Ffynone House Sixth former, Gurshaan Sethi, certainly didn’t spend his eight week summer break relaxing by the pool with a book! No, he crammed every day full to the brim with debate, study and skills acquisition. Here he tells us exactly what he’s been up to and why he feels it’s important for young people to broaden their horizons and seek out new challenges.
Cardiff Film Festival
In the first week of the holidays, I was a volunteer at a two-day Film Festival organised by the BFI Film Academy in Cardiff. I am passionate about film-making and very interested in the entertainment industry, so this was an unmissable opportunity for me. My main task was to ensure that the films were running on time and the directors were in the right place at the right time if they were introducing the films. The festival celebrated short films by local directors and I was able to speak to many industry professionals over the course of the event. It broadened my understanding of the complexities of film-making and allowed me to view a variety of very creative films from different genres.
Model United Nations Conference
Following this, I went back to India and was part of UN Replica, a simulation of the United Nations which took place at my former school. I represented the United Kingdom in the United Nations Security Council simulation where we discussed the on-going issue between Israel and Palestine. I, along with my co-delegate representing UK, suggested a solution of setting up a specialised United Nations’ Commission in Jerusalem. A former ambassador to the United Nations was mentoring the simulation and he singled out our solution, saying that since the beginning of the conflict, no representative in the United Nations had ever mentioned a solution of that sort. We were told that our solution would now further be recommended to the actual United Nations and would be discussed there! I was very proud of this achievement.
I also had the opportunity to be a part of the Executive Board of another Model United Nations Conference in one of the top Universities in India. Both the role of delegate and executive were very enjoyable. The latter not only judge the delegates and identify any infringements of procedure, but also act as mentors to inexperienced delegates. I applied for the position and since I had attended over 15 UN conferences and won an award in nearly all of them, I was selected for this more senior role by the Secretariat. It was a real honour and I enjoyed fulfilling this position of responsibility.
While I was in India, I visited a number of factories that manufacture parts of cars, motorcycles and trucks. During my visits to those sites, I gained an understanding of every detail of work involved in this complex industry; from creating a design on CAD/CAM software, to melting and processing iron, to measuring the amount of iron used. This experience was particularly valuable as I could see the practical application of many things I am studying at school, such as melting and shaping metals, operating a hydraulic press and using software to design a product. I will have plenty of ‘real’ examples to share with Mr Hillier in Physics this year!
I feel that this summer was time very well spent. As with many people my age, I think I know what careers appeal to me and what I might be good at, however I’m not completely sure! I feel that getting out into the world and getting real experiences has given me a better taste of what is on offer and will equip me with greater confidence to face the future. I have returned to Ffynone with a renewed drive to succeed in my academic studies and a desire to do more to fire up younger pupils’ interest in the wider world.