Meet, Chandigarh-born Arshee Khosla whose happiness knows no bounds as she secured the second spot in the Indian Economic Service Examination, the results of which were declared on Wednesday evening.
A student of St Anne's School, she did her Classes 11 and 12 from Government Model, Sector 16, after which she headed to Delhi to study Economic Honours at Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC). A die-hard fan of the subject from quite early on in life, she decided to pursue her masters from Panjab University's economics department.
"While everyone boasts of the sciences, I believe Economics is no less a scientific subject and I think the IES exam is a great platform provided by the UPSC for youngsters, who wish to engage in a long term career in this field," said an articulate Khosla. An all-rounder, Khosla has received various prestigious awards wherever she went, but the news of cracking the exam in the first attempt itself makes her feel proud.
Clearing an All-India exam of this level and that too in the first attempt is not an easy task. So, when asked about the secret behind her achievement, she said: "It requires a different level of preparation altogether. I started studying for the exam in July last year after completing my masters and didn't lose focus until May, when I sat for the exam. I studied for almost eight hours on a daily basis." Khosla added that she also took private coaching.
"I made sure I clarified all my doubts there and at other times, I focused on self-study," says Khosla, who describes her success mantra as hard work and consistency. "I also looked at previous year papers and asked seniors for suggestions," she added.
Ravinder Jit Khosla, Arshee's father, a retired official of the Central Bank of India, who is proud of his daughter's achievements, said: "Arshee has been an achiever from the very beginning," Besides being awarded with the best all-round student at her school, she is also a national-level tennis player and was awarded the Chandigarh administration state award for sports in 2008. An active debater, she believes it's all about the art of balancing studies with extra-curricular.
"I feel extra-curricular play an important role in shaping our personalities so I am not someone who only emphasis on academics alone," said the city girl who believes her parents have been her biggest strength in all of this.
Her mother, who is the head of the Hindi department at GCG College, Sector 11, shared she never felt the need to remind her to study. "Arshee knows her priorities well," said Anita Khosla. At the same, not like she didn't fight the odds. Driven by competition and increasing pay packages amongst her peer group, Arshee would stress about where she would land up.
"At times, I would really feel low and that's when I would go out for a jog, or for a drive with my brother and infact at times we both would go to the university reading room post dinner and study there," she said.
Arshee, who got placed with Google at SRCC, gave up the job offer so that she could continue with her studies, as per her mother's wishes.
That said, she doesn't regret it any longer. A resident of Sector 24, Chandigarh, the game doesn't stop for the multi-tasker here. "We are yet to receive an official date about when are training will begin, which will be held at Delhi. But, I don't want to waste time, so I'll continue to study for the Civil exam, said Arshee Khosla, who also appeared for the IAS exam prelim on the sidelines last Sunday. When asked what would she choose between the two, if she clears another prestigious exam. "Ahh, I'll take it as it comes, I don't want to think that far. I am happy with what is at hand, for now, she smiled.