24 May 2019, Friday | 11:51pm

Debater advises scholarship applicants to stay calm


KOTA KINABALU: Sabahan top debater Karshni Claudia Guvalakrisnan, 18, who was recently awarded a scholarship from Petronas, is calling all aspiring applicants to keep themselves equipped with knowledge and remain calm when meeting with their interviewers.

Karshni believes these are some of the factors that allowed her to outshine hundreds of other applicants to be selected for the Petronas Education Sponsorship Programme (PESP).

“I didn’t know what to anticipate or what kind of questions we would be asked during the interview with Petronas. It was a tense atmosphere,” she said when met during a get-together event recently.

“Nevertheless, I believe that my years of debate training helped me find solutions to the problems we were tasked to solve and remain calm even when under pressure,” she said.

Karshni said the interview taught her to stay calm when under pressure and she urged future PESP aspirants to keep calm and think critically.

PESP applicants would need to go through several phases of tests and interviews in order to get the scholarship.

The first phase was an online test that assessed the students’ problem-solving and thinking skills while the second was an interview to gauge their leadership and interpersonal skills.

For Karshni, she believes that her destiny lies in pursuing law.

“Everyone was telling me that I was going to be a lawyer because I was a debater. I can feel it myself. I’m very clear that I want to do law,” she said.

The former SM All Saints student, who scored 10As in last year’s SPM, was among 34 Sabahan students who received the national oil and gas company’s long-running flagship education sponsorship this year.

She will pursue a law degree in the United Kingdom.

“I’m immensely grateful to Petronas because this is the only chance I have to pursue my ambition,” she said.

Born and raised in Likas, Karshni started training as a debater when she was 14 and since then, she has been actively involved in her school’s debate team.

“Debating has moulded me to be a critical analyst, a keen listener and an articulate speaker,” she said.

“I learned a lot about the importance of understanding the meaning of what people say instead of trying to argue relentlessly,” she added.

Her late night research and relentless practice propelled her to win the Best Speaker at the Sabah state-level parliamentary-style English debate competition in 2016 and 2017.

Having performed well in school and proved her mettle as a debater, Karshni is now raring to take up new challenges.

“I understand that there is a certain amount of pressure being a Petronas scholar as one needs to be a holistic individual, with intelligence, and one who is friendly and possesses leadership qualities,” she said.

“I want to equip myself to be such a scholar,” said Karshni, who is currently undergoing Cambridge A-Levels at KDU University College in Damansara Jaya.

Source: The Star Online