UC STUDENT SCHOLARS: 2021-22

HORIZONS

Of scholarships, offer letters, so many "firsts", love and laughter...

FROM THE DESK OF THE ORANGE COUNSELLING TEAM

Dear Reader,

What a year it has been!

Countries opened up their borders and students resumed their original plan of studying on-campus. Much-needed happiness, stability, and growth slowly began to take over our lives. Parents, teachers, counselors, and university representatives came together to create another year of successful and meaningful relationships, thus playing a crucial role in every student's life.

At UC, some students grew a couple inches taller, some changed their hairstyle, some reached greater heights, academically, and some started speaking with confidence; something that wasn't necessarily there till last July. Now, from writing long essays to moving across borders, every student is taking a big leap of faith!

College planning is all about self-discovery, and while leaving to a land far away can be exciting, it can also be intimidating! Every year, we encourage our students to pen down their college planning journey, resulting in a compendium of inspirational shares put together as the UC Yearbook.

The UC Yearbook 2022 is called Horizons!

This note is to thank all our scholars at UC for giving us an opportunity to grow together; A little bit of each one of you continues to stay with us.

Before discovering the bright future that awaits you, here are a few reminders for you and for everyone who's reading this :-

  • Believe in yourself, for you are stronger than you know.

  • Fill your heart with laughter and smile more often. It suits you.

  • You are unique. Don't let the lows get to you.

  • Words and ideas can change the world. Never stop inspiring yourself and those around you.

So, continue dreaming big, dear student! Always strive to be the best you can be.

Have fun reading The UC Yearbook 2022 - "Horizons".

Yours truly,

UC Mentors


P.S. The UC Orange Team is just a phone call and sometimes, an email away! ;)

Stories, anecdotes & learnings

Hope that you can find your own story in these shares...

Going to McMaster University (Degroote School of Business), Canada

Enrolled in Grade 10 for a 3 Year CAAS Journey at UC | Yadavindra Public School, Patiala

My counsellor helped me with EVERYTHING. More than getting into a good school with a program of my choice, I am grateful for having Ragini Ma'am with me every step of the way even when I tripped. She along with Charu Ma'am helped me get up. More than the guidance what is important for me is knowing I have strong support to fall back on and nothing is more assuring than that.

SELF-DISCOVERY:

When I started my journey I never really thought that UC will have as big of an impact on me as they did, I was of the opinion that they will help me get into my dream university, however not only did they do that but also gave me experiences that I will never forget, opportunities that I wouldn't have gotten elsewhere and I am deeply grateful for that.

Now looking back at myself 3 years ago, I see a completely changed self a better and polished one I hope, from improving my terrible MS Excel skills to preparing for serious interviews, I think I have done a considerable amount of something if not everything.

Amrita chopra

Got offers from The University of British Columbia, University of Toronto, University of Waterloo and more.

College planning was a blessing in disguise for me. From researching about colleges to doing entrepreneurship programmes to writing a research paper, I was thankful for the kind of impact it had on me and the amazing people that I got the chance to communicate and work with.

A great deal of time and effort was put into deciding where I want to go, this was when I was applying for universities and also when I got offers from practically everywhere I applied.

Having a peer mentor also helped me a great deal, conversing with someone who's been through the same process as you and who knows exactly what you're feeling is very relieving.

I was not only prepared for college planning but also for what is to be expected after I get in.

Amrita's Mother, Mrs. Chopra shares:

"UC made the college journey very easy for us, the experience and guidance they provided helped Amrita make the correct decision, the amount of change that I have witnessed in her is huge and it was with their help that she's become this responsible individual."

I really appreciate...

I really appreciate that my counsellor was always honest with me. My most popular question was always "Do you think I'll get in?" and her reply used to be "Amrita, let's be hopeful." She never gave me false expectations, made sure I know exactly where I am standing, made me aware of my strengths and weaknesses, and encouraged me to do my best and keep my hopes up high. I have made relations that I will forever keep in my heart and I am deeply grateful for that.

Going to University of Lancaster (Computer Science), UK

Enrolled in Grade 10 for a 3 Year CAAS Journey at UC | Bishop Cotton School, Shimla

SELF-DISCOVERY:

My college planning journey is the foundation of who I am today; it not only helped me research colleges, but it also helped me develop new skills, find the right course and university for me, and taught me life lessons, connect with new people, and so on. It aided me in completing assigned tasks to better myself. It has played a major role in the acceptance which I have received from the universities!

