Journey behind attaining success in every domain of Life - Dr. Anju Kapoor

Having so many achievements and endeavours in her pockets already, being at such a great position and after working so hard and strong every-day all these years, surprisingly Dr. Anju doesn't feel she can relax. In fact, she says she has a lot more to do and explore. An amazing persona shares with us about her life experiences, her passions and her dreams. Read on!
Interning IJ Mugdha Dumbre
Published on: 13th June 2016
Dr. Anju Kapoor, the Principal of Usha Pravin Gandhi College, and the former Vice Principal of Mithibai College is a lady of absolute vision and passion. Being a practicing Psychologist for past two decades she started Cheers2Us, a Counselling and Psychotherapy centre in 2008. Today she perfectly balances her responsibilities of her institution, her clinic and family with grace and conviction. Her stark personality, clear thinking and her belief in building strong bonds in her organization makes her one of a kind. She has written five books on Psychology, primarily focussing on the problem of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in school children. Her extensive knowledge in her subject and the charismatic way in which she approaches has changed many minds towards a much healthier and positive side of life. Here she shares with us her beautiful journey over the years and how everyone can be benefited if they use their emotions and mental strengths in the right sense.
Dr. Anju Kapoor
You are into Counselling field. Why and how do you feel counselling can be an important factor in the education system?

Dr. Anju Kapoor: In the last decade, counselling has become far more important in India than it was ever before. Nowadays students and parents feel that they have a lot more choices in terms of academics and careers. This creates a lot of confusion. The children want to find what their peers are doing and also want to know which careers have job prospectus. Like a 10th standard student wishes to know which career is appropriate for him and what are its possible outcomes in terms of job after his graduation. This far-sightedness that is coming to picture in today’s world has made career counselling of growing importance. Academics have become so competitive, that it has got more concerned parents and children wanting to figure out what is right for them. They want the best job, best college and be at the top in the race of education system. There are a lot of questions and unsolved areas that we as counsellors need to fill. I have been doing educational counselling since 5 years. It started at a very nascent level with very few clients coming for educational counselling, but today the scenario has changed. There is greater awareness among people and also there is more acceptance.

How does your study of Psychology help you with your college responsibilities?

Dr. Anju Kapoor: I am in the teaching field for almost 28 years and while teaching, I moved on to administration; heading a department, becoming the Vice-principal of a college and today finally becoming the Principal of UPG College. So over the years, I’ve gained a lot of experience in dealing with people. I began to realize that people are really interested in themselves and also that if you are able to find out what motivates an employee it helps you to connect with them and this can result in a good relation. Ultimately, it is about connecting with the motivational aspect of the employee. When I am able to understand the goals of an employee, everything becomes more simplified and there is a connection I see happening. It is very important for the employee to know that they are a valuable addition to the organization. All of this comes from my knowledge of Psychology. I feel lucky to have had a background of this subject and also that I had switched to leadership roles, growing more with the years to come, and trying to work with individual faculty wherever possible. I would always encourage them to indulge in participative activity and not something where I would talk down to people; I would always want to talk to people. Though I might have risen in rankings and positions but I am still a learner. Every time I meet a new person, I get to learn something new. I was earlier into Mass media, where I enjoyed good networking. Psychology made me an observer and a great learner.
Dr. Anju Kapoor
What has been your role in changing the face of Usha Pravin Gandhi College?

Dr. Anju Kapoor: Being the principal of a new college like Usha Pravin Gandhi College, which has been in existence for only 13 years, gives me a lot of scope to take different growth dimensions for this college. We are one of the very few colleges under Mumbai University that has only 3 self-financed management related programmes. One is in Management, one is in Mass-media, and one is in IT. This has been the history of this college since its inception. These three were the courses since last 13 years, but now it was time for the college to look at what else new is happening in and around us, and we found that there are other areas in which the college can grow. I feel very thankful, that I got picked by a fantastic management like Shri Vile Parle Kelvani Mandal. They chose my resume and offered me a golden opportunity to work with them. This was like a 360 degrees change for me. Here, I feel that my work is been valued and also I am appreciated as a human resource. There is lot more that I have to do for this college; it’s just like a beginning now

Along with your teaching career, you also work at Cheers2Us. Please share your experience about it.

