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    Default Noida techie wins Rs 19.76 lakh fellowship via tweets

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    Rahul Rathi is not addicted to social media like others his age but is a great admirer of the power it wields. After all, it is a tweet that won him a $37,000 (approx. Rs 19.76 lakh) fellowship to do his MBA at a top ranking American university.

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    Application essays for admission to post-graduate courses in American universities have been around for decades. But last year, the University of Iowa pioneered a new concept - the application "tweet", wherein instead of an essay, applicants are supposed to send a 140-character tweet on why they should be selected. Of course, they can insert a link to their blog, video essay or slideshow - within the character limit - to say more about themselves.

    The applicant with the best tweet gets the full-tuition award. This year, the competition was thrown open to international students as well and Rathi, a 25-year-old techie from Noida, became the first winner. Applicants had to tweet an answer to the question: "What makes you an exceptional Tippie Full-time MBA candidate and future MBA hire? Creativity encouraged!".

    In his tweet, Rathi wrote "in an age where packaging is as imp as content, I present myself in a manner that makes me stand out from the crowd", and inserted a link to a photo slideshow about him.

    Rathi has been active on Twitter for almost three years now. At first, he found Twitter "a great place to follow people you admire, and speak your mind". Then he started scouting for interesting articles and websites from multiple sources. "I am not on Twitter all the time but I do tweet once in a while," he said.

    India has a large number of social media users, but educational institutes are yet to fully exploit it. "Twitter has gained tremendous popularity owing to the growing number of users. It is now the one stop shop for all the latest news from around the world," Rathi said. "It has great potential for marketing as well as for expanding the reach of an organisation," he added.

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    dR Dazzler
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    Feb 2012






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