Graduate Ambassadors

Connect with the ambassadors via email.

Michael Ferrer

Michael Ferrer, MSIM student
I completed my bachelor's degree at Illinois State University in 2016 and commissioned as an Army officer. Before pursuing my graduate degree at UIUC, I worked in the defense IT industry for six years. I love the challenges from my classes in the information management program because I see leadership parallels outside of class: collaboration with others, understanding lessons learned, and using modern business intelligence tools to make good, informed decisions. My intent after finishing this program is to return to my workplace with new insights as a project manager.

Angela Finochio

Angela Finochio, MSLIS LEEP student 
As an online MSLIS student, working parent and home educator life can be a balancing act. I hope to share my experiences and encourage all that, with the right mindset and support, it is possible to achieve your goals. I decided to pursue this degree to work in public children’s librarianship, but through this program I’ve learned about many fascinating career paths in LIS and am exploring them all. My undergraduate is in accessories design from the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC, where I work as a classroom assistant. I live on Long Island.

Erin Jochum

Erin Jochum, MSLIS student
I'm originally from Bloomington-Normal; this is my first semester on campus in the MSLIS program. I have my BA in English-creative writing from Illinois State. I am interested in making archives more accessible for everyone, not just those in academic spaces, and connecting communities and people with their history. UIUC and the iSchool provide resources that will make my goals achievable. In my free time I like to write, read, watch movies, and spend time with family and friends.

Deekshita Karingula

Deekshita Karingula, MSIM student
During my undergraduate years, interning at ISRO was eye-opening. It taught me the significance of data processing and analysis in remote sensing and satellite image analysis. My experience at ISRO ignited my passion for using satellite data to create practical benefits for society. The idea of using data to improve healthcare accessibility and outcomes in underserved areas fueled my sense of purpose. I've chosen this program to enhance my analytical and technical skills for data-driven solutions, driven by my passion for using information for positive societal impact.

Yanling Liu

Yanling Liu, MSLIS student
I am an on-campus MSLIS student, and I studied developmental psychology as an undergraduate at UIUC. I am currently a graduate assistant and the exhibit coordinator at Funk ACES Library. I joined the iSchool because of the curriculum flexibility and rich opportunities to get hands-on experience. I love working with students from diverse backgrounds and want to make a difference by providing services and guidance to our next generation as an academic librarian. In my spare time, I love reading different types of books and traveling. I speak English, Mandarin, and Cantonese.

Sophie Nikolov

Sophie Nikolov, MSIM student
Hi everyone! I am from Elmhurst, Illinois and I did my undergraduate degree at UIUC in psychology, concentrating in behavioral neuroscience. I also did a French minor in undergrad, and I can also speak Bulgarian. My career switch to studying information management was influenced by my interest in the social efficacies different demographics feel in tech spaces, and I may do a PhD one day on that topic. Outside of school, I like weightlifting and pilates, and I'm getting back into reading as well as drawing/painting.

Shivani Shahapur

Shivani Shahapur, MSIM student
I’m from India. Post-bachelor's, I worked as a data analyst at Amazon, specifically with the Alexa team. My time there taught me the importance of data-driven decision-making and the far-reaching impact of information. This experience motivated my decision to enroll in UIUC's MSIM program, which I believe perfectly combines technology and business courses, thereby presenting a wide spectrum of opportunities. Additionally, I have worked as a consultant at Illinois Business Consulting and as a project manager with the Business Intelligence Group. Currently, I am interning with SAP in their Go-to-Market Strategy and Operations team.

Vikramjeet Singh Kundu

Vikramjeet Singh Kundu, MSIM student
I'm an international student from New Delhi, India, with a background in mechanical engineering. After earning my bachelor's degree, I worked as an associate software engineer with an IT services and consulting company where I discovered my passion for cloud computing, cybersecurity, and analytics. The iSchool's flexibility and comprehensive tech curriculum aligned perfectly with my career goals of being a data analyst and a consultant. I want to harness the power of data to tackle real-world business challenges and create a positive impact. I love to watch Formula 1 and play FPS games.

Janhavi Tushar Zarapkar

Janhavi Tushar Zarapkar, MSIM student
I hail from the vibrant city of Mumbai, India. My journey led me from obtaining a bachelor's degree in information technology at Mumbai University to a fulfilling two-year tenure as a graduate analyst at Barclays. Along this path, my enthusiasm for problem-solving and uncovering valuable insights within data evolved. The iSchool’s MSIM program stood out as the perfect choice, fusing technology and data-driven decision-making. Post-graduation, I aspire to be the guiding force for organizations, leading them through the labyrinth of data to make well-informed decisions that will drive both success and a profound positive societal impact.

Jay Zhang

Jay Zhang, MSIM student
Hailing from UIUC, I earned my BS in computer science and economics and am currently pursuing an MS in information management. Originally from Shanghai, China, I have accumulated extensive experience as a business data analyst and product manager in both academic and commercial settings. This semester, I am collaborating on a startup project with Dr. Wang from the iSchool, where we are developing a software solution to enhance the robustness of ML image classification models. Thanks to the flexibility of the MSIM program, I can tailor a curriculum that aligns perfectly with my career passions.