It’s a sunny Saturday afternoon when Techno drops in to the office for his interview. He explains that he’s just been to visit his NGO partner, and that he’s tired from a night spent live streaming a Miami music festival.

E: Good to see you Techno! We wanted to interview you because you’ve been a part of essai for over two years now- from ACT to counselling to essays- there aren’t many students who know us like you do! Actually- maybe we should be feeling worried about what you’re going to say…

T: I started my ACT prep at a different centre, but I quit after one class. I didn’t get along with the teacher, and I was put in a group even though I was promised a one-on-one. When I came to essai I knew instantly that I was going to like it. I did my diagnostic the morning after a long night (so I was feeling a little worse for wear), and I’m pretty sure that Nick had me figured out right away. He’s the kind of guy who understands what kids are like, and so I knew I could trust him.

E: You definitely seemed to get off to a great start with your ACT prep. Was the experience in line with your expectations?

T: My friends had hyped up the ACT so much- everyone told me how difficult it was- so I was pretty nervous at first. But everything was actually so much easier than I expected, because essai taught me to understand the basic rules and strategies which you can rely on for each section. The chilled atmosphere made me feel like I could be honest and ask questions without being judged. I always felt confident in class and counselling sessions, because I knew that no-one was going to get cross with me for making mistakes or having doubts.

E: So Farhad never told you off in class?

T: Well- he did try to scold me sometimes, but usually he’d just make me laugh instead. We’d always make bets with each other- I think at one point I promised to buy him a Jaguar if I scored over 33.

E: Farhad is still waiting for you to deliver on that bet…

T: Haha. Actually, I think we betted on my score being over 35, and I got a 33, so that means no car! The test went really well but I wasn’t expecting such a good result. I remember when I received the score I couldn’t believe it. I must have opened and shut the website about 5 times- I was jumping with happiness on the street!

 E: If only someone had filmed it…

T: Math was my worst section- probably because I was always late for class. Oh, and I did badly on the essay- I was super tired so decided to skip out the middle paragraphs. I figured they weren’t necessary.

*essai facepalms*

E: Techno we can’t believe you… Let’s move on! With a great ACT score under your belt, you decided to make the transition across the office for your college counselling. Why did you stick at essai, and how was your experience?

T: Well I wasn’t happy with my other counsellor, as I felt that she didn’t have any confidence in my abilities. Luckily Nick agreed to work with me instead, and the transition into counselling felt pretty easy. My relationship with Nick- then later Silvio and Sonali- was very supportive. People at essai didn’t judge me- they helped me to come up with a solution to my problems rather than criticising me.

E: You’re already making moves in the world of music production- how did essai support you with this passion?  

T: I feel like I really grew as a producer whilst I was here. Nick was totally behind me even when my other teachers told me I was wasting my time. He even came to watch me DJing! It was incredible how the essay team managed to perfectly merge my interests in computer science with my love for music in my application essays. It was like they really understood how coding helps me to be a producer, and how music makes me a better coder.

Since I started coming to essai I’ve helped orgaise performances in Delhi, Calcutta, Bangalore, Mumbai, and Hyderabad, and I’ve recently released a track and performed live with the 56th ranked DJ in the world.

E: Hey don’t forget about us when you make the big time! What are your ambitions for the future?

T: Well of course I’ll be heading to the US for college.

*Techno gestures proudly at the green and gold acceptance folder he’s placed on the desk*.
 I’m hoping to be a part of the music scene whilst I’m there, and pursue a career in production or with a Start-Up after graduation. Who knows, maybe I’ll even start my own music-tech business?!

E: And what about essai’s future? What do you want us to become?

T: I want it to stay the same. It has grown a lot in the two years I’ve been here, but the new members of the team haven’t changed the atmosphere, and I wouldn’t want that to happen. I really believe that everyone who’s looking for a counsellor/ACT teacher should come to essai!

Disclaimer - essai did not pay or bribe Techno to say this

E: Thanks Techno! Some fun quick fire questions to close. If essai were…

An emoji they’d be: The cool guy shades one. No explanation needed.

A music genre they’d be: Chill House. It’s versatile music- you can work to and it helps you concentrate.

A colour they’d be: Turquoise, because that’s my favourite!