Mentor Story _ Shyama Dutta

Mentor Story _ Shyama Dutta

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

These famous words keep playing in my head when I think of her, my mentor Shyama Dutta.

Shyama Dutta, currently mentoring the students of Symbiosis Liberal Arts, was my teacher, in the true sense of the word, during my MBA days. She used to teach our class advertising during the first year of MBA.

I still remember how learning and being a student changed for me completely the first day of her class. I won’t say I recall her first class, but I definitely recall everything she taught me. Not because she taught me, but because she involved me.

Her classes were amazing! I remember looking forward to her classes. What made it different? She churned your memory inside out. If you thought she was going to ask questions from within the text book, you are mistaken! She would come up with this spontaneous case, and ask questions over it. She would take up a living brand, and ask us what is wrong with it. Our rusted brains, and our lesser polished knowledge was put to test.

When it comes to teaching, I would say she is a rock star. She mentored us for a brief period, but whatever she taught is imprinted in my mind forever.

Journey Summarized

Shyama Dutta has had a spectacular journey, carving niches and breaking notions, along the way. She has been actively involved in both Advertising and PR. Her vast experience include working in branding, content solutions for print, digital, AV as well as corporate training and PR. She has been mentoring management and media students since 2008. She started out as an associate professor, went on to become the head of department for the undergraduate course. At present she is a visiting professor for media schools, while carrying out her current line of work. To know more about her experience you can visit her LinkedIn Profile :

Her Take on Education System

She believes that standard colleges in India have not yet adopted a creative learning strategy. According to her there is scope for improvement for both learning and teaching. Shyama Dutta is known for skills based teaching wherein she incorporates real world experience, with theoretical concepts to nurture a better learning environment. She believes instead of repeating the knowledge inspired from the books, more practical knowledge should be shared with the students to help them learn faster and better. Her idea of teaching is based on self learning.

She is currently a mentor at the Symbiosis Liberal Arts. She maintains that the teaching strategy adopted by this college is an interesting combination of creativity and academic rigor. Without theory, practical training is futile and a perfect combination of the two is essential to carry forward learning. Theory needs to be capitalized with an essential base of practical knowledge.

Her Unique Teaching Style

“The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery” ~ Mark Van Doren

Shyama says that value of education is enhanced only when it is brought closer to reality. She also went on to say that students should be introduced to real case studies, asked to work on real brands, and deal with practical experiences to ensure they know how to apply the concepts properly.

Learning and applying the concepts learn parallel to each other, and both are considerably important in the growing learning environment.

Improving Education in Developing Countries

When asked how she feels the quality of education can be improved in developing countries, she answered that it is important to delve into the root cause and work on it. According to her the root cause lies in the primary education in such countries. She said that it is important to develop and improve primary education in developing countries, which in turn will improve the quality of education in this country.

The quality of education in developing countries is quite a concern. Education is the root to solving all issues, and that itself seems to be an issue here.

She believes that more and more people should works towards improving and rebuilding the primary education in these developing countries. Together we can make a better and favorable educational environment in these countries.

She definitely knows what teaching is, and what quality of teaching means! We just need more such mentors in our life to improve quality of education I guess.