“The power of true friendships”
July 18, 2019
July 18, 2019
Akash Gandhi, who is now working as a Junior Doctor, urged current boys not to forget the values and ethos of QE when he returned as guest speaker to this year’s Junior Awards.
Akash (2005-2012) threw himself into life as a pupil, playing cricket, getting involved in debating, helping younger boys through peer mentoring, supporting the Sai School Appeal and serving as a Senior Lieutenant, then one of the leading positions within the prefect team.
On leaving, he went up to Queens’ College, Cambridge, to read Medicine, taking a first-class degree with prize & honours. From there, he went to University College London, for his clinical training, again excelling in his studies. Akash is now a Junior Doctor in Northwick Park Hospital, Harrow, but carves out time every year to support QE’s aspiring Sixth Form medics with their UCAT (University Clinical Aptitude Test) preparations.
In his speech to the assembled audience of younger boys, parents, staff and VIP guests Akash recalled the message instilled in him by his father: “It is not about what you do, but who you become by what you do.” It is, he said, more important to be concerned about what will be said in your eulogy than what is written in your CV.
And Akash had three specific areas of advice. The first was to find and follow your passions. “During my time at QE, my passions were my culture, cricket, charity work and football. And so, at university I found myself as the Vice-President of Cambridge University’s India Society. I also captained my college’s cricket team all the way to the final of the cup tournament – despite only ever representing QE’s C team.”
The second area was to find your mentors and to remember to thank them. “You are not alone, and you’d be a fool not to seek advice from those around you, especially in an establishment like this one.
“Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, embrace the power of true friendships – trust me on this one,” Akash told the boys. “From my experience, boys of this School look out for each other long after they have stopped sporting its badge. Joining Stapylton House with Mr [Mark] Peplow at the helm, little did I realise the everlasting friendships that I would go on to make. With some of them, I have travelled across central America, Asia and Australia. With others, I have worked together to help provide treatment for patients attending emergency departments across London.
“I can safely say that I am still surrounded by the values, ethos and ethic that I felt whilst studying at QE. I suppose that’s easy to say when I got to work last Friday to find that four out of the five doctors on my team were also QE boys. And as for the fifth? She’s a proud mother of a son who currently goes to QE!
“Congratulations on your achievements, keep working hard, and the best of luck for the future,” Akash concluded.