College and Career Guidance: Expert Talk Session with Dr Priya Durairaj
By Richa Thyagarajan, Head Girl, Ekya School ITPL
The College and Career Guidance Program at Ekya is a systematically designed course that aims to enable Senior School students to contemplate, recognise their potential and acquire confidence in pursuing career success. The school welcomes eminent professionals from diverse fields to discuss their work by hosting monthly Expert talks. This time, students had the opportunity to interact with Dr Priya Durairaj, a renowned ophthalmologist currently working for the NHS in the United Kingdom. Dr Priya specialises in Vitreoretinal Surgery and often deals with Retinoblastoma, Melanoma and Hemangioma cases, all encompassed under ocular-oncology. She bags various accolades and degrees from India, Canada and the UK and has published many research papers in scientific journals. As a budding doctor, I was beyond elated to listen to her story and decided to pen down some of my key takeaways from her presentation.
The session commenced with her giving insights into her career trajectory and including some of her breakthroughs. She highlighted the importance of understanding privilege – growing up in a traditional village household, she realised how women were encouraged to prioritise marriage over education and how patriarchy deprived women of the right opportunities. Dr Priya acknowledges herself as a fighter, inspiring individuals to chase their dreams. During her session, she emphasised goal setting. Creating realistic, actionable and time-specific goals allows us to hold ourselves accountable while providing a sense of direction and motivation. Dr Priya considers journaling to be her superpower. I love how she even brought her journal to the session, thus giving us a better visual. She also spoke about building a Curriculum Vitae (CV) and how high school years should be spent productively and wisely. One can enrich their senior schooling expertise by immersing themselves in outbound programs, social initiatives, extracurricular activities, internships and volunteering opportunities, research projects, and so much more!
As she concluded her presentation, she reminded us of eye healthcare and touched upon the regulation of screen time. In her words, technology and gadgets should be used to envisage and unleash one’s potential – and that advice stuck with me.
During the Q&A session, she answered questions about Education, Vision care and even providedsummarisedferent diagnostic techniques used in clinical practice. Overall, her time with us was an eye-opener (definitely pun intended!) and left an afflatus. I later decided to reach out to her in person, and it’s funny how we share a bunch of coincidences! I cannot wait to interact with her again and engage in more meaningful discussions.