The more I write, the less there is. I can’t thank enough to the Orange team for being with me in this journey.

ANHAD GOYAL

Got an offer from the University of Bath and more.

"A student-mentor relationship is like learning from a friend."

It is true that the student-mentor relationship is unique. It is not like a teacher teaching you, but rather like learning from a friend.

I still remember the day I met my mentor, Ragini Ma'am, I was a diffident child. She was standing beside Charu Ma'am, and I barely spoke to her that day. But as soon as we had other sessions, I gained a lot of confidence in myself and was speaking firmly with her. We developed a special bond with each other that is difficult to describe. That's when my journey began with my Mentor! We connected instantly and took baby steps.

In this voyage, she has aided me in numerous ways, such as assisting me with my resume, assigning me tasks to improve my strengths, and helping me in my college research. However, the most important thing is that she has been with me throughout the years, never letting me feel alone on this journey, even when I was in boarding school. And because of her help, I have firm offers from prestigious London universities, which is the result of our hard work over the years.

Thank you, Ma’am!

I have learned...

I have learned many things from University Connection, but the most important thing that I learned or discovered is not a skill or a subject, but rather a life lesson, and that lesson is the value of hard work. I can't express how happy I was when I received my university acceptance letters. I felt like all the efforts had finally paid off.

My parents were overjoyed with this journey because of their child's development; they liked seeing their child work hard for his universities. They had some concerns that Charu Ma'am addressed. They are very pleased with the results I have now.

Going to UC Berkeley (College of Letters and Sciences), USA

Enrolled in Grade 12 for a CAAS Journey at UC | Modern School, Barakhamba, Delhi

SELF- DISCOVERY:

I have discovered that I can work under pressure with the same perfection as under normal circumstances. I have learned to not be bothered by the opinions of other people after facing a few rejections and knowing that the best is yet to come!

My parents always had 100% trust in Charushilla Ma’am since the first ever zoom session they had with her. She helped me evolve from this confused kid to a very systematic one.

AARUSH GUPTA

Got offers from Indiana University (Kelley Business School), University of Warwick, Durham University, The University of British Columbia, University of Toronto, University of Illinois Chicago, Temple University, University of California San Diego and more.

Both Charu Ma’am and Ragini Ma’am have had numerous one-on-one sessions with me. Those sessions have proved to be a booster to my overall application process.

College planning meant to me was a pathway to fulfilling my career goals. UC Berkeley’s proximity to Silicon Valley was definitely an add-on considering my career goals in the tech startup industry.

Breaking the bias:

I started in 12th grade. I managed to get into UC Berkeley by working consistently hard for 6 months. No one believed I would be able to do so, because some of my friends who have been preparing for four years got rejected. However, I broke the misbelief of time over quality. All you need is passion wherever you invest the minimal time you have in your hands.

Enrolled after Grade 12 for a Gap Year CAAS Journey at UC |Springdales School, New Delhi

ALEX GURNANI

Studying at Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (The School of International Relations and Peace Studies), Japan

Alex says "Konnichiwa" from Japan! ;)

"I'm having an awesome time here in Japan and made a lot of new friends. I now say hi to everyone, to the extent where I don't know who I'm saying hi to."

From the Orange Team: Thank you for believing and trusting the process, Alex. You have grabbed the spot for being UC's first student admitted to a university in amazing Japan. We are so excited to hear all about how your story unfolds!

Going to Drexel University (Fashion Design), USA

Enrolled in Grade 11 for a 2 Year CAAS Journey at UC | Scottish High International School, Gurugram

ADITYA KAMOTRA

Got offers from SCAD, College for Creative Studies (CCS), OTIS College of Art and Design, California College of the Arts, Thomas Jefferson University, Columbia College, University of Cincinnati, Miami University and many more.

It was a hazy journey at the start but when everything was made clear to me, it became quite interesting and easy. A part of life that I’ll never forget and something which will always hype me up.

My UC counsellor helped me with everything. My A to Z list and everything from the top to the bottom.

SELF-DISCOVERY

One thing I discovered is that you must never underestimate yourself. Keep your standards and confidence high. Believe in yourself.
People underestimated me and said I’d never make it to a good college but here I am!

