With a purposeful career in the education space spanning more than 20 years, Dr. Shauli Mukherjee has dedicated her life to the promotion of child-centric and activity-oriented education. Dr. Mukherjee was the founder principal of Adamas World School and STEM World School, West Bengal’s first STEM school. He is a dedicated educator and thought leader with experience founding and running new generation K-12 schools. STEM is flourishing under her inspired leadership. World School was ranked and awarded as the 2nd best international day school in West Bengal by Education World.
Below are highlights of the interview conducted between World’s Leaders and Dr Shauli Mukherjee:
Describe who you are as a person, inside and outside of the workplace.
I am a person who thrives on intrinsic motivation to touch, impact, inspire and create a visible and tangible difference in people’s lives through the transformative and life-changing power of education. I would define myself as an extremely passionate and purpose-driven academic who has been relentlessly working in the education sector for more than two decades to hone and nurture the creative and innovative genius and the unique talents and capabilities of young learners. I believe that my primary responsibility as an educationist is to help enable young learners to evolve into more confident, competent, dynamic, and authentic versions of themselves who are holistically equipped to address the constantly emerging global complexities of the 21st century VUCA world.
Describe your background and what did you do before you joined the present organization?
With a purposeful career in the education space spanning more than 20 years, I have dedicated my life to the promotion of child-centric and activity-oriented education. I have been the Founder Principal of Adamas World School and STEM World School, the first STEM school in West Bengal. Under my leadership, STEM World School has been ranked and awarded as the 2nd best international day school in West Bengal by Education World. I also held senior academic and administrative positions in some of the reputed colleges in West Bengal.
Throughout my career in education, I have been actively contributing to and spearheading the process of creating a personalized, engaging, and stress-free curriculum for learners of all age groups. I have been the recipient of numerous awards and accolades, including the National Quality Excellence Award, the GEM of India Award, the Sarvepali Radhakrishnan Award, the National Education Leadership Award in the category of commitment to excellence in education, (to name a few), and the World Peace Award. The Academic Council of ULektz also recognized me as one of INDIA’S TOP 50 WOMEN LEADERS IN THE EDUCATION INDUSTRY and TOP 20 REVOLUTIONARY EDUCATION LEADERS.Additionally, I am associated with premiere educational organizations across India as well as globally in a senior advisory capacity. I have also been recognized among the 99 WOMEN ACHIEVERS OF INDIA FOR THE YEAR 2021.
As an internationally acclaimed inspirational speaker, I am regularly invited to numerous national and international conferences, universities, summits, conclaves, and events to share my insights on the futuristic and transformative role of education. I am currently working as the Director of the School of Education at Adamas University, India.
Tell us about the inception of your organization. How did it all start?
Adamas University is rated the Best Private University in Eastern India and was established with the intention of providing a solution to all educational needs under one roof. It aims to create an environment for students that will not just arm them with the right kind of knowledge, but also develop them as well-rounded members of society.
What has made you successful? What do you value?
I am a conscious and ardent believer in the concept of IKIGAI – the reason for being. In terms of my professional career as an academic, there has been a conscious and fortunate intersection between what I was good at and what I loved doing. I am a person who has actually turned her passion into her profession and, through her profession, has actually found her IKIGAI – the sole reason for being. When there’s a culmination of passion and purpose, one tends to work with an elevated sense of conviction and commitment, and there’s absolutely no need for any external stimulus to keep him/her motivated or inspired, since both inspiration and motivation are intrinsic for a person who is purpose driven. All through my career, I have strongly valued passion, purpose, and integrity.
What obstacles did you overcome to get to where you are today?
I believe that almost all potential and great opportunities in life often come disguised as challenges and obstacles. Though there have been numerous challenges in my professional journey, especially since I have been committed to bringing about a visible and tangible difference in people’s minds concerning the real essence of education, which was definitely not an easy task, I have never viewed those obstacles as stumbling blocks in my life, rather I have considered them as essential stepping stones which had helped enable me to evolve into a better, stronger, and more confident version of myself.
What are your responsibilities as the Director of the University? What is the happiest part of your daily routine?
I firmly uphold the belief that the purpose of meaningful education is to develop lifelong learners, creative thinkers, and responsible global citizens who are confidently equipped to face the challenges of an uncertain and constantly unfolding future. In my current role as the Director of the School of Education at one of the premiere universities in India, I am committed to developing and nurturing the future generation of teachers and researchers who will be endowed with the ability to inspire and impact the lives of many people around them through the ennobling power of education.
The happiest part of my daily routine is being with my students—inside or outside the classroom—being able to interact with them and connect with them at a deeper level.
What are your current struggles and your future goals?
There is an urgent and pressing need to reimagine and redefine education to meet the needs and demands of a volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous world that is constantly changing and unfolding.A complete mind-set shift is required to re-imagine education and learning that will essentially suit the learning needs and demands of our current generation of youth. Our current education system still continues to promote a one-size-fits-all educational structure, which needs a complete transformation. As a futuristic and progressive educator, I am committed to positively contributing to facilitating a paradigm shift from an overtly structured and rigid framework of education to a more personalized, stress-free, fulfilling, happy, and productive educational ecosystem.
What advice would you give someone going into a leadership position for the first time?
I strongly believe that a true leader is one who knows the way, shows the way and most importantly, goes the way. A leader takes people where they want to go but a great leader takes people where they don’t want to go but ought to be going. The real role of leadership, especially in the sphere of Education should never be one of command and control; rather it should be one of climate control – that is, creating a suitable climate of infinite possibilities and immense potentialities where the people would continue to evolve into the highest, truest and the very best versions of them.