Published: 06th February 2018
With mentors from Ivy Leagues, fulfil your dream of studying abroad with Gradvine
By connecting aspirants to alumni, Gradvine bridges the information gap that often exists while one applies abroad for higher education
Is it true that it's nearly impossible for non-IIT students to get into one of the Ivy Leagues? To get your hands on that international scholarship maybe hard, but certainly not impossible, right? Busting such myths when it comes to applying for higher studies abroad is Gradvine, a Hyderabad-based start-up. They do so by simply connecting an aspirant of a certain university to a current student or an alumni of the university. And that's not all. "We provide complete end-to-end services, right from choosing the perfect university, writing your SOP and organising your VISA, to internships and jobs after the course," informs the CEO of Gradvine, Sreekar Reddy, who himself is an alumnus of Dartmouth College, one of the eight Ivy Leagues.
Sreekar Reddy says that they want to concentrate on campus activities as well and conduct workshops for students eventually
He along with his co-founder, Suraj Peri, an alumnus of Carnegie Mellon University, started Gradvine in 2015, while they were still studying in the US. One of the reasons they decided to pursue this full-time was the deceptive consultants, who are known to fleece students every now and then. "Not only do a few of them have tie-ups, and hence get commissions and dissuade students from applying to any college beyond their recommendation, they also take money both from the students and the universities," explains Reddy, from personal experience. As we settle into the conversation, Reddy narrates how he approached a consultancy in Hyderabad after he scored 323 in the GRE and yet, they were bent upon matching him to a university that was below his profile. And when he mentioned Texas A&M University, they hadn't even heard of it. "I went to them after a lot of research, but what about the ones who buy into it? Lots of students still opt for what they suggest," he despairs.
Talk it out: Students interacting during the Mixer Session
So, for the students who are confused by the range of choices and lack of guidance, Gradvine comes as a lifesaver. Some of the students who have availed their services have already been placed in Duke University, Cornell University and Purdue University with a $7,000 scholarship, and in Texas A&M University with a $24,000 scholarship. Need we say more? All these students had to do was schedule a free call, after which one of their core team members guides them towards the right university.
Gradvine has 20 mentors across universities abroad, who have helped over 150 aspirants in three months. They are already receiving requests from students in UAE, Nepal and Bangladesh
And though the numbers speak for themselves, Gradvine still faces its own set of challenges. "As we are a web-based platform, people are apprehensive as they still seek face-to-face counselling," says Reddy, who graduated from CBIT in 2014. A perfect solution to this was the mixer sessions they recently organised at their Banjara Hills office. "The idea was to provide them with a relaxed environment, where conversations are casual and free-flowing," he says. And through this, they want to establish that it's not about where you come from; it's all about where you want to go.
Check them out at gradvine.com