Beyond High School - March Edition [Final]

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For High


A monthly magazine for educators, parents, and high schoolers.

Designed to inspire & prepare high schoolers for life beyond.

ISSUE 8 | MARCH 2024

How to talk to AI

Give persona to AI and lead

with the right words

The Future of Work

Equip yourself with tools for a

bright future. Harness the

power of being a digital native

and think out of the box

Fostering Careers out

of Passions

Discover your first steps to convert

interests into careers. Embrace a

multitude of passions to become one

of a kind

Dear readers,

Life must have been abuzz around you as you navigate through the stressful times of

exams and think about your college applications and career ambitions. After our last issue,

we left you with some time to focus on acing those exams. But, with this issue, we are back

to make your road to the future smoother.

Your exams are now fossilising into ancient history, but something’s been keeping you

awake all night. We notice the stress of your future may be catching up to you. This is

because you are finally standing at the threshold of times where you make decisions that

will impact your professional journey for life. Remember, it is only natural for students to

feel a mix of excitement and anxiety when making decisions about their future. Make this

flurry of emotions your guiding light and use them as your roadmap to make intuitive calls

on where your best interests lie. As you figure your ambitions and interests, we back you

with this issue to address some questions about your college applications and career

ambitions that are keeping you up all night.

In this issue, our spotlight is on lived-experiences of choosing your passion and applying to

colleges. And an infectious story that may convert you into becoming an archaeologist. If

that’s not all, we bring you the latest takes from experts from the Career Development

Office at Ashoka University. If you’re hoping to alleviate all this stress, we also take you on

some interesting museum-tours to find you some cosy comfort spaces.

We wish you a smooth foray into your future adventures and hope for you to embrace

your unfolding success as you traverse through the pages of our monthly.

With warmest wishes,

Smridhi Chadha

Office of High School Programmes


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Additionally, building soft-skills will become crucial as one will wish to grow in

diverse and newer atmospheres. Being a collaborator and an individual interested

in public-speaking will surely help you high schoolers assimilate in any groups

faster and also stand out with your unique opinions.

As you are guided by your interests and intuition, consider incorporating crucial and

realistic findings in your career journey. In our previous issue we discussed how the

workplace has evolved for Gen-Z. This month we look inwards and discuss how the

workforce, that may include YOU in future, is expected to evolve. Let’s flip through

McKinsey’s Report on the Future of Work that highlights some key areas that one can

develop on to stay afloat in the tides of the times.

The report suggests that the future is bright and blossoming with opportunities. It is time

to bear the fruit of your relaxed interest in the digital world, and utilise it as a harness to

step ahead. Equip yourself with relevant tools like working with ChatGPT or understanding

Google Analytics that will keep you abreast with digital literacy and understand how digital

data is read. Understanding data and being digitally literate are key skills of our times.

They will help you to not just navigate our data-driven world, enabling informed decision-

making, innovative problem-solving, but also allow meaningful participation in society.

Immersing yourself in the world of interdisciplinary education might also be a useful skill

that can empower you all your life. Engaging through conversing threads that run along

the various disciplines will allow you to become an effective problem-solver with the right

critical thinking skills that the future of work will demand.

The report also indicates that Green Jobs will be on the rise - it makes sense, then, to learn

about our planet and sustainability further. This will be relevant to us not just

professionally, but also as a species to make the world a better place.



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We are sure that by now you must have interacted

with GPT, LLAMA2 or Claude. And by interacting we

mean you must have talked to them, asked for their

assistance, and maybe gotten amused at their not-so-

useful responses occasionally. It is rather amusing and

sometimes downright frustrating to chat with these

large language models and get them to do what we

really need them to do. But are there some points to

keep in mind as we continue to work with generative AI

and as AI continues to change the way we work and

think about work? Here, we discuss some good practices

to follow while prompting the Gen AI of your choice-


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Do you have your own tips on how to work with AI in an effective way? We want to

know! Write to us at hspmagazine@ashoka.edu.in and we will share it on our

Instagram page!