Going to The University of British Columbia (Computer Science), Canada

Enrolled in Grade 12 for a CAAS Journey at UC | Lotus Valley International, Noida

SELF-DISCOVERY

I, for one, was a very introverted person before this journey. The idea of engaging with new people was in itself very scary for me but the one thing that I probably think I improved upon is my speaking and writing ability, and most importantly helped me boost my confidence. Participating in NGO services, internships, school events, etc. needed for profile building helped me gain the required exposure.

ARNAV JAIN

Got offers from Arizona State University, Drexel University, UC Irvine, University of Alberta

In my opinion, college planning refers to the knowledge and implementation of certain required tasks for your application to be submitted on time.

Getting to know about tasks required to be done, their importance, deadlines, etc. is key to a successful application. Determining the basis on which you need to work for the next few months is very crucial in taking the right steps towards your dream university choice. As for me, I started pretty late but the fact I knew what I'm supposed to focus on helped me get ahead of a lot of stuff. Thus having a clear state of mind (without getting worried and confused) played a crucial role in my journey along with, of course, the basic knowledge required for college planning.

I had no idea about college applications whatsoever. My counsellor helped me with getting a basic idea of everything that has to be done which was a stress reliever for me. I did not have to check for follow-ups after every task, and she kept me updated with every important detail necessary. With the perfect guidance and my stress-free workflow rate, I was able to get into the top universities of my choice without a lot of hurdles in my way.

I feel like starting early helps you get ahead of a lot of stuff.

I personally wasn't quite early and it did take me time to get the hang of it, but starting early is a lot more beneficial from my experience.

The one issue I had was not being an all-rounder which is apparently a key aspect in university applications. Even though my grades were quite decent, I was nowhere near the person I am now. The exposure and confidence I gained throughout this journey was really important for me as well as my applications. If you'd asked me a year earlier, I never thought I'd be at this stage of my life, where I'm super confident and excited to achieve better results and experience the world.

Going to DePaul University (Business), USA

Enrolled in Grade 12 for a CAAS Journey at UC | Amity Global School, Gurugram

SELF- DISCOVERY

During my time with UC, I sharpened my skills such as fine-tuning my writing abilities and learning better ways to present myself formally for interviews when participating in internships presented to me by UC to further polish my profile in front of colleges. I've discovered that a seemingly long and bureaucratic process of finding and getting into the right college for you can actually be super fun and interesting!

The proud parents! Mr. & Mrs. Dassan

AIKAM DASSAN

Got offers from Loyola University Chicago, University of Massachusetts Amherst, University of Illinois Chicago, University of San Francisco

For the first time, writing lengthy essays not on particular academic topics but on aspects of myself and my life really put out a good mirror for me to self-inspect and to introspect.

My counsellor has been far too patient and kind with me, all the while recommending great universities, one even being the final choice for my university.

There have definitely been some moments of doubt with myself, definitely stemming from constant nagging and criticism from my parents. But learning to see how actually putting in the work and having patience can bring about great results was something that just had to be brought out of me, and I absolutely do credit UC in playing a part in that journey.

I am more than just grateful for UC.

From being excessively patient with my bad habit of procrastination to guiding me to all the right doors in this process. There is so much more when it comes to college planning in this process than just eyeing a college you wish to go to and then hoping for the best. Every step of the way must be tailored in a way that only increases your chances of going to the college you wish to go to, and I can most definitely say UC not only guided me but held my hand every step of the way.

My advice to younger students is to..

Simply trust the process and know what is best for you will happen.

Note from Sehej and Aikam's Mother, Mrs. Kiran Dassan:

"Dear Charu Ma’am, our connection started in 2016, after spending a good amount of time looking for a good career counsellor. I was so sure about you after my husband and I had a brief conversation with you. First, you and your team helped my daughter to enter In to her dream college. Then after five years when my son was ready, not even for a second we thought of anyone except UC.

It was your and especially Ragini Ma'am's guidance, encouragement and support that he got into his choice of university. We all are so grateful to have you as mentors , teachers and guides not only to my children but to us as well. Thanks a lot for inspiring, caring, listening and shaping our kids' future. Your positivity and encouragement push them to do better. We truly appreciate you and the time you spent helping us on many occasions. We would have not done without you.