Dr. Anju Kapoor: There was a student of mine who was doing campus mentoring for me and she always used to give me updates every 10 days or a week regarding the progress. Whenever we had these conversations, we would motivate each other saying “Cheers!” and then slowly instead of that we started saying “Cheers to us!” Later when I thought of starting my own practice in 2008-09, she said she wanted to work with me and that she could network with other schools. Akriti was someone who had faced a lot of struggles and challenges in her life. We had a very special connection like a mother and daughter. When we started the clinic, we separated our clients. She used to handle the young clients as she was very good at handling kids whereas I took the elder ones. Today we have started aptitude testing since most of our work has moved to educational consultation. The name “Cheers2us” was coined initially as our motivator which later turned out to be a very essential part of our lives.

Please share about the books that you have written.

Dr. Anju Kapoor: Writing is one of my spare time passions. The first book I wrote was published in 2013 which was a fiction story. In this book, for the first time I used education setup as a backdrop in which I took some real characters and also fictionalized some characters. This book was named “Media Madness & The Awesome 3some” as I was associated with the department of Mass Media where there was a sense of madness in terms of the work we did there. I was surprised to know that there was an element of craziness in me which I had never experienced before. I have documented all that can happen in a department which revolved around various fictional characters and situations. This book was more like my tribute to ‘Friendship’, a documented version of my friendship with the department. Some years later, I wrote a story based on my PhD topic-“Hyper Activity in School children”. I tried to showcase the story of these hyperactive students to the Indian families and explained how hyperactivity exists and that we should not judge it negatively. When I was writing these books, I remembered the words of my guide; Dr. Manisha Sen. She always said that “Your role doesn’t end as a Psychologist only in labelling and diagnosing. Your role will end when you suggest strategies to the diagnosis you have made. Then you are justifiably called as a doctor.”
Dr. Anju Kapoor
What are your passions and dreams which you want to fulfil?

Dr. Anju Kapoor: I still want to pen down a couple of fictional stories. I have a desire to write. Also, I want to do more travelling. One of my other passions is Movies. It’s again a place where I can see characters and it fascinates me as a Psychologist. I also really want to spend more time with my parents and kids.

What inspires you to work so passionately?

Dr. Anju Kapoor: My passion comes from the people I work with. When a colleague of mine says, that I love to come to work on Mondays, and that I no longer have Monday Blues, that motivates me to perform better. I want to have the culture in my organization, where people feel they are contributing something to it. As a head of an institute, my vision is to make sure that this institute is placed at its proper position, get it recognizable as a meaningful contributor. I want to leave a mark here. I am a people person, and that’s what keeps me going. When you are respected as a human resource, it just boosts your self-esteem. What would be your message to the readers?

Dr. Anju Kapoor: One must persist a little harder. Try and do things by winning people over rather than antagonizing. There are miserable times, but always know that there is another day coming and that new day will be a new hope, so never ever give up. There is always a reason behind what happens in our lives. People are always out there to beat you, but it’s ultimately your decision how long you hold on to it. They won’t be supportive at all times. You should learn to become your own support system. If you are doing something right, something positive, make sure you do it with the right company. You need to have an environment and colleagues that respects you, because money isn’t everything. Your workplace should be something like that after going back home, you should feel like coming back the next day, because in the end it’s not just the money that will hold you there.

The key lessons shared by Dr. Anju Kapoor makes us realize how important it is to know oneself and others around us, to channelize emotions and apply them in the noblest manner. Sometimes all it takes is a slight change in one’s perception.

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