karthik thumbnail

Student Life and Lessons Learned with Karthik Thandavan (Video)

I sat down with Karthik in my new home studio to talk about this student experience.

His full name is LONG. Really Long – Srinivasa Karthik Thandavan Vidhya Sekeran.


  • M.S. Mechanical Engineering
  • Missouri Institute of Science and Technology, Rolla

Here is a quick overview about topics covered

  • Research Experience
  • Financial Aid
  • Part Time Jobs and Salary
  • MS vs PhD
  • Thesis vs Non-Thesis
  • Courses
  • Student Schedule
  • Roommates
  • Cooking
  • Shopping
  • Taking Care your health
  • Lessons learned


  • What do you think about this interview with Karthik?
  • Do you like to see more such videos with students?
  • Post your question for Karthik in comments.



  1. Raj on May 20, 2013 at 7:39 AM

    Unable to watch the video, I get error after few seconds of starting the video. Youtube would be better !

  2. sangram barge on May 8, 2013 at 10:11 AM

    plz upload on youtube ,

  3. PRASHANT on May 7, 2013 at 11:21 PM

    I dont know is it just me or somebody else. I just cant see where the video is. I tried watching impact of plagiarism… and worked well. But this one in particular-which i’m more interested in because I’m considered the same option too; seems no where to be found, I couldn’t even locate where to click for video. Could a possible solution be to upload in youtube as other users said.

  4. sakthi on May 7, 2013 at 9:23 PM

    Hi Ragu, Thank you very much for your response to do the correction in Audio level. I am also happy to note that you are from Chennai, I already told it to my you must be from south, because we people always to do everything differently. wish you all the best go ahead.

  5. Karan Singh on May 7, 2013 at 2:26 PM

    Hello Karthik & Raghu
    Thank you for the informative video.

    Raghu, while I respect and appreciate what you have done here ( happyschools blog in general), i feel that you shouldn’t make the second part of this particular video a pay-only option.
    This is the only site in the world which provides such comprehensive knowledge and information about studying in the US. I understand that you are also in this to earn money, anyone would, but that the same time please let these core sources/experiences be open to the public. Crucial first hand experiences like this are very rare and will be helpful to students.

    Once again you are doing a great job and please continue to do so.

    • Raghuram Sukumar on May 7, 2013 at 2:32 PM

      People always want free stuff. There will be new membership program for unique contents and it will be under pay wall.

      People complain if the quality if the blog posts are not good and they complain when I charge for exclusive content.

      • Chiranjeev on October 10, 2013 at 1:38 PM

        Firstly.. thank you for all that you do… I’m a big fan of your work..
        Now onto some tough love…
        You already get commission from the universities you promote.. from the books and GRE prep courses you promote ( Example Magoosh )
        I know people in general are not satisfied no mater how much money they make…. But if you really do this blog for the pure satisfaction of helping out students(As you many times say in your videos) , then on behalf of all HSB folks ,it’s my humble request to you to keep all your invaluable videos and blogs FREE… and please PUT A PAYPAL badge somewhere on the website so that people can donate to you if they really feel that you’ve been helpful..
        And I’m sure once students reach the US, they will be more than happy to donate to the website that held their hand and walked them through the entire US Grad School Admissions Journey….

  6. sakthi on May 7, 2013 at 12:00 PM

    Good topic . but audio performance is very its affect the interest hear and see. Try to correct Pls.

  7. ram on May 7, 2013 at 3:20 AM

    Hi raghu,
    Please upload the video in youtube . Its taking lot of time to buffer .

  8. Sreekumar Menon on May 7, 2013 at 1:59 AM

    I had the volume all the way up but wasn’t able to hear most of what Karthik said. I gave up after about six minutes. It’s important for the speaker to face the camera, speak into it and enunciate clearly. I am surprised that so many of you have had no problem hearing the conversation.

  9. PRASHANT on May 7, 2013 at 12:26 AM

    didnt see a link to that video anyway anywhere…

  10. Pawan on May 6, 2013 at 2:05 PM

    nice job .
    love to see more such videos .It would be nice if you could videos collect questions over a week or month and then answer the most commonly asked question in the video , hope it make sense . That would help to create a video database too . the length of video is good , but i’m not sure about sound quality , not sure if its only me .
    thanks for posting such valuable videos .
    keep posting !

    • Raghuram Sukumar on May 6, 2013 at 2:29 PM

      This the first time recording. Next video part 2 came out much better. About 59 minutes long with better sound.

