Name: Ayesha Goyal
Business: Leap Beyond
Location: Mumbai, India
Industry: Education & Training
Reason for starting? I moved to the U.K. from India to pursue an undergraduate degree. However, the general lack of clarity around jobs for international students left me feeling quite demotivated. I repeatedly saw international students around me applying for jobs and getting rejected. I started my research and, surprisingly, through my interactions with various recruiters, I learnt that most of the top companies are open to hiring international employees – but students were falling short in their preparation. Therein began my journey.
After a considerable amount of time spent attending career events, undertaking internships, interacting with recruiters and numerous trials and errors, I went into my final year of university with four job offers in hand from the biggest consultancies in London. I realized that this is the problem I want to solve. I wanted to help international students in making their journeys easier. This is the reason Leap Beyond was started: to advance international student’s success and inclusion.
How do you define success? Success for me would be to break stereotypes and transcend a lot of boundaries that are usually set by the society at large. I am a solo founder, a woman founder, and I resigned from a lucrative job in London to come back home and start a venture of my own. My choices have raised quite a few eyebrows and have been met with a lot of surprise and doubts. We have just launched, and going forward success for me would be impacting graduates globally through our offering, driving Leap Beyond to new heights in the field of education and training, and to be able to encourage many more young minds to take more risks and go for what they believe in.
Biggest success: During university, I had the opportunity to head a student project that aimed to reduce unemployability in the city of Nottingham. As of a part of this program, I worked with my team members to conduct employment training and help unemployed youth in Nottingham to secure full-time jobs. We got the opportunity to work closely with the mayor on this project and succeeded in placing over 50 candidates in full-time jobs with local companies. All the candidates came from low-income backgrounds, and seeing the impact these jobs had on them and their families was overwhelming and definitely something that has stayed with me since.
What is your top challenge and how you have addressed it? As a part of our offering, we have built a full-fledged student portal and a learning platform for the students who enroll with us. While liaising with our lead coders on this project, I found it quite challenging to get a grasp of the technical jargon and coding concepts that were involved, since my knowledge in this domain was quite limited. However, I have now taught myself some basic coding and continue to increase my knowledge of it by setting some time aside to learn on a daily basis. A good grasp of the technical architecture has definitely helped me in understanding my product on a deeper level and make better decisions.
Who is your most important role model? I am quite inspired by Vishen Lakhiani, the CEO of an ed-tech firm, MindValley. I have been following his work for a few years now and, through his company, he has continuously strived to introduce mindfulness and personal development into global education and continuous learning. Its a domain that has interested me a lot and is something I wish to be involved with in the future. Moreover, his literary work and specifically his most recent book “Code of the Extraordinary Mind” has impacted me deeply and changed the way I think about a lot of things.
Edited by The Story Exchange