Naincy Catherine

Office of High

School Programmes

There are no magic words, seriously!- There's no consistently effective "magic word" for

improving AI responses. You may have heard of strategies like promising rewards or

simulating empathy but they work sporadically and vary by AI. Max Woolf's extensive,

informal study on GPT-4 showed that outcomes from using threats or rewards were

inconclusive and situation-dependent. While these tactics can occasionally enhance AI










counterproductive. It suggests that relying heavily on such approaches isn't necessary.


Give it a persona- Tell the AI who they are, are they a marketer, an aspiring graphic

novelist or a haiku writer. This will help the AI build a context for the output you are

asking for. You can also mention who is the audience for the output and what should

be the format of the output (text, table, image).


Give it examples- If you have samples of the output you want, do share it with the AI.

It's best to help the AI know which aspects of the sample are important, say the writing

style in a magazine essay, asking AI to follow those aspects.


Ever feel like your stress levels have peaked? Or felt like it's time you hit the mental

gym? Get those creative juices flowing and allow your mind to have a deep breather. This

month, for our Chilling is Fulfilling section, we want to build on upcoming research that

suggests that being enamoured by art & culture may just be what you need to turn a dull

day into great.

In this spirit, it's time for you to hit your mental playground and discover some museums

around you. In this issue, however, we will take you on a virtual trip to digital repositories

that may inspire you with fresh ideas!

If you’ve always been a nature-baby, then traversing through the various virtual tours

offered by the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History is your perfect match -

discover the heights of our universe, or the depth of our grounds. Learn more about dinos

that dotted our landscape or find out what remained written in bone for posterity.

If you’re a foodie and pray to get your hands on a time-machine, then do peruse the

collections of the British Museums. We are sure you would love to walk through Ancient

Rome to find out what meals and drinks are in vogue. If you are mighty inspired - you

might as well try out the recipe for a bread, as recommended by the curators!

Or, if you’ve always been a lover of high culture, then hopping virtually to the Louvre may

also be a great idea. Discover how art can also be political in this tour.

We hope you stumble upon some thought-provoking pieces from these tours and prioritise

your mental well-being through some fulfilling chilling :)


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“Where you live for the next four years is an extremely

important, oftentimes, an underrated choice!”

One of the best and the busiest times in my life was

when I was applying for undergraduate programmes. I

was clear I wanted to apply within India exclusively, for a

multitude of reasons; but I was also clear that I did not

want to restrict myself to one discipline that early on in

my life. For instance, I had a fair idea that I wanted to

study Political Science, but didn’t realise that I also loved

International Relations till I arrived at Ashoka. There are

things that everyone thinks you should figure out —

which between you and me, aren’t that important — and

something you should definitely know beforehand.

I won’t go into what other people find important (I’m sure you already know!) but one

question that you should definitely ask yourself is about what environment can make you

feel excited and intellectually stimulated.

It’s convenient to get swayed by your peers applying for specific, fancy sounding

programmes to highfalutin colleges but you must sit and research each of your options.

For instance, I only applied to four universities in India including Ashoka; but researched

three or four things which were the most important to me: the faculty, the environment on

campus, the extracurriculars and the placements. In fact, the excellence of the faculty was

my primary motivator for choosing Ashoka. Further, because I was based out of India,

visiting campuses during my break was easier. Where you live for the next four years is an

extremely important, oftentimes, an underrated choice! I even discarded one of my

applications because I felt like the campus wasn’t for me.

Lastly, make sure you pursue a program that you know you will benefit from; especially

something that caters to your interests and feels closest to you. Everyone has different

needs, behaviours and expectations — your choices are completely your own. Don’t feel

compelled to do something everyone is doing: if it’s not for you, don’t do it. And not

everyone has a dream college! I only realised Ashoka was the perfect choice for me when I

actually started attending university. Finally; if I could go back in time, I’d definitely try to be

less harsh on myself. Yes, boards and admissions are important — trust me, I get it — but

don’t overwork yourself.


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Ritikaa Kaila

4th Year, Political Science,

Ashoka University

As the world is becoming increasingly complex, the need for passionate individuals who

can drive innovation and impact has increased. Over the years, there has been massive

student interest in ESG (Environment, Social, and Governance) and AI roles. The

preparation for such high growth and relatively newer roles require hands-on experience

from the school days. Work backward for this from young days by getting involved through

clubs/societies in schools and exploring beyond the curriculum.

