Student Leader Interview - Meru Madaan from Jesus And Mary College

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1. Tell us more about your role and responsibilities at your college. 

JMC, as we know, has an autonomous student council, and conducts their own autonomous elections, so all my roles and responsibilities are campus oriented and placed around the campus of the college itself. The roles and responsibilities are mostly widespread such as organizing various annual events such as the Annual Fest, Montage, addressing student grievances, becoming a conduit between the admin and students and enhancing the overall culture of the college. 

2. How can we encourage more young students such as yourself to take up leadership roles? 

I think more than encouraging them to take up leadership roles, we need to encourage them to believe in themselves and their ideas. In order to encourage more and more young leaders, we should create more platforms for their ideas to be heard and indulge in checking the feasibility of these ideas. These small changes can help young ideas flourish, teaching them various skills along the way to finally lead and implement their ideas.

3. What have been your biggest challenges and learning from what you do?  

One of my biggest challenges was overcoming my lack of forbearance. I’ve learnt that when you’re working with various people from admin to students and even various vendors while organizing events, patience comes very handy. Also, I learnt that, as a leader, it is important to adjust yourself to the person you’re working with in order to work efficiently. 

While representing a larger group of students you can sometimes completely disagree with the way they want things to be but it’s important to always represent your voters. Lastly, I’ve learnt to strike a balance between Leadership, leading alongside your team and sometimes just letting your team learn from their mistakes.

4. What are your career goals and how is what you are doing going to help you with that? 

I’ve always wanted to pursue a career that involves helping people in some way or another so, when psychology and the option of becoming a psychologist came around, everything kind of fell into place. I want to be a clinical psychologist and I think these leadership roles help me to understand what people want and why they want it, and I think that’s where psychology collides with leadership. I think my role as the vice president has taught me more about people, their ways of thinking and how everyone is so different in the way they approach tasks, and life in general.

6. What went into the planning of Montage, the annual fest, and what is it like signing off as the Vice President of Jesus and Mary college?

Montage is and will always be the most cherished memory of my tenure. It took more than management and leadership skills to plan and make Montage happen. Montage was a roller coaster ride that took patience, love, persistence, loads of emotional moments and swift decision-making to plan. 

This year has been a challenging one, but I’d say that signing off as the Vice-President of Jesus and Mary College is extremely emotional because I never got those fina day jitters, or planned a farewell for my president and my seniors. Without that closure, I think it’s a mixed feeling. More than anything else, it has been an honour that has taught me so many new ways to look at leadership and what a leader is supposed to be like. 

7. How did you juggle a leadership position as demanding as this, with academics?

I think my sports shoes were the most useful part of this juggling because it was all running back and forth from the book shop, to the classes and then back to the amphitheatre where all the meetings happened. On a serious note, I think I never studied regularly, but I always kept up with the readings that were being taught in the class and completed all of the assignments and tests. Being in such a demanding position might require you to miss a few classes, but keeping up with what’s being taught saves up the last minute hustle before end semesters. 

- Meru Madaan

Interviewed by- Priyanshi Arora

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