iSchool Ambassadors are a group of students dedicated to promoting the mission and vision of the iSchool at Illinois. These students work alongside Recruitment & Admissions and Student Affairs staff, serving as liaisons to prospective and incoming students. They also are valuable resources for sharing the iSchool experience and connecting students who have similar interests.
Adarsh Agarwal, MS/IM student
I was born in Kolkata and raised in Goa, India. I did my bachelor’s in electrical and electronics engineering from BITS Pilani Goa Campus. After that I spent 2 years as a business technology analyst with a full-stack web applications development role at ZS Associates India. I chose Illinois for my graduate studies because of the scale of resources and networking opportunities available, along with Research Park which has a lot of career opportunities for students. Also, the MS/IM program is highly flexible and there is a large pool of courses on offer to align your track towards any area in data science/consulting. I currently work as a student software developer at the Division of Disability Resources & Educational Services.
Taylor Anderson, MS/LIS student
I was born and raised in East Moline, Illinois. I started my college career at Black Hawk Community College and continued on to Augustana College (Rock Island, Illinois) where I earned my BA in graphic design. After settling on librarianship as my career goal, I chose the University of Illinois for many reasons, including its #1 ranking, location, and alumni recommendations. I am a graduate assistant in the Main Library, working with Assessment, and a grad hourly with CARLI. I am the committee chair for the Events and Fundraising Committees of the American Library Association student chapter. My primary interests in librarianship are public and community college libraries.
Kailey Bowen, MS/LIS student
I was born in Detroit, but lived in Goodrich, Michigan, for most of my life, until I moved to Illinois to begin this program. I completed my undergrad at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, where I earned a bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in writing and rhetoric. At the iSchool, I am a Help Desk graduate assistant, an Instructional Technology and Design teaching assistant, and I volunteer at the Center for Children’s Books. I am currently reevaluating my interests but am considering pursuing academic librarianship and reference work.
Varad Deshpande, MS/IM student
I am from Nagpur, India. I completed my Bachelor of Engineering in information technology from University of Mumbai, India. While there, I vice-chaired Entrepreneurship Cell on my campus and experienced start-ups grow and prosper. I was an avid learner of financial markets and an investor during my time in Mumbai. My interest is in astronomy and technology, and I’m determined to develop technology for space science. I got my interest in machine learning and data science from my undergraduate internships. I selected University of Illinois because university offers flexibility that data science requires, and it has the best faculty a university can offer. At the university, I work as a student development representative at the University of Illinois Foundation.
Sanhita Dhamdhere, MS/IM student
I am from Pune, a city in Western India. I have completed my bachelor’s in electrical and electronics engineering from BITS-Pilani, Goa Campus. After completing my undergraduate degree, I worked at Oracle as an applications engineer for two years. I decided to pursue my master’s degree at the University of Illinois because of the course flexibility offered in the program and the numerous career opportunities available. I am currently working as a graduate research assistant at the CyberGIS Center for Advanced Digital and Spatial Studies.
Chelsea Gao, MS/IM student
Born and raised in Zhenjiang, China, I moved to the States at the age of 18. I learned the foundations of economics through consumer's perspective during undergrad at University of Georgia. Then I worked as an intern, transforming data into essential information for decisions both on campus and in corporations post-graduation. In my pursuit to be an effective communicator between business and technology, I decided to continue my education at the iSchool because of its outstanding information sciences program. My interests are in knowledge management, recommendation tool, and music. I am currently serving as an iSchool Ambassador to promote the essence of my own college and look forward to connecting with both potential students and iSchool alumni in the near future.
Tanya Gupta, MS/IM student
I was born in New Delhi but raised in Mumbai. I completed my bachelors of engineering in information technology from University of Mumbai. I am extremely fond of writing poems, dancing, and playing badminton. I am really psyched by the world of technology and how it can be used to handle the huge amount of data that is being generated each day. Hence, I decided to pursue data science as my major. I chose the University of Illinois because the MS in information management offers a highly flexible data science course that aligns with my goals. I love travelling, and I am looking forward to exploring the American continent.
Shivansh Khanna, MS/IM student
I completed my early education from Mayo College, Ajmer, in the princely state Rajasthan also known as the “Land of Maharajas” in India. I received the Duke of Edinburgh Award as a result of the strong academic skills and non-cognitive skills I developed. I earned my bachelor's in information technology from Harcourt Butler Technical University. I am currently working as a research assistant in the Institute of Genomic Biology, which deals with research in genomics and promotes the creation of innovative solutions with machine learning and neural networks. My core pursuits have always been around data-driven science. I chose Illinois for its inexhaustible and astounding opportunities and the variability of its coursework.
Deepika Kochhar, MS/IM student
I was born and raised in Punjab, India. After finishing my bachelor's in technology from Punjab University, I spent 8 years working for Nokia Networks where I started my career as a software engineer and became a technical lead. In between, I got an opportunity to attend Stanford Business School Specialized Executive Program (Entrepreneurship and Innovation). I chose the U of I because of its amazing opportunities on campus, faculty for Information sciences, and inter-department flexibility you get with courses. While here, I am working as a grader for an online Data Curation course and a member of Global Leaders for Orange and Blue Members.
Erick Li, MS/IM student
I was born and raised in Guangzhou, the largest city in South China. Before I came to Illinois, I spent three years at the South China University of Technology studying Civil Engineering. Having the chance to take computer and data science courses at the U of I, I decided to pursue my career in data science and analytics. As an MS/IM student at the iSchool, I am also working as a research assistant at the NCSA. I have the opportunity to apply what I have learned in the classroom to some big datasets and solve real-world problems. My interests are analytics, machine learning, and data visualization.
