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From Mumbai to Multimedia: Rohan Bandekar's Next Genius Adventure

Rohan Bandekar, a Next Genius Scholar achieved his long-awaited dream of being the Director of a Multimedia Production.


Rohan Bandekar graduated from Juniata College in 2022 with a double major in Multimedia Production and Business.


When Rohan was completing his grade 12 at DY Patil International School, he applied for the Next Genius Scholarship Program. He saw it as a great opportunity to learn to be independent, responsible, proactive, and take charge of himself as it would be his first time leaving his house and being away from his parents.


While sharing about his time at Juniata College, Rohan spoke about how much the professors encourage their students to take up big projects and do research. They completely go out of their way to show support. Not just this, but his in-class experience was also incredible because the number of students is less and the professors have one-on-one interactions with them. They have an open-door policy for students and maintain healthy relationships with them. According to Rohan, “It has been one of the most wonderful experiences of my life. I got to make some of my best friends, worked on some of the most amazing projects and connected with many professors. Juniata became like a home to me and on the day of graduation, it was hard for me to say goodbye to it.”


Apart from this, the college campus is excessively spacious. Rohan said, “We prefer to spend more time outside our dorms, in the quad. At times, we go and work there as well. After the COVID pandemic settled down a little, the faculty encouraged us to sit outside more often as it would reduce the spreading of the virus. They had even set up picnic tables for us so that we could sit in small groups and maintain social distancing. Additionally, there are no restrictions on using classrooms. Every classroom in every building is available for every student to work in. The college faculty is quite understanding and generous about this.”


Rohan said, “The biggest reason behind going abroad is to learn about other cultures, their perspectives, and thinking. I was a part of the ‘International Students Orientation’ and met people from all over the world who had come to Juniata. As a culturally diverse community, it was always interesting to engage in conversations. Juniata, as a community, has been extremely welcoming of students from diverse backgrounds, and, it takes us out of our comfort zones to try out new things, cultures, food, and languages. Four of us went to Juniata that year as Next Genius Scholars. We went our separate ways, and became a part of different social circles, but came back together as one and did things specific to our culture. I was the President of the South Asian Student Association and we celebrated all the Indian festivals for the first time on campus.”


Besides being a tour guide, student creator, blogger, and starting the first podcast at Juniata, Rohan used to work at the ‘Career Services' office at college. It is an office with a few professional staff who help students in deciding the best career options for them by giving them individualized advice. They help in resume building, interview training, and conducting mock interviews. An event called ‘Career Day’ takes place annually at Juniata, in which, employees from all around the world come and have a big job fair. They encourage freshman students to develop their networking skills, and the students in the higher classes to find internships and job placements. The Career Services also has a ‘Super Internship Fund’ so that the students who want to work during the summer and need extra financial support can apply. Rohan had applied for it as well.


Rohan is looking forward to being an alumnus at Juniata College. Many of his juniors have started reaching out to him already. The company he has been working in during the summer has also been started by two other Juniata alumni and he is the third one there. The college hosts many alumni events for interaction purposes. Rohan said, “The alumni help you in building your portfolio, preparing your resume, and guiding you about what is the best for you. Some of them also have connections across the world, so it is better to get in touch with them.”


Rohan has had a great experience at Juniata. He has gotten more exposure than he could have in India. He continued by sharing one of his biggest achievements throughout his time there. He said, “In my senior year, I had to write a thesis, and previously, people have made a short film for this, which would become the highlight of the year. My best friend and I decided to work on this together. He came from a music and sound design background and I came from a video and production one, so the biggest challenge for me was to work with someone from the creative field, but I got to learn a lot from it. We chose to keep the floor open for anybody who was interested in joining us. About 30 people joined in, knowing that they would not get paid for it, and were doing it just because they were willing to. It took us about 3-4 months to write the script and a year to produce the short film. I directed it. Over 300 people came to watch it, making it a huge success. I am not proud of how the movie turned out to be but of the entire process and the people who were involved.”


At present, Rohan is a multimedia creative professional. In the future, he wants to get into film and media production and he might consider going to a film school.


Finally, Rohan has shared a piece of advice for the upcoming Next Genius scholars. He said, “When you come to college, interact with other students and professors. Move out of your comfort zone because it is a great time to take risks. Make big projects and even if you fail, keep going because you will learn from it. Most importantly, have fun, make the most out of it, travel, and explore. Use this time to develop your social and personal skills.” To apply for the Next Genius Scholarship Program, visit www.next-genius.com.

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