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ISC topper from Mumbai shares the secret of his success and some advice

Cathedral & John Connon School student Vedant Podar, who stood second in Maharashtra in the 2017 ISC board exams, says two years of consistent hard work paid off
BY Skendha Singh |   05-06-2017
Mumbai high school student Vedant Podar near Westminster Bridge, London, with the Big Ben in the background, under a cloudy sky
Vedant Podar

ISC board exam results were announced last week, and Vedant Podar, a student of the Cathedral & John Connon School, Mumbai, stood second in Maharashtra state, with 98.75%. Vedant participated in the Knowledge@Wharton High School Global Young Leaders’ Academy last year, an annual summer program hosted by The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, in collaboration with BrainGain Magazine. He took some time out from celebrating for this email interview. We are proud of Vedant and wish him all the best!

  • You have achieved 98.75% in the ISC board exam, and second place in Maharashtra. How do you feel, and how have you been celebrating?

    I feel on top of the world to have scored 98.75 % overall. I’m grateful to my well-wishers for all their support and motivation. A special thank you to my mom for always believing in me and encouraging me to work hard.

    Haha, not been getting much time to celebrate. Receiving wishes from people around the globe, be it on Facebook or Instagram or through calls and WhatsApp messages. My friends/relatives have been dropping in and spoiling me with cards, gifts and hugs!

  • How did you prepare for the exams?

    I worked consistently for the past two years with the aim of excelling at the Boards. When the exams were close, I studied harder and took breaks in the middle to relax my mind. I chatted with my friends in order to reduce stress. The time table was well spread out, and so I was able to concentrate on each subject properly before the paper.

  • What extracurricular interests do you have? And did you find time to pursue them over the year?

    I am passionate about chess. I play regularly, and have played tournaments overseas, like in the US. I am also a cricket enthusiast, and follow mostly all cricket matches, even if India isn’t playing!

    I couldn’t practice chess regularly due to lack of time. However, I was still able to watch cricket matches (IPL) during the boards for a while, as they helped reduce stress and were good breaks.

  • In Summer 2016, you went to University of Pennsylvania to attend the KWHS Global Young Leaders’ Academy. Do you think it helped you?

    It was absolutely amazing. Attending a summer program at the prestigious Wharton School was the best experience of my life. Studying in the classrooms and attending lectures by extraordinary professors was a dream come true. I was able to meet strangers from different parts of the world, interact with them, and leave the camp with the joy of them being family. We’re all still connected.

    The camp has helped me substantially. Besides learning about various interesting topics from phenomenal professors, it helped me grow as an individual. Interacting with people from around the globe helped me develop confidence and learn about different cultures. It is an experience of a lifetime. I would advise anyone with an interest in business/finance to attend it.

  • What are your plans now? What is your dream career?

    I plan to study finance/ business management. I’m still unsure about where I am going to study though, haha!

    I aim to be a world-class entrepreneur and create a product that helps satisfy a consumer need and is used by everyone. I want to run a multinational company and give back to society.

  • Is there a message you would like to share with other high-school students?

    My only advice to students who are going to give board exams is to be consistent. It is very important to work throughout the year, and not only before the exams. Excel continuously from grade 11, and the boards will not seem difficult. Follow a routine that you are comfortable with, and take breaks when you feel you need them. Do not think about the hours you’ve studied, but think about the work you’ve finished. Most importantly – do not stress! Be calm, take a deep breath, believe in yourself, and everything will be fine :)


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