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“It’s All About The Journey and Not the Destination”: UPSC Mentor Kavya Rajendran

Team StoryWeavers|May 29, 2020

Kavya Rajendran kicked off her BYJU’S journey earlier in January this year. Having already worked in the field of educational content in New Delhi, she naturally gravitated towards BYJU’S when she had to relocate to Bangalore with her mother. “It wasn’t really planned. A friend of a friend suggested that it would be a great opportunity and it just clicked,” says Kavya, who joined as Content Specialist for the UPSC Team and has quickly moved on to the role of mentor. “I’m glad it happened because I’m having a really great time here,” she adds.

If there’s one thing that immediately stands out about Kavya’s contribution to her team, it’s the number of varied roles she has straddled in such a short period of time. “I started off by setting questions for the prelims test series team, then I made presentations for a while and after that, I was with the BYJU’S Home Learning Programme team. Finally, I’m with mentoring now,” says the Jack (or should I say Jill) of all trades! 

As a mentor, most of Kavya’s day is engaged in calls and as a self-proclaimed ‘people person’, she’s quite enjoying it. “The aspirants could want to talk about a number of things. Sometimes it’s academic, sometimes motivational and sometimes they just need someone to talk to reassure them that they can do it,” Kavya adds. 

What’s your advice to all the UPSC aspirants out there?

The UPSC exam is one of the fiercest competitive exams in the country. In 2018, roughly 17 lakh candidates applied with only 1056 candidates finally landing a post after clearing all rounds. That puts the clearance rate at around 0.2%. So how does Kavya view the playing field? With a refreshing tinge of optimism. “It’s a gamble,” Kavya admits. “But I think the journey teaches you much more than the result. Whether it happens or not is a different thing altogether. You learn a lot, your mindset improves a lot and you become much more humble. It teaches you how to accept failure more graciously. So the journey is more important than the destination here.”

UPSC mentor Kavya Rajendran on how the competition teaches you humility and how to deal with failure.

Kavya, who is also a travel and fitness enthusiast, carries this carpe diem attitude in her non-professional life too. Last August, she embarked on a trip to Ladakh with her friend, where she found herself riding pillion on a Royal Enfield along with a group of what Kayva describes as “a random group of 10 to 15 travellers”. It was here where she decided to try riding a motorbike for the first time. At a quaint halt point on the Leh-Manali Highway called Sarchu, with a little help from her friend, she managed to pull it off! 

Upon being prodded on the male dominance in the biking scene and what she would have to say to women who are interested, but hesitant to try it, Kavya says that it’s a liberating experience and she wishes more girls would just “go for it”. “I’m not a biker per se but I want to be one,” she gives a disclaimer before adding, “Once I moved to Bangalore, I visited a lot of bike showrooms. I met one woman at Khardung La Pass who had ridden all the way from Bangalore on an Avenger. Out of everyone there, I was transfixed with her. She looked so empowered.” 

As someone who loves the great outdoors, she’s obviously not too thrilled with the lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. But she also feels like the lockdown is a time to reflect and get comfortable with your own self. Kavya admits that she intends to make a similar solo bike journey all by herself and she can’t wait for things to return to some semblance of normalcy if not the way it was before. 

Team Storyweavers wishes Kavya the very best along her many journeys.

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