Thank you for being awesome."

Love this video where you are doling out advice to future students on what to expect at University: https://youtu.be/23TkzurVDB8

CHAITALI AHUJA

Got an offer from the Paris College of Art and more.

Going to the University of the Arts, London at Chelsea College of Arts (Graduate Diploma Interior Design), UK

Note from the Orange Team: Good to see you return from University of Toronto with a degree in Architecture, only to aim for higher and apply, this time to London!

You are destined for greatness, Chaitali! All the best.

Going to Sciences Po (International Relations), France

Enrolled in Grade 12 for a CAAS Journey at UC | Amity International School, Pushp Vihar, New Delhi

DHRUV BANARJEE

Got offers from Leiden University, University of Amsterdam, Trinity College Dublin, Ashoka University, OP Jindal University, Central European University

University Connection helped me seamlessly get through an extremely arduous process, with great efficiency. The approach to shortlisting niche and suitable colleges that were well suited to my profile was very helpful, and definitely added a lot of clarity in my mind.

Ultimately I am going to my dream college thanks in part to University Connection's extensive preparation which equipped me to nail the admission process.

Overall, I got accepted into every college that University Connection advised and aided me in applying to, so their success rate speaks for itself!

Going to The University of Manchester (Master's in International Relations), UK

Enrolled in her final UG year for a CAAS Journey at UC | Miranda House, Delhi University

SELF-DISCOVERY

I have learned to trust the process. This has been an unending process from all ends, right from the application to preparing my profiles and knowing what I want in my carrier. Self-doubt is but natural during such times. However, my counsellor’s trust in my profile gave me the courage to understand that I would get what I deserve and that it would always be the best for me. I remember a time when I was dicey about receiving a single offer letter and wondered if I should take my reach down to colleges I could easily get into and apply to the same. However, that is when Ms. Ragini told me that I should not settle for anything less than what my profile deserves, even if it takes applying again next year. Thankfully, I never had to do the same and got into the best of all colleges that suited my profile. I am very thankful to her guidance throughout.

DHANASHREE BONDE

Got offers from Leiden University, Geneva School of Diplomacy, SOAS University of London

To me, college planning has been 80% of what was about to be rendered upon me in terms of education. To know what I really want and to prepare myself for the same, thereby finding reasonable and radical options to set forth a goal was a huge step in my college planning.

My parents and family have been very grateful to the help that was offered to me by the Orange team at every level. This has been a difficult journey for them, given that parents are completely involved with their kids having a secure and successful educational future. However, the Orange Team has ensured in the best way possible, that their help combined with my goals could help me get into the best Universities for my course.

Mr. Bonde, Dhanashree's father, wrote this message to UC when Dhanashree got her first offer letter:

"Words fall short to express my gratitude. My daughter, Dhanashree, got her first offer letter with your kind support. You shape the future. Dhanashree is making us all proud each day. Thank you very much UC team!"

My Orange Counsellor, Ms. Ragini Dangwal, helped me with everything and anything that was required to step into a successful educational future, right from determining the accurate options that match my profile, shortlisting colleges, applying to every college and their respective scholarships, writing of the Statement of Purpose, which, to me, was the most important part of the applications, and thereby, being the best guide I could ask for to secure my place at Universities that find me capable.

Waiting for the replies from colleges and their rejections in the initial times have been the most difficult to deal with of the entire process. But as time passed, I luckily got into a few of my dream colleges.

I would advise young aspirants to..

Trust the process and trust your capabilities is all that matters. Wishing luck to every student aiming for a better future through the Orange team. They got your back!

Graduated from George Washington University - LLM in IP Law

Enrolled as a Lawyer for his CAAS-LLM Journey at UC | Campus Law Faculty, University of Delhi

devanshu KHANNA

Got offers from University of California - Berkeley, Cornell University, New York University and GWU.

I am grateful to Charushilla and her team at University Connection for helping me with my applications for the master’s programs at prestigious U.S. law schools. I was stuck with my applications and reached out to Charushilla for help. She was wonderful to work with. Her sessions are engaging and thought-provoking yet interactive and fun. She gave me the tools to have the best possible chance of succeeding with my applications. The tips she shared helped me identify my core strengths and leverage them into securing both admissions and scholarships. I got offers from Berkeley, Cornell, NYU, and GWU. I would definitely recommend Charushilla as a great career counselor.

