Interview-NALSAR’s Rhode’s Scholar Shreya Atrey: Choose With Guts Not With the Herd

Shreya Atrey, a 5th year student from NALSAR university of Law has bagged the Rhodes Scholarship this year. Here is what she had to say on her success.

1. How does it feel?

Excellent. It was an indescribable feeling when Mr. Ratan Tata announced my name. I’ll always cherish that moment.

2. Did you ever think/dream of this? If yes, did you work on the dream?

I did work a lot, but not with Rhodes in mind. I have loved the law and law school and have taken on each assignment with enthusiasm and sincerity. More importantly I have been very thoughtful about my choices while at law school—it’s important to choose with gut not with herd.

While going through the process it is discernable that Rhodes can hardly be thought of as a calculated enterprise, no one or two things can lead you to it.

I had heard that it is an investment in individual not in any project, achievement or skill. It clearly is so; the Scholarship is thus a means for individuals who can drive on further with it, not an end in itself. This is a very significant aspect to reckon with.

3. What makes a Rhodes Scholar? What makes the perfect application?

Needless to say the vision expressed in the Will of the founder is paramount. Thus, literary and scholastic attainments; fondness of and success in outdoor sports; exhibition of moral force of character and leadership qualities – all need to be reasonably demonstrated in an application.

Although as a law student, I must emphasise that academic commitment and appreciation of scholarship should be profiled way much more than anything else.

4. How certain were you about getting this?

On the question of certainty – well, I was enjoying the process which got me to really introspect and reflect upon my life. Once in the processual mode, you come to think about outcomes only at the time of results!

5. How was the interview?

Quite challenging! The questions were tough but very engaging. Thinking on your feet is one thing but this required real involvement with your work and areas of interest.

6. What in Oxford? And future career plans?

I’ll pursue Bachelor of Civil Law. Really look forward to the course in Jurisprudence and Political theory by Prof. J.M. Finnis! I have a keen interest in legal education and pedagogy and so hope to join the academia.

Do check our earlier interview with Gautam Bhatia, who has also won the Rhodes Scholarship for this year.

Check out the news item on Rhodes Scholarship 2011 by Legallyindia here.

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