Unlocking doors to international education, Supriyo Kumar Chakraborty, CEO of SA Associates, reflects on his mission to empower students and carve pathways to a brighter future.
What inspired you to pursue a career as a professional education consultant? How did that vision lead to the creation of SA Associates?
The inspiration to embark on a career as a professional education consultant culminated in my personal experiences and I had an urge to bridge the gap for students seeking international education. After completing my bachelor’s degree in international relations, I had the privilege of working at the Russian Embassy of Bangladesh. This job introduced me to many different people. It made me see the importance of education, especially for students who want to go abroad. The vision for SA Associates took root from my own journey. I recognised the immense potential of Bangladeshi students and the value of guiding them toward reputable international institutions. I believed strongly in education’s ability to change lives, so I started SA Associates in 1998. It began as a modest endeavour, a mere 120 square feet of office space, yet driven by determination and relentless dedication, it has evolved into an establishment with multiple offices in key locations within Bangladesh and even one in Canada. The foundation of SA Associates was built upon the aspiration to provide students and families with a trustworthy, seamless, and reliable way toward their dreams of pursuing education abroad.
How do you guide students in choosing the right study destination and program that aligns with their academic and career goals?
Guiding students toward the proper destination and program requires a holistic approach that recognises each student’s unique aspirations, strengths, and goals. At SA Associates, we prioritise understanding the individuality of each student. We engage in thorough conversations to comprehend their academic interests, future career plans, and personal preferences. This information helps us guide them. We aim to connect students with universities that are not only academically great but also match what they want to achieve. Our goal is to match students with institutions that offer academic excellence and resonate with their ambitions. We use facts and personal attention to help students decide what’s best for them and their future careers.
You specialise in higher studies in Canada and the US. What significant differences have you observed in the higher education system between these countries and Bangladesh?
The higher education systems in Canada, the US, and Bangladesh possess distinct characteristics that influence students’ experiences and outcomes. In Canada and the US, there is a strong emphasis on research-driven learning, interactive classroom environments, and opportunities for interdisciplinary studies. These countries offer many extracurricular activities and resources that foster personal growth and holistic development. Compared to Bangladesh, where some educational institutions might face resource constraints, the education systems in Canada and the US prioritise a comprehensive learning experience. Furthermore, the emphasis on critical thinking, creativity, and practical application of knowledge sets these systems apart. Students in these countries can explore their interests and tailor their educational journey, contributing to well-rounded development.
Despite Bangladesh’s increasing number of public and private universities, studying abroad remains a high priority among students. What gap in our education system have you observed, and how could we overcome that?
Many Bangladeshi students are desperate to study in other countries, which shows that something is missing in the education here. While Bangladesh has made substantial progress in expanding its higher education infrastructure, certain areas need work. One such gap is to focus more on hands-on learning and gaining skills that companies need. To address this gap, collaborations between universities and industries could be enhanced. Establishing stronger connections between academia and real-world applications will equip students with the right skills to excel in their chosen fields. Additionally, integrating more international exposure, such as exchange programs and partnerships with foreign institutions, can give students a broader perspective and a competitive edge in the global job market.
You have been a professional consultant for more than 25 years now. How do you envision the future of SA Associates and its role in realising students’ dreams of quality education?
The journey of SA Associates has been marked by evolution, growth, and a steadfast commitment to students’ dreams. Looking ahead, I envision SA Associates continuing to be at the forefront of the education consultancy landscape. We will adapt to emerging trends and shifts in international education while retaining our core values of honesty, reliability, and student-centric service. In the future, SA Associates will expand its reach, establishing partnerships with renowned institutions worldwide to provide students with an even broader range of options. The ever-changing global dynamics mean our consultant role will be more crucial than ever. We will continue to provide students with accurate information, guidance, and support, ensuring that they embark on their educational journeys fully equipped to succeed. We promise to always care about being aware and doing the right things. We’ll ensure that we help students get a good education with transparency and integrity. SA Associates’ legacy will be one of empowerment, transforming students’ dreams into reality through education and fostering a brighter future for generations to come.
The journey from a modest 120-square-foot office to the establishment that SA Associates is today has been a testament to the power of determination, vision, and dedication. As the founder and driving force behind this consultancy firm, my passion for education and empowerment remains undiminished. Pursuing excellence in education, the desire to bridge international opportunities for students, and the commitment to a brighter future for our country have guided every step of this incredible journey. The path forward is paved with even more tremendous promise as SA Associates continues to illuminate the path toward quality education, fostering a generation of well-prepared individuals ready to positively impact the world.