      • ram on May 7, 2013 at 3:23 AM

        please upload it soon .Part 2. These video interviews are excellent and are more engaging and conveys more info compared to posts.Keep posting more videos.

        • Raghuram Sukumar on May 7, 2013 at 7:18 AM

          Part will be available within new premium members section.

      • teja kothamasu on May 7, 2013 at 6:56 AM

        This video was of great help.. Thank U guys.
        Where can find the second part Raghu?

    • PRASHANT on May 7, 2013 at 12:28 AM

      well said! ditto comment from my side as well.

    • Raghuram Sukumar on July 2, 2013 at 9:42 AM

      Thanks for the idea Pawan. I will start doing this.

  11. Krishna on May 6, 2013 at 1:44 PM

    Kindly upload this video in youtube sir!!

  12. Vivek on May 6, 2013 at 1:20 PM

    Dear Raghu please try to upload the same video @ Youtube immediately so that it can be seen there. Also the JW player doesn’t work in mobile platforms(At least for me).

    • Raghuram Sukumar on May 6, 2013 at 1:54 PM

      I tested in iPhone and it works. Can you try now?
      Try clicking in the player in your mobile device. Let me Kobe if it works.

    • Raghuram Sukumar on May 6, 2013 at 2:02 PM

      Now the player should resize to your mobile screen.

      • prs1991 on May 7, 2013 at 9:49 AM

        youtube has some more adv like better buffering rate

  13. Mel on May 6, 2013 at 12:56 PM

    Thank you so much for the wonderful Video. This will be very helpful for my son who is studying. Great job keep it up.

  14. vikas Koppineedi on May 6, 2013 at 12:28 PM

    Mannn.. Please Extra Mic.. !! cant hear anything

  15. Abhijeet Chausalkar on May 6, 2013 at 12:09 PM

    Thanks for such a nice initiative. Karthik looks really honest while delivering his talk.He seems to be confident with what he is suggesting. Thanks to Karthik for sharing practical insights about the tough situations any MS or PhD student can phase.I think it is the extension of the video what Raghu streamed about not so sexy part of doing MS.
    I would like to ask Karthik one question .He in the beginning mentioned about not pursuing PhD .I know it is his personal opinion but I am really anxious to know on what criteria he decided not to pursue Phd. Is pursuing Phd really very tough.How would he compare pursuing PhD from India.

    The length of the interview is good and questions asked were really excellent.Will wait for the second part.It would be good if you invite speaker who is PhD and would like to share the cons and pros of purusing Phd from USA.

    My regards
    A Chausalkar

  16. Shuvajit Bhattaharya on May 6, 2013 at 11:53 AM

    Hi Raghu,

    This interview was really good and somehow better than webcam based interviews, as long as organization and format of presentation, in terms of professional manner is concerned. Look like a miniature of TV show. I’d suggest you to create an youtube profile and upload all the videos there. The reasons are:

    1. Anybody can look up wherever and/or whenever he wants. Because buffering is a real problem in many countries outside USA, especially in India.

    2. It can help interviewees to improve their online profile.

  17. ram on May 6, 2013 at 11:23 AM

    Great job raghu!! Please do more video interviews regarding problems students faced during their initial year of masters
    Thanks a lot for the video

  18. Arun Prasad on May 6, 2013 at 10:17 AM

    Thanks for this Interview.

    What if, there is a option for a live interview/webinar wherein all the blog readers can ask question to the person sharing experience.

    May be you could give a Brief Profile about the person sharing his experience a couple of days in advance, so that people can prepare questions in advance.


    • Raghuram Sukumar on May 6, 2013 at 10:24 AM

      I was going to a google plus hangout, but figured this will be better. Next one I will plan for live webinar.

    • Raghuram Sukumar on May 6, 2013 at 10:25 AM

      What do think about length of the interview. Please share you article for HSB readers ( that you listed in the email).

  19. Senthil Kumar R on May 6, 2013 at 9:39 AM

    Hello Karthi & Raghu,

    You guys are Rocking!!!. Good one!!!.

    Senthil kumar Rajan

  20. sairam ellanti on May 6, 2013 at 9:01 AM

    informative. thanks

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

New Comments Policy
Please use the Happy Schools Forums to post your Questions. Use the Comments Section to add value or contriute to the Article, not for Q&A. Questions posted in the Comments section will be Deleted.