In this exclusive interview with Ms. Vandana Mahajan, the visionary leader and founder of Futures Abroad, we delve into the core strengths and unique offerings of the consultancy. With over two decades of experience in the education sector, Ms. Mahajan shares her journey from being the Director of International Liaison at the University of Toronto to establishing Futures Abroad, a full-service platform that supports students from grade 8 through university and beyond. The interview highlights the consultancy’s commitment to personalized counseling, building strong student profiles, and providing comprehensive services, including career guidance, university placements, scholarship guidance, visa assistance, and pre-departure briefings. Ms. Mahajan also reflects on the challenges faced during the inception of Futures Abroad and emphasizes the value of selfless guidance and a mission-driven approach to shaping successful student careers. The interview concludes with a glimpse into the future of Futures Abroad, with an upcoming platform aimed at revolutionizing the education consultancy landscape. Clients are assured of honest and comprehensive career guidance, supporting them in making informed decisions and securing admissions with scholarships. The interview wraps up with Ms. Mahajan’s advice to viewers, urging them to choose their educational paths wisely and make informed decisions for a successful career journey.

Strength in Vision

We started the interview by asking, “What do you feel is the biggest strength of “FUTURESABROAD” right now?”

Vandana Mahajan replied, “Providing a full-service platform to students and parents from grade 8 until university and for undergraduate students seeking admissions in Masters programs. We help students work all the way from exploring their strengths and aptitude to experiencing their passion and firming up their career goals. We empower students to unleash their potential and 90% of our students study abroad with scholarships.”

Navigating Success

The Worlds Times: What was the path you took to get to where you are today?

Vandana Mahajan replied, “I have over two decades of experience in the Education sector, specializing in Strategy Development, International Liaison, Student Recruitment, & Career Counseling. I was awarded the ‘Entrepreneur of the Year Award’ for three consecutive years 1999-2002 for strategy development, delivery of projects and excellent customer service.

Over the past years, I have worked initially as an entrepreneur in India and for several years at ‘University of Toronto’ as the ‘Director International Liaison’ which gave me a unique perspective. I was instrumental in initiating partnership agreements between University of Toronto and Public schools creating first of its kind unique programs for international students coming to Canada with Peel District School Board. I was also involved in initiating and creating articulation agreements for University of Toronto with Community Colleges across Canada.

I was part of the former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s delegation to India in Nov. 2012 promoting opportunities in the Education sector in Canada. I have been working closely with FICCI for the past 5 years. I was the Keynote speaker in 8th FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry) Higher Education Summit in November 2012 speaking on ‘Sustaining successful partnerships with foreign universities’. The Summit brought together stakeholders including key policy makers, educationists and industry at both national and international level for deliberations and knowledge sharing.

I embarked on a new adventure in 2015 and started Futures Abroad, a boutique Career and University Counseling business. The company has offices in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia, New Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai. I have helped over 20000 students till date attend their dream university with Scholarship. I am the founder of ‘The Next New,’ a student club she started in 2000 to help students build awareness and understanding of upcoming careers and helping them gain experience as interns, pursue research and understanding of the career they are planning to pursue.

I completed a certification from Yale University in Psychology and Cognitive Science in 2000 to understand student psychology, how teenage brain works, and understanding attention theories. My main aim is to help students understand their aptitude and choose the right university on the one hand and on the other work with universities in promoting the programs and helping them find the right fit. Having worked with an internationally renowned university it is my passion and responsibility to share my knowledge, information, and experience with others. I am a certified member of ICEF, Canadian Business Council and Dubai Business Women’s council connecting with key people, mentoring and helping in any shape or form building successful career.”

Inception Insight

The Worlds Times: Why did you start “FUTURESABROAD”?

Vandana Mahajan replied, “I started Futures Abroad to share my experience of working with University of Toronto, world leader in education. Here I got first-hand experience of university admissions, scholarships, and financial aid assessments. I got an opportunity to work with faculty members from different departments and understand their objectives and research priorities. I was fortunate to witness students’ transition from high school to university and the factors that impacted their performance, especially in their first year.

I started Futures Abroad so that I could share my experience with students and parents and help them make wise choices. Studying abroad is not just about education, it’s about the complete experience and I wanted to make a positive impact in students’ lives.”

Navigating Challenges

The Worlds Times: What have been the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome during the journey of your leadership?

Vandana Mahajan replied, “The biggest challenge in starting Futures Abroad was stepping foot in a competitive market. I knew my business and was confident of my skills and knowledge but wanted to get my strategy right to be able to launch a successful brand and beating c competitors who were well established in the region for several years.”

The Worlds Times: Give us one word that describes you the best.

Your Answer: Opportunist

The Worlds Times: What are the key values which helped you to overcome the challenges in your path

Vandana Mahajan replied, “I believe that human mind is powerful, and you choose how you want to train your brain. I maintain a healthy work life balance and encourage my staff to do the same. I stay active and this helps my brain to remain active as well.

I invest in training for my staff on a regular basis which helps them stay positive and driven along with me.”

Embracing Ethos & Strategic Brilliance

The Worlds Times: What do you value the most about “FUTURESABROAD” vision?

Vandana Mahajan replied, “I value our ethos and passion to help students selflessly. With our experience and guide them towards a better future. For Futures Abroad this is not a business but a mission to work selflessly towards the goal of helping students build successful careers.

We further asked, “What are the strategies of “FUTURESABROAD” and how do you stand unique from your competitors?”

Vandana Mahajan answered, “My experience of working in one of the topmost universities in Canada has been the biggest asset and has helped me shape my career. I have always believed that education is a business of learning. I invest in keeping my learning up to date by visiting universities regularly, attending conferences and innovating my business.”

Visionary Evolution & Unlocking Success

The Worlds Times: How do you see “FUTURESABROAD” changing in two years, and how do you see yourself creating that change?

Vandana Mahajan replied, “I see Futures Abroad evolving with time as the education industry is changing and careers are evolving. My passions is to ensure that students don’t just go abroad to study but make informed decisions and choose the programs wisely. We are coming up with a unique platform which will be launched in 2024 for the students to benefit from. I am going to keep this a secret until launched.”

The Worlds Times: What benefits are clients getting from “FUTURESABROAD” in this competitive world

Vandana Mahajan replied, “Key benefits our clients are getting from us is honest and comprehensive career guidance service and support which helps them make informed decisions and get into top universities with scholarships.”

Ms. Vandana Mahajan’s Closing Words

Lastly we asked, “Would you like to say anything else to our viewers?”

I would like to tell viewers that when it’s a matter of your career or your child’s career choose wisely. Weigh all pros and cons and research well to make sure that you are creating the perfect shortlist of universities for yourself. There is no one size fits all so do follow your friends. It’s your career; make wise decisions and right choices.” Vandana Mahajan concluded

Connect Vandana Mahajan on Linkedin

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