Batch 2023’s Siya Ragade, a skilled flautist in Western classical music and an aspiring advertising and branding major, is the global topper in the 2020 Cambridge International AS & A Levels in the English Language (12th Grade) and won the 2018 ‘High Achievement Award for Travel and Tourism (10th Grade). Featured as one of the Cambridge International Alumni on the official Cambridge website, Siya elaborates on her inspirational journey.
A student who excels in not only academics but also extra-curriculars is bound to get overwhelmed, but that was not the case with Siya – the three key elements that kept her going were hard work, interest, and the immense support of her family. Even though all her subjects were quite content-heavy, they could not exert pressure on her, thanks to her amazing support system. Her parents, peers, and teachers were always a call away, whether she simply needed cheering up, or wanted constructive feedback for her work.
Maintaining a balance between her music and her studies, Siya appreciates the role of a fixed routine; which has helped her come a long way and excel in both. She believes in a process of working backwards, in which planning the present is important to make sure that your days are complete in every sense. Siya is determined to be brilliant in both her studies and her music, both of which she loves equally. She also believes that no set formula exists that can bring you closer to your goals. If one loves what they want to achieve, they’re bound to figure it out with time. For Siya, feeling burnt-out after days of continuous hard work is perfectly normal; and it only brings one closer to the realization that taking a breather is important.
Talking about how the Cambridge Board played a significant role in her achievements, Siya mentions that the course offered a diverse bunch of subjects and the flexibility to mix and match. However, it was the element of ‘application’ that actually attracted her to this process of learning. Theories and concepts were taught within the four walls of the classroom, but students had the freedom to experiment and apply these in real-life scenarios. This whole process of hands-on learning made the reinforcement of concepts much easier. The structure of the examinations for Cambridge board students was also easier for a student like Siya to transition from, who had been appearing for a similar pattern back as a student in the USA. The board’s flexibility in terms of subjects also helped her pick those that would align well with her eventual goal of making it big in the advertising industry.
Siya’s experience with the Covid 19 pandemic, which hit right after her brilliant achievements, has been a silver lining amongst dark clouds. While online college makes her miss actually interacting with people, staying home has given her the time to work upon herself and achieve other things like improving her Western Classical music through self-learning, and conceptualizing and creating new ideas in isolation. The breather offered by the pandemic has given her the time to exercise her skills towards her complete potential. However, Siya continues to feel the absence of meeting like-minded people to learn from and collaborate with; and hopes that things return to normal as soon as possible.
When asked about how she views the Advertising and Branding industries in the post-pandemic world of media, Siya mentions that increasing accessibility to teleconferencing with people all over the world will make it necessary for the people in the industry to stand out and carve their own path. She also believes that the pandemic has offered people ample time to decide how they can learn new things, which they might not learn in their schools or colleges otherwise. Siya advises anyone who wishes to pursue a career in these fields to give their hundred percent to the job they’re doing and remain committed to it. For Siya, adding your own flavour to the work you do and developing a personality that lets you stand out in a crowd are two important things needed to excel in media in the coming future; and students must persevere and maintain their individuality in order to grow.
Advising aspiring media professionals who might be looking to join SCMC in the coming future, Siya says, “Be humble, be kind, know your worth, and aim for the stars. This is the principle that has driven me so far, and I feel that keeping your head on your shoulders helps you navigate your worth in life. You, first, need to figure out what kind of work you love and the effort it requires, and then aim for the stars – don’t be afraid of what you want to achieve. There is no compulsion to stay stuck in a rut or pursue things that you do not enjoy; we’re lucky to have access to information at our fingertips, and we must make the most of this privilege. Evaluate yourself, figure out what you want, and work towards it.”
SCMC is extremely proud of Siya’s achievements as an alumnus of the Cambridge International Board, and we look forward to all that is in store for her as a student of our college. Congratulations Siya! Soar high and achieve all you dream of!