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International Student Experience at the iSchool. iSchool Student Prasanna leads a VR demonstration.

The International Student Experience at the iSchool

In February 2015, I was going through my emails one morning (as I usually do), when I was greeted with the best news wrapped in beautiful words Syracuse University’s iSchool: my admission! I still remember and cherish the excitement and joy I felt.

During my first year journey at SU, I always felt connected with the University at every moment. The university administration provided us with ample information and a grad support email address which helped me connect with iSchool staff and students. The website helped me clear most of my doubts and made me ready for my first day at the university.

Selecting classes

I was fortunate enough to connect with seniors and alumni from LinkedIn, who helped me select my courses. This is really helpful for an international student who is coming entirely from the different educational background and system. I was able to choose the subjects I was interested in. The seniors guidance and the course curriculum along with the iSchool’s website put me on the right track.

International students and cultural changes

As an international student from India, I went through an overwhelming culture change. Surprisingly, Syracuse University conducts multiple activities and has groups and clubs to help students bridge the gap. Syracuse is a welcoming and beautiful city that is so engaging, I rarely feel home sick. I’m Hindu, so I celebrate Diwali (South Asian Festival). Syracuse organize’s a celebration with Nanhi Kali and South Asian Student Association (SASA) in collaboration with Graduate Student Organization (GSO).

Part-time jobs at Syracuse University

Being an international student, it is challenging for me to get a part time job. I got access to the student job opportunities website during the early stage of my admission and I was able to apply to the job postings from India. Fortunately, most of the international students get jobs to cover the living expenses during the academic year. Working as a part time employee, I engaged myself more with American society and understood the work culture which will helps me get in the flow for a full-time job.

Extra-curricular research opportunities

The iSchool has several research opportunities for students with professors, and several projects through NEXIS, ACM, CCENT and other avenues. The career services office is very good at maintaining employer relations which is why the placement rate and connection with corporations are pretty decent. The networking events, LinkedIn sessions, resume triage and career counseling allows me to focus on the right opportunity. This summer, I was fortunate enough to intern with IBM as a security services specialist intern, which was an amazing learning experience.

My personal experience

Life has been challenging since my first day at the iSchool, as all candidates are talented. This sense of collaboration and competitive environment allowed me to grow my skills exponentially. I am learning data analytics by enrolling myself into data-oriented classes. The combination of those makes an industry-ready data professional.

I believe the efforts the iSchool makes in order to provide us with the platform to practice the technology gives us industry level hands on experience. I would also recommend readers to follow the iSchool on LinkedIn and Facebook as it keeps us updated about the school activities.

The beautiful campus makes me stay longer hours in university, but at the same time I do not like winter in Syracuse. I’m from a hot region of India, so the cold atmosphere is not easy for me. The education overcomes the pain of the winters and motivation is one thing that I never lose.

Hope to see you in Syracuse!

Sahil Walia

Sahil Walia

Sahil is graduate student pursuing a Masters of Science in Information Management at Syracuse University. Sahil has participated in the MLB Competition and other entrepreneurial events at the iSchool.

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