“Success is a jouney not a destination, the doing is often more important than the outcome” – Arkya Chaterjee
Meet Arkya Chaterjee, one of the most aspiring and talented student of this era who did not dream of “excellence”, but it came as a “surprise” to him. He topped ISC in 2015 and WBJEE in 2015 among lakhs of young aspirants and his JEE AIR was 9. Can you believe it ?
He was a student of Vivekanda Mission High School,Kolkata and is currently pursuing B.Tech in Engineering Physics from IIT Bombay.
Everyone dreams to be like him so let’s catch up with him as he shares his experience and memories !!
1) What has been your overall strategy towards studies?
Right from my school days, I loved learning. As a result, I was a voracious reader. So my “strategy”, if I might call it that, was being interested in knowing more, and loving what I studied. I think this basic guiding principle has always been at the back of my mind whenever I have had to make a choice regarding what I wanted to study, and has got me where I am today.
2) What keeps you motivated?
Like I said in the first question, I love what I study, and that’s my sole motivation.
3) Some believe that extra-curricular engagements are a waste of time. Your views?
No constructive use of time is ever a “waste”. I, for example, play the guitar whenever life becomes too hectic. It helps refresh my mind, and gets me back on track.
I believe that nurturing a person’s talents is extremely important, whatever it may be. In my experience, most schools (and parents) tend not to appreciate this fact, leading the student to get into something he/she was never really interested in. To make a difference in the world, one has to be motivated enough, which doesn’t come by casting every student in the same mould.
4) Being a board topper and WBJEE topper must have been your dream…How did you work on it to accomplish it?
“Dream” is not really the correct word. But yeah, it came as a pleasant surprise.
A majority of my plus-two years was spent in preparing for JEE. Luckily I had some really good teachers (at one of the major coaching institutes of Kolkata), who guided me through the entire process. My scores in competitive exams were largely due to their guidance. Getting clear with concepts not only helped me in JEE but also in the boards.
I must mention here that I had two really great physics teachers, both at school (Arindam sir) and at the coaching institute (Binay sir), whose teaching, in a way, motivated me to opt for the physics stream after the plus-two level.
5) What struggles did you face for reaching here on this platform where you are today?
I don’t think I faced any struggle as such; my parents were always supportive of my choices. They knew I was motivated to do well, and provided me the right guidance at the right time. I must also mention my go-to “strategy person”, my grandfather, whose advice is something that helped in many different ways, during and after my school life.
I opted for an unconventional choice after JEE by opting for Engineering Physics (at IIT Bombay), instead of opting for the more “traditional” CS or EE. Explaining my choice to people who used to say, “you’ve got a good rank, why didn’t you take CS?” was a slightly tiring exercise. So I would say the only struggle I really faced was explaining people that I’ve chosen my branch based on my interests, a simple (and logical) statement people have stopped understanding.
However, I was lucky that my parents supported me completely throughout the process.
6) You must have indeed got a lot of options and choices after a string of beautiful results. What made you choose the path you are currently travelling in and how do you plan to make a difference ?
I chose engineering physics at IIT Bombay, solely because I was interested in studying physics. Moreover, this particular program provided a good mix of competitive students, and really nice exposure to engineering streams, something that is not possible in a general physics degree.
Now that I am halfway through my undergraduate studies, I am planning to go into academic research in physics, though I am yet to decide exactly which branch of physics I would be going into. I guess I still have some time to figure that out.
7) What are your future plans?
Like I said, I am planning to go to grad school, and thereafter pursue an academic research career in Physics.
8) What is your message to the students who dream what you have already achieved?
Whatever you do in life, make sure you have fun doing it. Pursue your passion, put in the hard work, and nothing will ever be able to stop you.
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