Going to Alberta University (Bachelor of Commerce), Canada

Enrolled in Grade 12 for a CAAS Journey at UC | National Victor Public School, Delhi

GAUTAM CHUGH

Got offers from University of Limerick, Tilburg University, Maastricht University, University College Dublin, Trinity College Dublin

College planning seems to be a straight line in the first look but it is actually a rollercoaster ride. It was the unbiased and experienced guidance from UC that I got selected into every university I applied to, namely, Trinity College Dublin, University of Washington, University of Alberta, and many more.

Special Thanks to my personal mentor at UC, Ragini Ma'am, who was always super supportive.

In the end, if it was not the UC team my journey would have been a lot more troublesome.

Going to York University (Schulich School of Business), Canada

Enrolled in Grade 11 for a 2 Year CAAS Journey at UC | Springdales School, Pusa Road, Delhi

SELF-DISCOVERY

In this journey, it is very important to believe in yourself no matter what. Even if some things are not in favor of you, it is very necessary to evaluate your skills and keep working on them as it boosts your confidence and encourages you.

My parents were always supportive of everything. My only goal was to stay focused and work hard.

HEMAANG TALWAR

Got offers from University of Toronto, The University of British Columbia, University of Warwick

College planning means researching and making a list of potential colleges, also knowing what exams to give, and understanding the requirements of different universities. For me, it also involved connecting with friends and family.

This journey was quite smooth for me with the help of my Orange counselors Ragini Ma'am and Komal Ma'am who guided me through every step and were always a call away whenever something confusing came my way.

Hemaang's Mother, Mrs. Talwar says:

"It was a great experience working with the whole team of University Connection, especially Komal Ma'am as she was a motherly figure to my child. The team of both Ms. Ragini and Ms. Komal worked together in sync with Hemaang under the guidance of Charushilla in order to build his profile and the application process. All the efforts worked great with the great offers receIved from the colleges applied. I am really satisfied with their efforts gone in building and opening doors for my child's future. "

Going to ESSEC Business School (Master's in Management), France

Enrolled while he was working at KPMG for a CAAS Journey at UC | Delhi College of Arts and Commerce, Delhi University

SELF-DISCOVERY

For a very long time I was sure of getting my Master's done from abroad, but how and when to start was unknown to me. Therefore, College Planning was the first and the most important element which I needed to start. Also, since I was really not sure of what to do, that made the initial phase a bit more challenging. However, the wise talks with Charu Ma'am really helped me clear my vision. This journey while looking back has been worth it considering I got into the college that I wanted.

What was so special about the journey?

Honestly, throughout the application process, it was never their say and I was the sole one who had to be focused on the process.

NANDAN SARAF

Got offers from ESCP Business School & EDHEC Business School

"Believe in yourself and don't let that belief be given to some other people's hands (Even your parents)". One should never let this belief be sought from anyone else.

Hard work has to pay off in one way or the other, no matter if it's not happening in 10 tries, just keep grinding.

Never settle for anything less than the best and once you keep that mentality within you, you have already uplifted yourself from the majority.

Try to keep/talk/vent out to people who really are happy of your success. Good friends are really hard to find.

I got the reference of UC through my dearest friend Rohil, who my family has known since the 2nd standard. After hearing about his journey with Ma'am and the team, I was already on board (especially after my first counsellor session) and my parents felt at ease on the day when my father had a long chat with Charu ma'am.

Charu Ma'am has been a blessing in disguise for me. I still remember when I was frustrated with my job and couldn't decide what to do, Maam sent me this text which I won't forget for eternity which states, ''Some decisions don't need external validation, look inward''. This really changed my approach to decision-making from there and cleared my vision for those things which I really wanted to do irrespective of how unorthodox they may seem. Throughout this journey, my nerves and anxiety have been on the upper level but I don't know what it was about her that really calmed me up even if I talked with ma'am for a few minutes in some cases. All in all, Thank you Charu ma'am for believing in me.