Jinal Mehta, MS/IM student
I was born and raised in Mumbai city, India. After earning my Bachelor of Engineering in electronics engineering from the University of Mumbai and prior to coming to the U of I to earn my master's degree, I worked as a software consultant for 2 years. I also volunteered as a social worker during weekends, teaching school children. I chose the U of I because of its excellent reputation, ranking, world class faculty, and the Research Park, which holds a mammoth number of corporate opportunities for students. I currently work at the Thomas M. Siebel Center for Computer Science as a student program coordinator, and I am also an elected student representative and board member of the iSchool subcommittee.
Rahul Ohri, MS/IM student
I was born and raised in Mumbai, India. After earning my B.Tech in information technology from NMIMS University, Mumbai, I worked as a risk analyst at Ernst & Young for 2 years where I worked in the cybersecurity and data analytics domain. I chose the U of I because of its pathway offerings and extensive optional courses. While here, I am working as a grad hourly at the Physics Department. My interests are in data science, business intelligence, market strategy and management consulting. I am also working as a consultant at Illinois Business Consulting, which is the largest student consulting organization in the country.
Rijuta Patil, MS/IM student
I was born and raised in the city that never sleeps—Mumbai, India. I have obtained my undergrad degree in engineering from the University of Mumbai and am currently a student in the MS/IM program. I chose the U of I because it offers flexibility in the choice of coursework and proper balance in the workload which aligns with my aspirations. My interests are in data science, market strategy, business analytics, and management consulting. While here, I am working as a consultant at Business Intelligence Group, a student body consulting organization. I am also working as a grad hourly at the Physics department. Apart from this, I also love to travel, dance, and watch movies.
Dana Queen, MS/LIS student
I was born in Ohio and raised in rural Wisconsin. After earning my undergraduate degree in anthropology and history from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, I came straight to Champaign-Urbana to get a master's of library and Information science at the iSchool. I want to work in public libraries because I am interested in informal spaces of community and learning. I chose the University of Illinois because of its high-ranking program as well as the assistantship and practicum opportunities. I am currently a graduate assistant for the iSchool Help Desk and a teaching assistant for the Information Technology & Design department.
Shubhangi Singhal, MS/IM student
I was born and raised in New Delhi, India. After earning my bachelor’s in information technology from Mumbai, I spent two years working as a risk analyst at Ernst & Young, Gurgaon. I then came to Illinois to pursue an MS in information management. I chose the U of I because of it provided me the flexibility to choose courses in line with my career pathway. While here, I have worked as a graduate assistant at iSchool. My interests are in data science, analytics, and information consulting.
Shraddha Srivastava, MS/IM student
I was born and raised in Lucknow, popularly known as Land of Nawabs, in India. I have always had an interest in data science and its fields. My bachelor’s degree is in information technology, with a focus on artificial neural networks, from Harcourt Butler Technical University, Kanpur. As an undergraduate, I found my passion for data analytics and predictive modelling. I currently work as a data scientist intern at Country Financial. I am also a consultant with Illinois Business Consultants. Outside of classes, I am a board member with UNICEF at the University of Illinois. I chose Illinois because of its versatile course framework and also the Research Park, which holds a mammoth number of corporate opportunities for students.
Simone Stone, MS/LIS student
I was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. I received my bachelor's from Dartmouth College in film and media studies and geography. Additionally, I have a Masters of Fine Arts from Chapman University in film and television producing. I served for two years in the AmeriCorps program, in Reno, Nevada, and Chicago. Lastly, I worked for the Chicago Public Library as both a teen and children's library associate. Currently, I am a graduate assistant for the Undergraduate Library. I am a member of the Events and International Librarianship committees of the student chapter of the ALA on campus.
Shraddha Sutar, MS/IM student
I am from Mumbai, India. I earned my Bachelor of Engineering in electronics and telecommunication from the University of Mumbai. Before coming to Illinois, I worked as a decision scientist at Mu Sigma for around two years. I chose to pursue my master's at the U of I due to its excellent reputation and ranking. Further, the MS/IM program offers great flexibility in choosing from a wide range of electives. Thus, allowing me to design the program in alignment with my interest in the field of data analytics.
Devwrat Tanwar, MS/IM student
I was born in New Delhi but was raised in Mumbai, India. I have completed my bachelor of technology from NMIMS University, Mumbai, and joined the MS/IM program right after completing my undergraduate study. I chose the highly venerated U of I as they offered a high degree of flexibility in the course framework coupled with various professional opportunities from the Research Park. I have a proclivity for information consulting and business analytics. Currently, I'm building my profile through various projects and coursework to assist me in getting an internship for Summer 2020 in the aforementioned domain.
Kiri Tussing-Palm, MS/LIS student
I'm from Chicago. I worked in the financial industry before dropping everything to pursue a career as a public youth librarian. I'm a graduate assistant for the iSchool Help Desk and a teaching assistant for the Information Technology & Design department. I graduated from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale with dual bachelor's degrees in theatre and German studies. Currently, I'm serving as the publicity coordinator for the Progressive Librarians' Guild and I'm a steward to the Graduate Employees' Organization. In my infinite free time, I volunteer at the Center for Children's Books, watch terrible movies, and talk about my cats.