Sheersha Barik’s journey is a testament to the power of social sciences to create positive change in the world. Mentored by Catalyst while still in school, Sheersha went on to pursue a Bachelors in Sustainability at XIM University Bhubaneswar, followed by a Masters in Society and Culture from IIT Gandhinagar. Today, she’s making a real difference in the lives of women and children across India by working as a researcher on a government project evaluating a midwifery initiative.
Catalyst: The Spark of Social Impact
Sheersha’s early exposure to Catalyst played a crucial role in shaping her path. Catalyst mentorship and guidance helped her understand the potential of social sciences to address critical issues like sustainability and gender equality. This early spark laid the foundation for her academic and professional pursuits.
Blossoming at XIM and IIT Gandhinagar
At XIM University, Sheersha delved deeper into the world of sustainability. Her B.Sc. program provided her with a strong understanding of environmental challenges and the role of social and economic factors in addressing them. This knowledge base proved invaluable as she transitioned to IIT Gandhinagar for her Master’s degree in Society and Culture.
The MA program at IIT Gandhinagar allowed Sheersha to focus on her passion for gender and ecological studies. She honed her research skills, exploring topics like the impact of climate change on gender roles, indigenous knowledge in sustainable resource management, and the gendered dimensions of environmental activism.
Research with a Purpose: Strengthening Maternal Health in India
Today, Sheersha is putting her expertise to work on a project that has the potential to improve the lives of millions of women and children in India. As a researcher with IIPH, she is involved in a government of India project evaluating a midwifery initiative aimed at enhancing maternal health and child care. Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, this project is crucial for strengthening India’s healthcare system and ensuring better outcomes for mothers and newborns.
Sheersha’s work highlights the valuable role that social science research can play in informing policy and creating positive change. Her dedication to understanding the complex interplay between gender, culture, and the environment is making a real difference in the lives of some of India’s most vulnerable communities.
Beyond Research: A Passionate Advocate for Social Justice
Sheersha’s commitment to social justice extends beyond her research. She is a passionate advocate for gender equality and environmental sustainability, and she actively participates in initiatives that promote these causes. Her experience as the Eco Space President at XIMB University and her work with the Green Club at IIT Gandhinagar demonstrate her dedication to creating a more just and sustainable world.
Studying Social Sciences at IIT: A Gateway to Making a Difference
Sheersha’s story is an inspiration to anyone considering a career in social sciences. IIT Gandhinagar’s MA program in Society and Culture, with its focus on critical thinking, interdisciplinary research, and real-world engagement, equips students with the skills and knowledge they need to make a positive impact on the world.
The program boasts an impressive placement record, with graduates finding careers in research, academia, NGOs, government agencies, and the private sector. Starting salaries are competitive, and recruiters include leading organizations like Azim Premji Foundation, UNICEF, and PRIA.
If you are passionate about social justice, environmental sustainability, and making a difference in the world, then studying social sciences at IIT Gandhinagar could be the perfect path for you. Just like Sheersha, you can use your education to create positive change and make a lasting impact on the lives of others.
We hope Sheersha’s story has inspired you! Even if you are not a Catalyst alumna and would like to share your story, please get in touch. We would love to hear about how you are using your social science education to make a difference in the world.
Are you interested in a rewarding career with the social sector – sustainability – climate action ? Register for a Career Mapping Session. Here are some ways Catalyst can help you:
- Entrance Exam Preparation: Catalyst provides specialised coaching and guidance for various entrance exams related to social sciences, public policy, and development studies. This includes exams for admissions into top institutions like TISS (Tata Institute of Social Sciences), IIT, IIPH (Indian Institutes of Public Health), Azim Premji University, and others. Comprehensive study materials, mock exams, and expert guidance are provided to ensure students are well-prepared.
- Career Mapping: Catalyst offers career mapping services to help individuals identify their strengths, interests, and career goals within the social sector. This includes helping students understand the various career paths available, such as social work, public health, development studies, and more.
- Skill Development: The social sector demands a unique skill set. Catalyst conducts skill development programs that focus on essential skills like research, data analysis, project management, and communication. These skills are vital for success in roles related to policy analysis, program management, and advocacy.
- Internship and Project Support: Catalyst assists students in finding relevant internships and projects within the social sector. This hands-on experience is invaluable for building practical skills and understanding real-world challenges in areas like healthcare, education, and community development.
- Interview Preparation: For students aiming to secure admissions to prestigious institutions or land jobs in the social sector, Catalyst conducts interview preparation sessions. This includes mock interviews, feedback, and guidance on how to present their skills and experiences effectively.
- Networking Opportunities: Catalyst organises events, workshops, and seminars that provide networking opportunities with professionals and organisations in the social sector. Building a strong professional network is essential for career growth and finding job opportunities.
- Mentorship: Experienced mentors from Catalyst provide one-on-one guidance and support to students and professionals. They offer insights into the industry, share their experiences, and help mentees navigate their career paths.
- Customised Training: Catalyst understands that individuals come from diverse backgrounds and have different career aspirations. They offer customised training programs tailored to the unique needs and goals of each student or professional.
- Continuous Learning: The social sector is dynamic, and professionals need to stay updated with the latest developments. Catalyst offers continuous learning opportunities through webinars, workshops, and access to relevant publications and resources.
- Placement Support: Catalyst provides assistance in job placements and fellowships within the social sector. They connect students and professionals with organisations that align with their career goals.
About Catalyst: Since 2011, students and working professionals have been able to successfully craft a career with Bachelors and Masters programmes offered by TISS, Azim Premji University, TERI, XIM, IIT, Nirmala Niketan, NLSIU, Sciences Po, London School of Economics and Political Science, Symbiosis, IIMC, ACJ, XIC, JNU, Ambedkar University et al with capacity building training for development sector at Catalyst.
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