For Bevin Matthew, one of the recipients of the prestigious TOEFL scholarship 2014, the award will go a long way in easing his financial burden on studying abroad. The mechanical engineer plans to augment his engineering degree with a Master’s degree in Industrial Engineering which he believes is in perfect sync with his outlook towards everything in life.
Although not new to the experience of studying abroad, (he had previously studied in Qatar), Matthew has chosen the USA as his study destination and looks forward to moving to a new country for a fresh experience. Currently, focusing on Georgia Institute of Technology, he is also awaiting replies from Stanford and University of Michigan.
Excerpts from the interview:
Q: What encouraged you to apply for the TOEFL scholarship? Can you give us a background about your life as well as your qualifications?
A: Studying abroad is usually an expensive affair and the financial support that comes in from scholarships goes a long way to ease the burden. Furthermore, it is one of the most prestigious scholarships available for students in India.
I am a mechanical engineer from NITK, Surathkal, who graduated in 2013. Currently I work at Toyota in India.
Q: What is your TOEFL score? Can you give us idea of the competition for the TOEFL scholarship? How did you prepare?
A: My TOEFL score was 118. The competition is huge for the TOEFL scholarship with thousands of applicants and being chosen as one of the 10 winners from India is a huge honor.
Q: Was there any specific reason why you chose to study in the USA?
A: For my area of interest, universities from the US are clearly torchbearers and I had promised myself that if I pursue a Masters degree, I would always do it at the world’s best. Though I am waiting for all the results to come out, I am eyeing a degree at Georgia Institute of Technology.
Q: Were there any other universities or countries in your mind while applying?
A: There was never any question about applying to a university in any other country but I am also keenly awaiting replies from Stanford and University of Michigan.
Q: How did you come to know about TOEFL Scholarship?
A: I came to know about it from a very close friend of mine who thankfully came to chance upon the announcement of scholarship applications in the papers.
Q: Did you apply for any other scholarships apart from TOEFL?
A: So far no, but I am planning to apply for a couple more towards the end of February.
Q: What is your chosen area of study? What aspect of the subject interests you?
A: I have chosen to apply for an MS in Industrial Engineering. The most interesting aspect of Industrial Engineering is the fact that it can be applied to almost all walks of life. This branch of engineering mainly deals with optimizing processes and I feel it is in perfect sync with my outlook towards everything in life.
Q: What about studying in a foreign country? How do plan to explore the country? Also, how do you plan to divide your time between work and study?
A: I spent almost all my childhood in Qatar so living or studying abroad is not an entirely new experience. I am however really excited at the prospect of getting to move to a new country. I have a lot of friends already doing their studies there so I am sure I will have lots of company.
Q: What are your future plans after completing the course?
A: I am still not completely decided on this. As of now, it is most likely that I will look for an appropriate job after graduation but I am also leaving the door open to converting my degree to a PhD midway and moving on to a teaching career, subsequently. I will probably make up my mind once I begin the course.
Q: What are your interests and hobbies?
A: I spend a lot of time playing on my keyboard and apart from that I also relish learning new languages. Whenever I get the chance, I love engaging in outdoor sports especially football.
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