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Believing in the spirit of the journey, Naman Saxena has tread upon various academic adventures in recent times. His exciting voyage at FLAME has led him ashore with the opportunity of becoming an apprentice at Google. Alumnus Naman, credits the development of his skills and abilities to FLAME.

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”

~Lao Tzu

Naman’s remarkable journey began at the FLAME Summer Immersion Program (FUSIP) after completing 11th grade. This transformative experience unveiled a world of endless possibilities beyond the conventional realms of education for Naman. Education, for him, was no longer confined to Science, Commerce, and Humanities as FLAME showed a vibrant spectrum of knowledge and learning. FLAME turned out to be the ideal destination for the next four years of learning for Naman.

What made the FLAME experience even more fortuitous for Naman was the availability of a 4th-year option. It was a rare opportunity that other colleges did not offer. This extraordinary opportunity added another layer of fulfilment to his educational journey.

The three years of undergraduate studies at FLAME were nothing short of extraordinary. The plethora of diverse courses expanded his horizons and fuelled an insatiable thirst for knowledge. Each course offered a new pathway to explore, further deepening Naman’s passion for learning.

One of the most remarkable aspects that Naman found was the close-knit bond between the seniors and juniors. The atmosphere of support, camaraderie, and genuine happiness for one another's achievements created a safe and nurturing environment. “It was heartwarming to see everyone's progress that was devoid of unhealthy competition,” Naman said.

As a liberal education university, Naman experienced an inclusive environment at FLAME. He saw how progressive thinking on vital issues such as feminism, gender sensitivity, sexual orientation, and animal rights, among other significant issues, was taken seriously. Naman felt grateful to be a part of such an extraordinary community.

The academic voyage at FLAME was a testament to boundless exploration and personal growth. The three years of undergraduate studies offered a wealth of fascinating courses, with digital marketing being one of the transformative experiences. This experimental journey turned into a pivotal stepping stone as his first professional role was embraced as a Digital Marketing Apprentice at Google.

The faculty who led the digital marketing courses played a significant role in cultivating Naman’s deep interest in this field. Their expertise and passion kindled a profound understanding of digital marketing's intricacies and its potential as a career path.

“A career path is rarely a path at all. A more interesting life is usually a more crooked, winding path of missteps, luck, and vigorous work. It is almost always a clumsy balance between the things you try to make happen and the things that happen to you.”

~Tom Freston

Although Naman’s career path has just begun, he attributes his well-rounded education and readiness for the workforce to FLAME. There were various challenges and successes, all of which led to Naman being where he is today.

He was exposed to Photography, International Relations, and each subject contributed to a wealth of knowledge. Also, his exposure to Theatre, Geography, Public Policy, and Digital Literacy further enriched his understanding of the world and its complexities. Moreover, learning about Digital Advertising Software opened doors to staying up-to-date with the dynamic world of technology.

Naman looked up to FLAME as a vibrant hub of activities, where cultural events thrived and diverse talents were encouraged. Attending the various events became a captivating way to broaden his horizons and learn about the unique skills and abilities within the student community.

Furthermore, taking part in organising TEDx 2019 at FLAME was a remarkable experience for Naman. Being part of the Hospitality team and hosting one of the speakers was an opportunity to contribute to a platform that amplifies ideas worth spreading.

Later on, Naman founded Support A Cause Team (SACT) within two months of joining FLAME. This was possible due to the unconditional support he received from Prof. Razmi, Faculty of Literary & Cultural Studies and Director, Student Affairs, FLAME University. The creation of SACT marked a significant milestone in contributing to society beyond the boundaries of FLAME. With the noble aim of helping the masses outside the university, SACT embarked on numerous crowdfunding campaigns. The team was successfully able to raise more than INR 45.7 Lakhs across four impactful initiatives. 

“The reason it is a team and not a club is that - in a team all the people are members, and are at equal standing, which was the founding philosophy of SACT, and each member is a leader of their own initiative. In a club there would be a President, Vice President etc. and we didn't want that.”

The team has the vision to carry out a menstrual hygiene initiative and a support group initiative. Other such initiatives are currently in the brainstorming phase. These campaigns, in collaboration with various organisations and supported by Fueladream as the technology partner, have exemplified the power of collective efforts to make a positive change in society with SACT.

Naman recalls his time with the faculty at FLAME. His interactions were an undeniable highlight of the educational journey. Among the remarkable individuals Naman met during his journey at the university, Prof. Vahideh Razmi, with her boundless enthusiasm and unwavering support, played an instrumental role. Her guidance and encouragement helped transform his ideas into reality. His interactions with Prof. Razmi were always a delight, and she became not just a mentor but also a cherished friend to Naman.

