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Eshan Dabak

Eshan Dabak
Plan II; Sanskrit; Economics
Graduation Year:
Spring 2018
"This job has presented a wide range of wonderful challenges and opportunities to grow as an instructor and role model for the students whom I work with."

What has been the most rewarding part about working at the Sanger Center?
It’s difficult to choose just one aspect! For one, the Sanger Center employees are all wonderful people to work with – very friendly, helpful, and accepting. Secondly, I have absolutely loved my job as an SI leader! It has presented a wide range of wonderful challenges and opportunities to grow as an instructor and role model for the students whom I work with.

What has been the most surprising aspect of your job?
When I first joined the SI team, I was expecting to work with large groups of students in my SI sessions with little personal interaction. To my pleasant surprise, I was able to get to know several of the students on a very personal level, which made my job much more meaningful. In fact, I often forget that I am getting paid to do it!

Tell us about a time you worked with a student (or group of students) and were particularly proud of the outcome. What happened? Why was it special?
I had a student last semester in my sessions who seemed to struggle with the class material but had a very positive attitude towards the class. (S)he diligently attended all my sessions and stayed after a few minutes so that I could explain the material more thoroughly. After several weeks, (s)he told me that, though the class was still very tough, (s)he was very thankful for my extra help because it still made the material more accessible. This was special to me because I knew then that I was making a real impact on the students with whom I was getting to work.

What do you think is the biggest myth about learning/studying in college?
One thing I heard through high school and into college was that class is only moderately useful and that effective studying for a class requires hours of individual/group studying in addition to TA sessions, etc. In my experience, this has not been the norm. Of course, I have had classes for which all those activities are indispensable, but usually, I have found that the professors are genuinely caring people who want the best for their students. Class is helpful when I’ve prepared for it by doing the assigned readings, rereading notes, etc. Studying doesn’t have to be stressful in college when it is done in a structured, organized way.

ell us about an academic challenge you encountered when you got to UT. How did you handle it? What advice would you give to someone in that same situation?
One of the biggest challenges I found at UT was that my professors felt very distant, especially in my 300 person + classes. I had always appreciated a close personal relationship with my teachers in high school, but the college setting was quite different. I found it very helpful to attend office hours whenever I could since professors enjoy helping and speaking to their students regarding the class material/related topics. With some of my classes, I scheduled my professors’ office hours into my planner, and this helped a lot to make the college classroom feel less removed from me. Making this a habit from freshman year definitely helped as well because as the semesters became busier, it was harder and harder to set aside time for office hours.