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Studying Social Sciences at IIT – Catalyst Alumna Sheersha Strengthening Maternal Health

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.

Shinjini SenguptaShinjini Sengupta
15:30 10 Jun 23
Catalyst have been an excellent experience for me. Saurveswear Sen sir is an excellent mentor as he believes in interaction between teacher and student. Sir is very supportive and always available for all the support and help required.
Shyamasree JanaShyamasree Jana
07:28 14 May 23
I joined Catalyst in the month of November, 2021. I was keen to pursue my career in the field of social sector and Catalyst has been the perfect platform for me where I got guidance extensively by both Sauraveshwar Sir and Team. They have a well articulated plan for the aspirants to balance between all the subjects required to focus on for the competitive examinations. Along with Mathematics, Reasoning and Vocabulary, we had a separate website where we could go through the entire General Knowledge and General Studies which will be useful for the exams. There are separate one - to - one sessions as well by Sauraveshwar sir himself along with doubt clearing classes. We also attended various seminars and workshops on the prevailing social issues and on the solutions so as to curb it down. It has been a wonderful experience with Catalyst!
srijana ghoshsrijana ghosh
14:39 13 May 23
Catalyst has literally been the path of direction in leading me into my area of actual interests and especially fully utilize my potentials. It provides a vast source of resources in terms of networking, all the the necessary updates in the social sector. Saureshwar sir has been the most humble mentor, and has been supportive even beyond the course and been in touch continuously. Catalyst has been a great decision in my life for sure!
Sreya BanerjeeSreya Banerjee
11:18 10 May 23
Catalyst has been a great experience for me. Sauraveswar sir is an incredible teacher. He teacher us each and every topic with ease and even repeats it for us. He has been available all the time over phone. Whenever I used to feel nervous for vivas or exams I used to call him up. All the topics that came in our exam was explained thoroughly by sir. It was really great journey with catalyst. I can't even imagine that I could enroll myself in Symbiosis. I always used to dream but sir helped me in turning my dream into a reality.
Chandreyee GuptaChandreyee Gupta
14:48 22 Jan 23
It has been a great learning experience and journey with Catalyst Learning Services. I had enrolled in Catalyst in the year 2014. I was aspiring to study Masters and I required preparations for the competitive examination. The structured academic planning helped me to prepare for the exam. The classes were informative and insightful, and my doubts would be cleared as well. I was given study materials and questionnaires on the concepts taught, that helped me to strengthen my analytical, quantitative and qualitative skills sets. Overall I had a learning experience studying in Catalyst. I was able to pass the competitive examination and the following rounds. I got admissions in the Masters Programme in 2015. I sincerely thank Catalyst Learning Services for helping me in preparations and guiding me in the journey.
Shipra GuptaShipra Gupta
07:25 19 Aug 22
I got to know about Catalyst via What's app group. Before joining, they will take an orientation where they will try to understand your requirement and help you to see how can they help you. Going forward it was a smooth journey. They were there on every step and always a call away.
Madhurima RoyMadhurima Roy
11:17 09 Aug 22
It is a great learning space. It has given me the opportunity to push myself further to the edge at which I never thought I could have ever reach. Thorough learning and exercising has helped me overcome my many fears. Words would fall short to express the gratitude and gratefulness to this place.
DIYA MAJUMDARDIYA MAJUMDAR
05:02 27 Jul 22
I found about Catalyst through a random Google search. At that very time I was not very sure about which career path I should choose that will be best for me. After connecting with Sauraveshwar sir in catalyst. I could get a sense of what I should do next after my undergrad. As I joined catalyst during covid year, it really helped me a lot to get through a lot of entrance exams. The materials provided from catalyst helped me a lot in preparing better for the exams. Also, the guidance I received from sir was very useful not just for the exams but also for life ahead.
Ankit SinghAnkit Singh
09:02 10 Jul 22
One of the best platform to learn and grow in such an amazing atmosphere. I thank the mentor as well as founder Sauraveswar Sen Sir for putting his effort and creating a holistic purview in every students mind who has been with catalyst as he has served the purpose and keeps on doing the same after we have finished our courses as well.
Sudeshna BandyopadhyaySudeshna Bandyopadhyay
08:23 03 Jul 22
When I first joined Catalyst, I had little to no idea of what I was going to do after graduation. Sauraveshawar Sir guided me day in and day out to help me come to a conclusion about my plans for Masters. It has been a wonderful experience.
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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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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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