How I bagged the prestigious L Austin Grant

The $500 reward was quite spectacular, but the journey leading up to it even more so

Four years ago, when I stepped into UPES, with stars in my eyes and hope in my heart, a sublime plan started unfolding. From the very first day there were a few people who stood by me and showed me that I am enough and capable of anything in the world. I always had the intent and the vision, but college life is a huge maze-like conundrum where you constantly have to be on top of your game. You have to be ready for just about anything because you never know what might come your way. Something like this happened to me when the L. Austin Grant came my way.

I was in my first year when I heard of it for the first time –  the UPES American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) Student Chapter. I took charge as the Vice President of this chapter.

The AAPG Foundation’s L. Austin Weeks Undergraduate Grant program annually awards deserving undergraduate level geoscience students and student-led geoscience associations with $500 grants.

The L. Austin Weeks Undergraduate Grant was prized and promising, and was indeed a huge deal. It was something on which I had my eyes set already. With a decent resume and a really good project, I thought, for the next two years, that I could crack it if I put my mind to it. It was especially at the end of my pre-final year, that I was extremely sure of securing the grant. So, I applied for the same along with so many other Geoscience students across the world.

I was finally going to reap the fruit of my work, of my academic records, of the gruelling hours I had put into my research, but alas, I got rejected. Failure, when you least expect it, has a way of propelling the inner you in a starkly different way than achievement does.

I persisted in my efforts and it  was during my final year, the time before COVID-19 pandemic shut us down, I got the good news that I had been waiting for so long! A job from the company I had coveted for years and the prestigious L Austin Grant. The best things really do come to you in the most unsuspecting of moments.

I received a $500 Grant. I felt like I had achieved something substantial and it brought with it a belief that now I truly had it all. The reward was quite spectacular, but the journey leading up to it even more so. UPES has been instrumental in my life till date, and of course an integral part of who I am and what made me. I extend my sincere gratitude to every faculty and  staff member who helped me. I am also grateful to my colleagues who really showed me what team spirit and self-belief is and just how much of a difference it can make in a person’s life.

(The writer is a final-year student of B.Tech APE Upstream,2016-2020)

1 Comment

  1. I’ve known Taran sir since my first day of college and I’ve never known someone more versatile, more dedicated and more ‘natural’ at everything that he does and decides to do.
    You have worked really hard for this and everything else that has come to you, and you are only going to get diamonds in this journey of life.

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