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Chandan Mitra recommendation letter for Sree Sreenivasan, January 1992

Chandan Mitra recommendation letter for Sree Sreenivasan, January 1992

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Published by Sree Sreenivasan
In August of 1992, I arrived on the campus of Columbia University and have been here ever since. I came to do my M.S. at Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism and stayed on to become a professor and administrator.

It all started because of this January 1992 recommendation letter from Chandan Mitra, my mentor and editor of The Sunday Observer in Delhi, a newspaper owned by Reliance and the Ambani family (Ambani awareness is reasonably high in some US circles because of the world's most expensive house, built by Mukesh Ambani in Mumbai, and Reliance Entertainment financing such movies as "Lincoln," "The Help" and "War Horse").

Chandan, now owner of the Pioneer newspaper and a Member of Parliament (yes, in India, you can do both), was enormously supportive of me, even though I was a mere 19-year-old proofreader when we met. We are alumni of St. Stephen's College - about 15 years apart - but also shared a love of journalism, the English language and staying past midnight at the office.

He gave me opportunity after opportunity at the paper. I became a sub-editor - copy editor in Americanese and went on to edit "New Generation," a weekly supplement aimed at younger readers (this was just as India and its youth were being transformed by economic liberalization and the arrival of satellite TV).

He also gave me the chance to write stories and edited many himself, along with my other mentor and friend, Mannika Chopra, the features editor.

In 1991, Chandan also clued me in on my first (and last) international scoop: an Israeli chemical conglomerate delegation was in Delhi for secret negotiations at a time when no Israeli company had officially done business in India. This was before India established official relations with Israel later that year (India did recognize Israel in 1950). Today, there's more than $10b worth of military business between the two countries (India accounts for 50 percent of all Israeli military sales) and $5b in bilateral trade.

When I broached the idea of applying to Columbia J-school in late 1991, Chandan was immediately encouraging. He had a history doctorate from Oxford, and understood why someone would want to study abroad - especially me since lived overseas most of my life.

I am so grateful to Chandan for taking a chance on a kid way back when. His generous, in-depth letter helped me tremendously. His approach to mentorship has inspired me whenever I've had the chance to mentor someone myself.

We've barely stayed in touch over the years, though we've connected on occasion. In 2006, Prof. Ari Goldman and I took our Covering Religion class to India and our first meeting, after arriving at 2 am the previous night, was a breakfast that Chandan arranged with LK Advani, leader of the Opposition and a leading Hindu nationalist politician. From there we went by Delhi's fancy subway system to Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in Asia - and the rest of an amazing 10-day trip that included Deoband, the spiritual home of the Taliban; Amritsar, the Golden Temple (Sikhism's holiest shrine) and the Pakistan border; Mathura/Vrindavan, the birthplace of Lord Krishna; Agra and the Taj Mahal; Varanasi, the holiest city in Hinduism; Sarnath, where Buddha gave his first sermon; Mumbai and visits to a Parsi house of worship, a Jewish synagogue and St. Thomas Cathedral, the first Anglican church in the city.

It was quite the trip, all organized by Mannika Chopra, and Chandan got us off on the right, high-profile note.

Please use this post to reconnect with a mentor right now - or track down and say hello to someone you've lost touch with. Do it, please!

Prof. Sree Sreenivasan | sree@sree.net | http://sree.net | @sree
Chief Digital Officer, Columbia University
[ an explanation: http://bit.ly/sreejob3 ]

TWITTER: @sree - http://twitter.com/sree (tweeting tech, media & more)
FACEBOOK: http://fb.com/sreetips or http://fb.com/sreenet
LINKEDIN: http://linkedin.com/in/sreenivasan
INSTAG
In August of 1992, I arrived on the campus of Columbia University and have been here ever since. I came to do my M.S. at Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism and stayed on to become a professor and administrator.

It all started because of this January 1992 recommendation letter from Chandan Mitra, my mentor and editor of The Sunday Observer in Delhi, a newspaper owned by Reliance and the Ambani family (Ambani awareness is reasonably high in some US circles because of the world's most expensive house, built by Mukesh Ambani in Mumbai, and Reliance Entertainment financing such movies as "Lincoln," "The Help" and "War Horse").

Chandan, now owner of the Pioneer newspaper and a Member of Parliament (yes, in India, you can do both), was enormously supportive of me, even though I was a mere 19-year-old proofreader when we met. We are alumni of St. Stephen's College - about 15 years apart - but also shared a love of journalism, the English language and staying past midnight at the office.

He gave me opportunity after opportunity at the paper. I became a sub-editor - copy editor in Americanese and went on to edit "New Generation," a weekly supplement aimed at younger readers (this was just as India and its youth were being transformed by economic liberalization and the arrival of satellite TV).

He also gave me the chance to write stories and edited many himself, along with my other mentor and friend, Mannika Chopra, the features editor.

In 1991, Chandan also clued me in on my first (and last) international scoop: an Israeli chemical conglomerate delegation was in Delhi for secret negotiations at a time when no Israeli company had officially done business in India. This was before India established official relations with Israel later that year (India did recognize Israel in 1950). Today, there's more than $10b worth of military business between the two countries (India accounts for 50 percent of all Israeli military sales) and $5b in bilateral trade.

When I broached the idea of applying to Columbia J-school in late 1991, Chandan was immediately encouraging. He had a history doctorate from Oxford, and understood why someone would want to study abroad - especially me since lived overseas most of my life.

I am so grateful to Chandan for taking a chance on a kid way back when. His generous, in-depth letter helped me tremendously. His approach to mentorship has inspired me whenever I've had the chance to mentor someone myself.

We've barely stayed in touch over the years, though we've connected on occasion. In 2006, Prof. Ari Goldman and I took our Covering Religion class to India and our first meeting, after arriving at 2 am the previous night, was a breakfast that Chandan arranged with LK Advani, leader of the Opposition and a leading Hindu nationalist politician. From there we went by Delhi's fancy subway system to Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in Asia - and the rest of an amazing 10-day trip that included Deoband, the spiritual home of the Taliban; Amritsar, the Golden Temple (Sikhism's holiest shrine) and the Pakistan border; Mathura/Vrindavan, the birthplace of Lord Krishna; Agra and the Taj Mahal; Varanasi, the holiest city in Hinduism; Sarnath, where Buddha gave his first sermon; Mumbai and visits to a Parsi house of worship, a Jewish synagogue and St. Thomas Cathedral, the first Anglican church in the city.

It was quite the trip, all organized by Mannika Chopra, and Chandan got us off on the right, high-profile note.

Please use this post to reconnect with a mentor right now - or track down and say hello to someone you've lost touch with. Do it, please!

Prof. Sree Sreenivasan | sree@sree.net | http://sree.net | @sree
Chief Digital Officer, Columbia University
[ an explanation: http://bit.ly/sreejob3 ]

TWITTER: @sree - http://twitter.com/sree (tweeting tech, media & more)
FACEBOOK: http://fb.com/sreetips or http://fb.com/sreenet
LINKEDIN: http://linkedin.com/in/sreenivasan
INSTAG

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Categories:Types, Resumes & CVs
Published by: Sree Sreenivasan on May 04, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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06/22/2014

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