Hailing from Gujarat, India, Avadh attended the University of Illinois Chicago and recently earned a bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurship and marketing. From shifting majors, applying for internships, building a network of lifelong connections, and more, Avadh flourished in Chicago, with support from the UIC Global team every step of the way. In fact, he’s done so well that now he’s pursuing a master’s in marketing at UIC — while also working as a UIC Global student ambassador!
Avadh’s Journey to the University of Illinois Chicago
Avadh has been part of the UIC Global family since his undergraduate studies.
“I [came to] UIC Global in Fall 2019 as an undergraduate student in entrepreneurship,” he said. He participated in the Academic Accelerator Program (AAP), where he took a one-year progression course with UIC Global, after which he enrolled in the entrepreneurship degree program offered by the College of Business Administration. After a brief stint studying remotely in India because of the pandemic, he eagerly returned to campus in the States.
“I came as [an] entrepreneurship [major], but in my second year, I realized that there [was] so much more I could do. The initial start [from the] UIC Global [team] really helped me,” Avadh said. “I didn’t know initially when I came how I [was] supposed to live, [and] UIC Global was there for me. They told me what classes I needed for my degree, how I should pursue everything, what the opportunities [were].”
Avadh shared his career goals and interests with the UIC Global team, and they worked with him to create an academic plan that enabled him to add a second major in marketing to his entrepreneurship degree studies. Now, Avadh is pursuing a master’s in marketing at UIC — and also working as a student ambassador for UIC Global.
How Avadh Supports International Students as a UIC Global Student Ambassador
Every day, Avadh puts his marketing skills to work for UIC Global, especially in creating video content for the Shorelight and UIC Global social channels. Avadh’s marketing videos have covered living in the US, navigating culture shock, and tips on how international students can enjoy student life in Chicago.
“When I start the video-making process, the script that I write, including the photos I put in the videos, I make sure all are something that the students can connect to,” Avadh said. “For example, I recently created a video [taking a tour of campus], like the UIC Student Center East, recreational center, the CTA buses and trains.”
Avadh also noticed how international students feel connected to other international students already living in the US. Their stories and how they thrive while studying abroad provides international students with a sense of comfort and reassurance, especially before arriving in the States.
“Hearing [success stories] from a student who is also from another country and adjusted here [really helps],” he added. A familiar voice also can be reassuring. “Me having my own accent, that also helps!” he added.
How the UIC Global Team Supports International Students
When it comes to improving student experiences and transitioning to life in the US, the UIC Global team focuses on the details, said Avadh, and strives to create a family culture. It’s come full circle for him: the UIC Global team helped him prepare to apply for internships, which landed him his student ambassador role today!
“Last year, I started applying for a lot of internships, as I knew that I was not going back to India for the summer break,” he said. “[I thought] it will be good for me to gain some experience and also connect with professionals in the field of marketing in Chicago.”
“There was a career coach with whom I did a Zoom meeting,” he said. “He gave me a format, he told me that these are the important things and these are the things that you can get rid of.”
During his career sessions, he was able to openly communicate his concerns with advisors, then move his application forward with confidence.
The [UIC Global team] genuinely cares about each and every student. Whenever there is a problem, if they don’t know the answers, they will guide you to the right places.” — Avadh from India, MS in Marketing student, UIC Global
Choosing to Pursue a Graduate Degree at the University of Illinois Chicago
Ranked in the top 25 Public Universities in the US (Times Higher Education), the University of Illinois Chicago provides a hands-on learning experience in a supportive, diverse environment — which motivated Avadh to continue his master’s education there.
“Before I [chose] UIC, I came to the US and did a campus tour for each of [the universities I was considering]. I did a campus tour, met with the officials like the UIC Global [team], and I really felt the vibe and the atmosphere here in Chicago. The people I talked to, all of them had the energy,” he said. “When I came here, I saw the city was moving [at a] fast pace. That is what I wanted.”
Avadh also mentioned the UIC Global team’s welcoming culture left a lasting impression, contributing to his decision to choose UIC. “It was a really nice environment and that was the key deciding factor. The service I got, the support I was already getting before I even accepted the offer” made the difference, he said.
Avadh’s Advice for International Students
Avadh advises international students to network, build connections, and make friends during their time in Chicago, even while earning their degree.
“I always tell [students to] go to different organizations, connect to the university organizations, student organizations,” he said. “Take [leadership] roles so that once you start organizing a few things you will realize the key factors that go into the student organizations, and who are the people who can be your mentors [and/or] your coach. That is what I did, and I found a lot of success!”
Like Avadh, you too can begin your higher education in the US with support, guidance, and mentorship from enrollment all the way through graduation. When you study with Shorelight, you can connect with peers, make friends with people from around the world, and build memories that last a lifetime!
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