Georgian student board representative inspired to make change

Meet Karthika Laliprabha Jyotheendran – a second-year student in our Social Service Worker program. Karthika loves to give back. She’s currently finishing her term as the elected student representative on Georgian College’s Board of Governors.

Student board representative, Karthika, outside hand touching a spruce tree

Tell us a little bit about where you’re from. I was born and nurtured in the land of diversity, India. More precisely, Thiruvananthapuram city in Kerala (south Indian state) – a tropical paradise with wide sandy beaches and swaying palm trees.

I’d describe my city as being situated on this narrow sliver of land, which is on the south-western coast of the country and is a lovely place of coconut trees, tranquil backwaters, verdant hills, greenery, and relaxing Ayurveda — a state of natural grandeur.

Due to its natural beauty, historical significance, and reputation for its exquisite old temples, Thiruvananthapuram is one of the most well-liked pilgrimage sites in India. Because I was born in a city filled with fascinating people, I have wonderful childhood memories of living there. My city and I grew up together, and as I became older, so did my affection for it.

How would you describe yourself? Proactive, an advocate, resourceful, a team player, well-organized, diligent, someone who has strong leadership skills and is committed to helping meet the growing needs of the community and my peers.

Why did you choose Georgian for your studies? I chose Georgian for its strong reputation and high ranking among other international students.

I also noticed Georgian is more than just a school – it’s an experience. All of the college’s programs emphasize practical, hands-on learning, and the majority of them provide a formal work-integrated opportunity, ranging from paid co-op terms to internships and field placements.

This is how colleges chisel out student leaders: through their student work experience.

I love how students can apply for the standard co-op program as well as the Entrepreneurial Co-op (eCo-op), where they can launch a business, and the Innovation Co-op (iCo-op), where they can collaborate with peers from different academic fields to develop goods or services that address societal needs. These opportunities are a path to advancement and personal growth, increased earning potential, economic stability, networking opportunities, and can build students’ self-esteem.

How would you describe your Georgian experience so far? The knowledge, skills and experience I’m gaining through my course journey will aid me in both my career and in general. Additionally, by developing new communication and problem-solving skills, I’m growing more self-assured. I’ve learned a lot about myself along the way too.  

What inspired you to run for student board representative? My biggest motivation for running for this position was my desire to see positive improvements at the college. I also wanted to further develop my leadership, communication, teamwork, organization, and public speaking skills, which I will need in the future.

I believe I’ve provided unique ideas to the board, and I enjoy being part of something that will benefit my school and myself. When running for the position, I stood for acceptance, honesty, determination, leadership, organization, and innovation while also being friendly and outgoing.

I’m conscious of what’s happening at our campuses these days as a current Georgian student, inspired to make a difference and affect change.

What’s it been like on the board? It’s been a great opportunity to get to know my college, contribute my voice on important topics, develop my leadership abilities, and meet other governors. Learning about how the college runs has been the most enjoyable and rewarding part. I’ve discovered how other leaders operate and become closer to the action than I ever could be by looking in from the outside.

I’ve also obtained a thorough understanding of new course models and other daily operations, like how Georgian is managing international enrolment through to how to execute an internal procedure to ensure a great college atmosphere.

Are you involved in any other volunteer initiatives? I’m a volunteer with two other community organizations at the moment.

  • DEFEND is a non-profit organization that works to lessen the risks associated with child predators for children and other vulnerable people online.
  • MIHCAN focuses on maternal mortality, women’s health and the environment, and aims to improve community health around the world.

What’s your favourite subject in the school of life? Life itself and learning how to live. The goal is to live it fully and experience all that comes along with it (good and bad). Every moment is valuable in some way.

My favourite chapter is about living through problems, which is about choosing to see unpleasant circumstances as opportunities for creative expression and intellectually stimulating challenges to overcome. We can learn from everything!

What skills do you think are most important for today’s students to acquire?

  • Career and self-development: Being proactive in developing your professional and personal skills, your understanding of your strengths and shortcomings, your ability to navigate career opportunities, and your ability to network to forge connections.
  • Equity and inclusion: Demonstrating the understanding, attitude, knowledge and abilities necessary to fairly engage and include individuals from various local and international cultures.
  • Leadership: Identifying and building on team and individual capabilities.
  • Professionalism: Understanding and exhibiting effective work habits, acting in the interests of the greater community and workplace, and being aware of how different work settings differ.
Student board representative, Karthika, selfie - young woman from India with medium-length dark hair, flowered shirt

What advice would you give someone unsure about what to do for their career? Choosing a career path might entail devoting time and attention to what you’re passionate about. It’s helpful to determine your interests, strengths and weaknesses when deciding on a program to take.

I also recommend speaking with a career counsellor and spending time with professionals in the field you’re interested in to get a sense of their job.

Who or what is your source of inspiration? My desire to excel in what I do and my willingness to face obstacles as I develop my skills are the sources of my inspiration. But the cornerstones that make me feel like I’m my own source of inspiration are my parents.

Student board representative, Karthika, photo of her parents - man and woman from India

My parents overcame obstacles and worked very hard to live the life they desired, which inspired me to do the same. Because of their example, I learned how to adapt quickly and live life to the fullest, which allowed me to cross the seven seas and settle in the land of the maple leaf to live my dream.

They also imparted to me the value of SELF (self-inspiration, self-care, self-confidence, and so forth) to live each day to the best.

What do you like to do for fun? I adore reading books of all kinds. I also find reading to be an enjoyable hobby because I can find calm within even the most serious of literature and love getting lost in the story I’m reading. In addition, I started learning calligraphy and French because I want to develop both my language and creative abilities. This way, I can combine the useful and the enjoyable.

For me, learning never ends, so why not do it while having fun?

Student board representative position

Interested in running for the student representative position on our Board of Governors? There’s one position available each year open to all students at all campuses. This is a volunteer, elected position. Nominations are open March 6 to 24. The campaign period is March 27 to April 7. Voting takes place April 10 to 12.

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