Ensure that you are on your way to master independent thinking and academic rigour.

This, alongside hardwork and dedication will lead to pathways of possibilities and enable

each one you to find a meaningful life and career ahead.


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“What happens in college and what are my career

plans?”— these are big questions, but the answers are

never clear-cut for anyone. Each student is unique and

has their own set of interests and skill sets.

A way of dealing with this question is to stay on the left

side of the question mark. Be curious, be a dreamer, and

discover more (as all students do) without losing sight of

developing some skills of strategic importance to the








Development Office, with placements and internships, we

see that organisations are looking for flexible and dynamic

individuals, with excellent leadership qualities, who can

articulate well, and are good at problem-solving by







Essentially, the interdisciplinary approach to education is

being recognized more and more by recruiters.

Shalvi Rastogi

Career Development Office,

Ashoka University

At the onset, we need to realise that the past was as complex as the present is. Therefore,

whatever skills and perspectives that we need to study the present, be it based in the

natural sciences, social sciences, humanities or the arts, we can employ the same to study

the past.

An archaeologist, at the root of it all, dabbles in everything possible to reconstruct past

human behaviours and lifestyles. So, whatever your interests: how we became human;

how did art and music develop; when and how did we start speaking and writing; or how

did we end up in even the most remote of islands, you can pursue them with archaeology.

An archaeologist, thus, has to be adaptable. They need to be willing to travel to the most

obscure of places, be willing to live in difficult and trying settings, mingle with many

different people, be open-minded and most of all, patient! After all, it took Howard Carter

over 10 years of hard work to finally discover King Tut’s tomb! Being an archaeologist also

requires a lot of library and archival work - most of our time is spent with books, maps,

images and reports, with the field being only a small component.

So, if you do want to be an archaeologist, go for it! Bring in your set of skills, and ‘dig’ up

some fun aspects of our past. However, always remember, as Indiana Jones himself says,

‘Archaeology is the search for fact, not truth. If it’s truth you're interested in, [the]

Philosophy class is right down the hall. So, forget any ideas you’ve got about lost cities,

exotic travel, and digging up the world. We do not follow maps to buried treasure, and “X”

never, ever marks the spot. 70% of all archaeology is done in the library. Researching.

Reading. We cannot afford to take mythology at face value.’


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“Hello! Am I speaking to Dr Akash? I was hoping you could

let me know if watching Indiana Jones is enough to start

my journey as an Archaeologist?”

Hi! Yes of course, one may often wonder what it takes to

be Nathan Drake in this reality. What are the skills I need

to develop to become a real- world time-traveller? Well, as

Warwick Bray, a Latin American archaeologist stated in

1981, ‘…there are two kinds of archaeology: archaeology

as perceived by archaeologists, and archaeology as

perceived by [a person] on the street. Each of these

archaeologies has its own history…’. So, if you do want to

be an archaeologist, what does it take?!

Akash Srinivas

Postdoctoral Fellow, Centre for

Interdisciplinary Archaeological

Research, Ashoka University.

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The story of recovery is not just an individual’s journey - as academics from all over the

world gather at Babel, for their various passions - they face a larger consequence that

their translations are set to produce. Britain was at the peak of its Colonial Empire

during the 1800s and these translations could help aid the British colonial agendas.

These young translators are now conflicted between choosing an overall social good by

refusing to perform any translations or choosing a fairly comfortable career in

academia for themselves by keeping up with the tradition of translation at Babel.

What is the choice these young academics make? What are their compelling reasons to

choose either? Discover the answers to these questions as you flip through Babel. While

you are at it, it is reasonable to stop and wonder about your position as well. What

impact is your career ambition generating today?


Ever wondered how your ambitions today may have the possibility of generating

an impact on thousands tomorrow? Let’s learn from examples as we flip through our

book recommendation for the month - Babel, by R. F. Kuang.

Set in the nineteenth century English town of Oxford, Babel takes one to contemplate the

question of language, individuality, and community. As the world crumbles into chaos,

linguists of diverse languages assemble at the tower of knowledge - Babel. It is a magico-

fantasy fiction that focuses on what is lost in translation. The plot, then, is about what can

be recovered.

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