#HerCareers Interview with Kirthana Singh Khurana on Academia
Kirthana Singh Khurana is a Lecturer at Jindal Global Law School and Jindal Global Business School, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat. After completing a bachelor’s degree in commerce from Shri Ram College of Commerce, University of Delhi, she pursued a three-year LL.B. degree at Campus Law Centre, University of Delhi. She further went on to pursue the MCL (Master of Corporate Law) degree at University of Cambridge, UK and graduated in the year 2019.
How did you decide to get into Academia and what prompted you to change gears?
Kirthana: Right since my early days my interest in studies has been an unfailing constant. Be it the school days or the thrilling undergrad years, a deep liking for what transpired in the classroom and how I kept myself motivated to learn more and more from that, appear to have shaped my academic performance. But on a serious recollection, I feel blessed to have had great teachers and professors in my life who have played a very important role in shaping my beliefs and guiding me through the rigours of gruelling academic challenges. Their ability to turn concepts easy to comprehend and a strong faculty of connectedness with the students, left an indelible impression on me about the teaching profession. After completing my law degree, as I took up a master’s course at the Cambridge University, I found myself in an entirely different realm. The teaching environment and the pedagogy employed there, gave me new insights about the great scope for research in corporate law, my area of specialization. I realized that a teaching career shall not only grant me the opportunity to bring about changes in peoples’ lives but also open the door for a meaningful research. There is a penchant world over for sanity and compliance in all walks of life and hence Law is fast emerging as a preferred career. The importance and pride of training the future lawyers cannot, therefore, be overstated.
How would you compare mainstream legal practice with your current profession?
Kirthana: This has been a long-running comparison ever since the modern law schools came into existence. But in my view, it has more to do with the personal urge as well as the attitude that one carries. Legal practice and teaching have both undergone vast changes over the last few decades and offer unlimited scope for job-satisfaction as well as the associated rewards. As for the teaching career, I firmly believe it offers a great amount of flexibility as one develops as an academician. A normal schedule at the law school gives space for balancing the requirements for reflection, preparation and articulation. Additionally, it gives one the opportunity to pursue research in the preferred area. For a teaching professional, that could be a strong accomplishment to leverage his future growth. With the growth of quality law schools, the world over, there are opportunities like foreign collaborations between Universities offering cross-geography interfaces. Senior academicians also get invites as guest faculty from leading global law schools and this keeps fuelling their growth unabated. As one progresses in the academic role, additional responsibilities like administrative positions also come up. Such assignments orient one towards academic policy making and contributing in the institution’s journey towards it stated goals.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
Kirthana: Interacting with young students and hearing their views about the topics being discussed, are the most enjoyable moments for me. The more their involvement the greater is the imperative for preparation for the next lecture. This is how my routine becomes so fulfilling and wholesome. I must admit the benefits of an interaction are the product of the involvement of the participants. Learning becomes a two-way process and in the end a win-win for everyone. It remains my endeavour to make my lectures as engaging as they could be. Though that entails much more efforts, but the goal remains to bring out the best during the deliberations in the sessions. What makes my job even more thrilling is the extraordinary work culture in my University. My colleagues at the Law School are very supportive and encouraging. It is a place where everyone helps you to perform your best.
What advice would you give to young women lawyers aspiring to have a journey similar to yours?
Kirthana: I personally feel that excellence in the career of academia is a derivative of one’s passion for the subject. A strong background in the subject coupled with an urge to learn more can pave the way for a most enriching career. My advice to the young friends shall be to venture out as much as possible and try your hands at new fields to gather what interests and inspires you the most. Work hard and persevere and spot your calling. Don’t forget the famous saying ‘’ if you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life’’.