-specific results, and even count down the days left till their test date. Two versions of the app are currently available:
With earlier versions of the test, students would go to the ‘Big Book’ for practice on actual GRE test papers of the past. With the Revised GRE coming in August 2011, A new version of the prep book called the Official Guide came in. Now, the GRE® program also offers ‘GRE® Success Starter videos’ to help you crack the GRE®.
There are two videos:
- GRE® Success Starter: Tips & Strategies for the Quantitative Reasoning Section
- GRE® Success Starter: Tips & Strategies for the Verbal Reasoning Section
The videos are designed to help you familiarize yourself with the two most important sections of the test: Quantitative and Verbal Reasoning. According to Dawn Piacentino, Director of Communications and Services for the GRE Program at ETS, , “In less than 20 minutes each, these videos walk test takers through examples of the different question types in the test, provide strategies for answering each question type, and share useful tips and strategies.”
Here’s an additional bit of good news for GRE test takers in India. The growing number of students taking the GRE® test in this country has pushed the GRE Program to open customer support centers here.
According to the ETS, the new GRE Customer Service Centers will “provide guidance and information for individuals preparing or planning to take the GRE® revised General Test or GRE® Subject Tests. Information about test preparation materials, test centers and dates, score reports and other test-related inquiries can be answered by call center staff.”
The ETS adds that India Indian students, “may call the new GRE Customer Support Center toll-free at 000-800-100-4072, Monday–Friday from 9 a.m.–5 p.m. IST. In addition, inquiries can be sent via email toGRESupport4India@ets.org.”
This should make registering for, scheduling and cancelling the test much easier for students.
Starting in July this year, the GRE program made additional testing available across the country to support the growing demand in India. The cities where additional testing will be available include Ahmadabad, Bangalore, Bhopal, Calcutta, Dehradun, Hyderabad, Mumbai, New Delhi, Vadodara and Vasad. A surprise inclusion is Nasik. Pune is yet, however to get a test center of its own despite the large number of test takers from Pune.
Dawn Piacentino, Director of Communications and Services for the GRE Program at ETS explains that there are two reasons for the increase in the number of test-takers: “Interest in the GRE revised General Test has been steadily growing as more people are choosing to submit GRE scores when applying for an MBA or specialized master’s program. The number of graduate schools around the world who accept GRE scores is also on the rise, giving GRE test takers a lot of options.” The GRE is obviously still aggressively challenging the position of the GMAT a the premiere test for students seeking admission to MBA programs in the United States.
Ideally you would like to make all your letters of recommendation count. Consider the following two letters:
(i) Letter 1: “I highly recommend student X for your graduate program. Student X received an A+ in my undergraduate algorithms class. He was ranked Number 2 out of 100 students. He got the highest score on the ﬁnal. He worked very hard all semester, never missed a class, and was always able to answer the questions that I asked in class. This conscientious attitude makes him an excellent candidate for any graduate program. ”
(ii) Letter 2: “I highly recommend student Y for your graduate program. Student Y received a B in my undergraduate algorithms class. He was ranked Number 29 out of 100 students. Halfway through the semester we started working on network ﬂows. Student Y seemed extremely excited by this topic. He disappeared for 4 weeks and even missed an exam. However when he came back, he showed me some work he had been doing on a new network ﬂow algorithm for high-degree graphs. He had done some simulations and had some proofs. I’ve been working with student Y for the past couple months since then and he is full of ideas for new algorithms. I think student Y’s initiative makes him an excellent candidate for any graduate program.”
Which letter do you think is stronger? It turns out that Letter 2 is very strong. Letter 1 actually counts as 0. At CMU we mark all letters like letter 1 with the acronym D.W.I.C.. This stands for “Did Well In Class” which counts for 0, since we already know from the student’s transcript that he did well in class. By contrast, student Y’s letter gives us a lot of information. It explains that the reason student Y didn’t do better in class was that he was busy doing research. It also tells us that student Y started doing research on his own initiative, and that he is quite good at doing research. The professor was impressed enough with student Y’s ideas that he took him on as a student researcher despite student Y not having high grades.
You want your letters to all be of type 2 (this doesn’t mean that you should skip class!). Remember that letters of type 1 will not count. You want words like self-motivated, strong research potential , own initiative, independent, and driven to appear in your letters. These are the words that we circle when reading recommendation letters. You therefore want to ask letters from people who have seen you do research. These may be professors or employers.
Related Blogs on Application Documents
Question & Answer Forum
– What are transcripts?
– When should I register for the GRE test?
– Where can I find university deadlines?
– From whom do I need to take recommendation letters?
The list of questions that come up when you are applying to American universities is endless. Most probably you won’t know where to look for solutions or, whom to ask for the answers. That’s where the next of our great free application tools comes in – the DOA ONLINE Q&A FORUM.
On the Q&A Forum (click screenshot below for enlarged view) you can:
- ask any questions you have regarding the application process for American universities
- get answers and expert advice from the academy (look for answers by the admin!)
- get valuable tips and insights from other registered users – since they have gone through the same situations and problems, their advice is often the best: no one understands your situation better than those traveling on the same path!
- consult the vast database of questions and answers already on the Q&A forum.