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A video of the informational session for the Crossroads Emerging Leaders Program. To view with closed-captioning, please click “CC” at the bottom of the video player.

Last week, the Mittal Institute collaborated with Network Capital to hold an information session for the upcoming 2021 Crossroads Emerging Leaders Program (CELP), where Harvard faculty and industry members discussed the impact of the program. Numerous former Crossroads students, who now belong to the vast alumni group network of the CELP program, joined the virtual event to share their experiences from their cohorts and the impact that it had on their education and careers.

The CELP program manager, Tiara Bhatacharya, opened the session with a brief overview of the program before inviting the alumni to share their experiences. “The premise of the Crossroads program is that talent is distributed evenly across the world, but unfortunately, money and resources are not. The program operates in two steps: the first is to identify the leaders of tomorrow, and the next step is to enable them. So we want to identify brilliant students from around the world who do not have access to the necessary resources,” said Bhatacharya.

“Throughout the world, whether in affluent or non-affluent countries, education works as a funnel rather than a propeller. CELP seeks to intervene in this by creating a platform that prioritizes distributing free educational resources, creating infinity networks, providing mentorship opportunities, and also more tangible things, like skill-building workshops. It’s a fully-funded program, with students involved in over 115 countries. Its multiple stages culminate in an intensive finals program that will take place this year in the last two weekends of June,” she continued.

Defining the Crossroads program as a “life-changing event,” the 2020 CELP alumna from Lahore, Pakistan, Sidra Tul Muntaha, shared, “The selection process is very competitive and a range of challenging rounds test candidates thoroughly before they reach the finals. For me, the best part of the CELP is obviously the program itself. But I must say that once the program is over and you become an alumnus, you become a part of the Harvard community — the faculty and the CELP team is always there to guide you through your career choices.”

“The dynamic network of alumni that emerge from the program is really one of the strong points and a key aspect of the program we are working to cultivate. It’s really powerful to see the connections between students from all over the world through the Crossroads program,” said Bhatacharya.

Bharath Ganesh, an alumnus from Bengaluru, India, emphasized the transformative potential of the virtual HarvardX courses that are offered to the applicants during the initial stages of the program. “I did two courses from HarvardX, “Launching Breakthrough Technologies” and “Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies” — courses that would never be taught to you in conventional systems of education.”

Akash Kadyan, a CELP alumnus from Dehradun, India, shared a tip for potential candidates currently grappling through the application process: “Be transparent, honest, and bring your curiosity and desire to learn.”

Apply Now!

Are you interested in applying to the 2021 Crossroads Emerging Leaders Program? Applications are open with a deadline of March 8, 2021. Learn more about eligibility and the application process by clicking the button below.