Another influential figure, Prof. Bharat Damani, Faculty of Entrepreneurship at FLAME, served as a mentor from the first year through the final year. Prof. Bharat Damani’s continuous support and guidance were invaluable in his personal growth. His wisdom and guidance prepared the path to potential success for Naman. “Bharat Sir was so supportive, he would willingly address all my concerns with just one message or call from me. He would tell me to immediately come to his office or give me time instantly.” Naman recalls.

The faculty members embraced a friendly and egalitarian approach, fostering an environment of equality and openness. This conducive atmosphere helped Naman to express his perspectives, provide critical feedback, and witness tangible actions taken in response.

The faculty members invested tremendous effort in creating engaging assignments that transcended traditional learning methods. Whether it was producing a podcast, embarking on field visits, or capturing images to convey a message, the faculty's commitment to fostering creative exploration made every class a joyous experience. The emphasis on interactive, research-oriented, and authentic learning made the educational journey at FLAME truly an enjoyable learning experience for Naman. It went beyond the boundaries of rote learning and examinations, preparing students for the challenges of the professional world.

Moreover, it was the faculty's unwavering support during challenging times that shaped Naman’s sense of direction. From the vice-chancellor, registrar, and deans to every senior faculty and administrator, their warm welcome and willingness to engage with Naman created a nurturing environment that inspired growth and personal development.

FLAME’s faculty, with their extensive industry connections and backgrounds, offered Naman an priceless bridge between academia and the professional world. Their networks enabled students to explore innovative and challenging projects, connect with industry experts, mentors, and investors, and arrange field visits. They also assisted Naman to learn how industries operated. It created invaluable opportunities for him to learn beyond the classroom.

Naman also participated in the Student Council. It proved to be an enlightening experience that imparted amazing skills that not many students get to learn. Navigating through challenges, it became evident to Naman how crucial it was to handle information responsibly and prevent the spread of rumours or fear among students. The council's role in verifying information through appropriate channels and liaising with authorities to resolve issues promptly showcased the power of effective communication and problem-solving.

Conflict resolution and negotiation were vital skills Naman cultivated during the council's tenure. Balancing the needs and demands of various student groups while fostering harmony and finding win-win solutions proved to be an integral part of his role. Representing the batch and advocating for academic and personal concerns further deepened the sense of responsibility and leadership.

Serving as a peer mentor was both fulfilling and occasionally demanding for Naman. Guiding and supporting mentees in their academic journey, assisting with course registrations, and providing advice on personal challenges nurtured a sense of connection and camaraderie. His experiences as a council member and peer mentor were driven by the shared goal of ensuring the well-being and happiness of FLAME students.

Then there was the club culture at FLAME which offered countless opportunities for his personal growth and engagement. Active participation in events and founding SACT kept Naman’s life bustling with activity throughout his academic year. The enthusiasm and dedication poured into these co-curricular endeavours contributed to an enriching and fulfilling college experience.

Naman was also eager to delve into the technical side of the digital marketing field. He was able to understand how businesses and software facilitate effective advertising and outreach, making his opportunity to be an apprentice at Google - a dream come true. His aspiration to grow, coupled with the practical skills gained from FLAME, positioned Naman on a confident trajectory toward professional success.

FLAME has provided unforgettable and candid moments that left an indelible mark on Naman’s heart and mind. He happily recalls the transformative experiences of delivering a motivational keynote address as part of the Public Speaking and Debate course. Overcoming the fear of public speaking, each learned technique was applied, resulting in a powerful connection with the audience. The profound impact of the speech resonated with the professor's words of admiration, who expressed that such a remarkable presentation could easily command a significant fee in the outside world. This awe-inspiring experience empowered a newfound fearlessness for Naman in addressing gatherings.

Another memory that left a lasting impression on Naman was witnessing an act of compassion on a cat stranded high up on a tree. A senior student fearlessly climbed the tree, and she rescued the cat. Everyone, including Naman, were thoroughly amazed. “It taught me about being compassionate towards all forms of life, and just going for it if you feel you should act on something.” Said Naman

Naman recalls another time during an induction week performance. “I saw the booing done by students of other colleges during my visit to those colleges. So, I assumed it would be the same for FLAME university. This did create a sense of hesitation in me initially before joining. However, what I witnessed at FLAME was magical! During a performance, a student forgot the lyrics. After about 10 seconds of silence, someone from the crowd started singing the lyrics to remind her. And slowly the whole gathering of students started, and then that person remembered and the performance went on. It was such a beautiful thing to notice and be a part of.”

All in all, Naman cherishes his memories and valuable life lessons at FLAME. He can’t wait to set out into the professional world to garner more experiences and amazing adventures. It is indeed that a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, and Naman is surely headed in the right direction. We wish him the very best!