MEHAR KAUR

Got an offer from Queen Mary University of London

Going to University of Edinburgh (LLM IP Law), UK

Enrolled in her final UG year for a CAAS Journey at UC | Amity Law School, Delhi

MAAINA THAKUR

Got offers from Marist College. Awaiting results from Indian universities

My journey with UC was quite insightful and it helped me a great deal when my time came to apply to all the colleges, chase deadlines and write essays. My counselors were always on track and ready to help me at any given moment, which helped make my journey a bit easier. I'm really grateful to have worked with UC and a huge thanks to them.

Going to University of Amsterdam (Media and Culture), Netherlands

Enrolled in Grade 12 for a CAAS Journey at UC |Home-Schooled

NANDINI DHAWAN

Got offers from Emerson College, University of Arts London and more..

During my college applications journey, I learned a lot about myself and my management of tasks. As a homeschooler, I realised that I may not be as disciplined as the other students with my deadlines.

With the help of University Connection, I was able to really work on this, as well as my personal essays that made me learn a lot about myself. This changed my outlook on a lot of things in life, including the fact that the person in the essay is what I have been and not what I am. Thereafter, I focused on getting back to what made me, me.

Having the UC Team by my side made me realise how I often stray away from the help of others, but how, in life it is important.

They will truly get you on track, but at the end of the day, you have to run the train yourself.

Currently preparing for CUET and applying to Indian Universities

Enrolled in Grade 12 for a CAAS Journey at UC |Mayo Girls' School, Ajmer

POOJA AIRY

Got offers from SOAS University of London, King's College London, St. Andrew's, University of Edinburgh, University of Amsterdam, Maastricht University, Leiden University

Working with University Connection was an extremely enriching experience where I was able to put forth my ideas and my mentors helped me turn that into a reality. I have learnt a lot about my field and the college application process also helped me work on my personality as a whole. All that I achieved would not have been possible without the help of Ma’am Ragini and Ma’am Charushilla who constantly guided me and fostered a safe space for me to share my thoughts and feelings. The entire process was very warm, welcoming, and invigorating. I wouldn’t have had it any other way!

Going to University College London (Master's in Prosperity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship), United Kingdom

RAGINI KAYAL

Enrolled in her Grade 11 and then once again in her final UG year for a CAAS Journey at UC| University of Warwick, UK & Welham Girls' School, Dehradun

"University Connection was a big part of my undergraduate journey and now under Charu Ma’am’s and Ragini Ma’am’s guidance, I have also secured a place at my desired Master’s program. Honestly, I couldn’t be happier! University Connection has always stood by me and supported me through it all…whether it was shortlisting colleges, motivating me to write my essays, or even making sure that I do not feel pressured because of the competition out there, I have much to be grateful for to UC."

Going to Purdue University (Psychology), USA

Enrolled in Grade 11 for a 2 Year CAAS Journey at UC | Lawrence School Sanawar, Himachal Pradesh

SELF-DISCOVERY

This has been an extremely enriching journey for me. Among the vast list of universities across countries, it was a great challenge to finally list down the colleges which mattered most to me. College Planning is much bigger than it is thought to be. It requires a lot of time, patience, clarity, efforts, self-evaluation, and definitely tons of research.

My bond with UC, (Charu Ma'am and Ragini Ma'am) will always be very special for me!

SIYAA MITTAL

Got offers from The University of Waterloo, Huron at Western, York University, University of Delaware, Ithaca College, SUNY Stony Brook, SUNY Buffalo, Drexel University, Marist College, University of Connecticut, University of British Columbia

My Orange Counsellor helped me with everything.

Be it choosing my college list, strengthening my profile, choosing the right internship, learning about scholarships, or helping me edit my essays, she was there for me throughout this journey.

Siyaa's dream team!

My parents have also been an integral part of this journey. Constant interactions with the UC team further helped them with more clarity and as a team, the effort brought desired results. I am lucky to have a very supportive family. They have always respected my choices and decisions and encouraged me to do better in life. My parents have always given me the right direction towards achieving my goals.

Throughout my journey, I got to connect with many individuals through UC and gained a lot of clarity and exposure. I also became more expressive with my ideas and thoughts.

Going to the University of Waterloo (Hons Arts and Business), Canada

Enrolled in Grade 12 for a CAAS Journey at UC | Sreenidhi International School, Hyderabad

ZOHAAN ASHRAF

Got offers from Trent University, York University, Carleton University, Huron at Western

We wish you all the luck, Zohaan! Thank you for being a part of this incredible journey.