Flexible program, extracurriculars lead to a rewarding student experience

Aradhya Seth on campus

MS/IM student Aradhya Seth is enjoying his time at the U of I, exploring campus, attending Trivia Tuesdays and karaoke at the Illini Union, and doing stand-up comedy. As an iSchool Ambassador, he gets the opportunity to share his experiences of student life at the iSchool and Illinois with prospective students.

In addition to his on-campus extracurriculars, Seth is involved with Turning Green, a nonprofit based in Marin County, California, that empowers, educates, and mobilizes students on sustainable and conscious living. In November, he served as a guest speaker for the organization's annual Harvest Dinner in Mill Valley, California. Seth first became involved with Turning Green in 2018, when he participated in the Project Green Challenge.

"After the 30-day challenge, Turning Green picked sixteen finalists from around the world, and I was the participant that they selected from India," said Seth, who earned his bachelor's degree in information technology from Rajiv Gandhi Technical University in Bhopal. "They flew me from India to San Francisco for a week for the finals, and I finished as a runner up. I have been involved with the organization ever since."

As an undergraduate, Seth interned at an e-commerce firm in Croatia, where he discovered an interest in data analytics. It was this interest that prompted him to enroll in the MS/IM degree program at the iSchool. Seth chose the MS/IM because of its flexible curriculum, which allows him to delve into topics that interest him.

"In my first semester at the iSchool, I took a course on data storytelling, which really pulled me towards this niche field of how one can use data to develop narratives," he said.

Seth is enjoying the flexibility of taking courses that interest him and keeping his options open for when he completes his degree.

"I am not really fixated on any particular goal, as it restricts the things you want to pursue," he said.

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