Vindhya Juvaa, University of Maryland, College Park, Master of Project Management

Vindhya-JuvaaChennai to Maryland.

To study abroad and broaden my horizons was a long-cherished goal that was encouraged and supported by my mother. I strongly believed that going to the US to pursue my master's degree would augment my technical and soft skills. To guide me on the right pathway, I enrolled as a member with the United States India Educational Foundation (USIEF) located at the U.S. Consulate in Chennai. I found a plethora of resources and my EducationUSA adviser's guidance was invaluable in my U.S. university application process. The year-long interaction culminated with me joining the A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland for my Master's in Project Management.

UMD, one of the big ten universities was a dream school for me, and the experience so far has been electrifying. With a history of more than a century, the college park campus is a bee hive of activity.

Our ever-helpful alumni and student groups used social media as a platform to interact with me and other newly admitted students and provided a good understanding of the do's and dont's even before I joined the university. UMD-YUVA, an Indian majority club led by Mani Vedma received us at the airport and arranged transportation to the campus. They also arranged a fresher's party for all new comers to connect and get to know each other. As part of the orientation and on-boarding process, UMD ensured that we were aware of the facilities, support services and resources available on & off campus.

My first day at the Clark School of Engineering was serendipitous as I bumped into my high school senior from St. John's school back in Chennai. Our enormous campus and closely connected student community gave me a feel of the "American student dream". The quote "work hard, play hard" was most pertinent when I saw students slogging ten hours a day in the class then party 24 hours straight.

Though I find the system of education very different to my experience as a student in India, I am impressed with the encouragement to think independently, to take up research, the push to have a strong work ethic and the drive toward pursuit of excellence amongst my peers at UMD.

At the orientation, our Dean started his welcome speech with the words "the more effort you put in, the more you learn". Our schedules became hectic with the classes, assignments, projects and submissions. We were encouraged to work in groups, share thoughts and come up with collective solutions. Our program was built to help us evolve as a professional by introducing real world challenges experienced by firms as case studies. Professors were supportive and gave weightage to class participation ensuring every one shared information, problems, and ideas for solutions. My research interests aligned with that of professor Jocelyn S. Davis. When I reached out to her expressing my interest, she was very supportive and guided me in the right direction. The icing on the cake has been that my university has provided all students with the latest technology available.

The most interesting part about UMD is the limitless opportunities and events. There has not been a day on campus where student activity has not been encouraged. Another incentive to attend these events are the goodies, giveaways and food! The only problem being insufficient time in a day. I work part time on campus at the Department of Fraternity and Sorority and this has been a great opportunity to make friends with students from around the globe.

From rock climbing to farming, to one of the best libraries in the world to silent disco!!! Ask me what's not on campus! With a support system like the one we have; the sky is truly the limit for Terps! Look up "Terp" and 'University of Maryland, College Park" on Google to know what it means!

My future looks ten times brighter from choosing to come to the University of Maryland, and I can honestly say there's nothing better than being a Terp.

Vindhya Juvaa

Enrolled in Master of Project Management, A. James Clark School of Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park.


This article was sourced by Education USA and published in The Hindu.

This is an unedited article. The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the article belong solely to the author and should not be attributed to USIEF or to the author's employer, or any organization, committee, and individual. USIEF is not responsible for any information and fact/figures therein.