THE UC YEARBOOK 2023
The making of our annual yearbook is becoming a UC tradition. We love it, mainly for two reasons - It's personal and it keeps us rooted.
This year, UC students came from all parts of the world and applied to different colleges across India, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada, and Europe. This cultural diversity helps us learn more about each region and create room for multiple perspectives to be brought to the table.
Additionally, our team, that's also made of diverse individuals from the North to the South, have unique ways of thinking and navigating the complete applications and admissions journey. The UC Orange team tries to do all it can to help achieve our student achieve their best.
This yearbook is simply a celebration of our student's hard work and our attempt to congratulate them on doing a phenomenal job. Even with every rejection, they kept going. With every roadblock, they kept moving forward. With every application, they evolved and became more confident.
We are proud of each of our UC scholars and can't wait to see what they do next in their life!
Presenting to you, this year's journey and our yearbook called ROOTS. As they say, "The taller a tree, the deeper its roots." Over the years, our roots have strengthened with the continuous support, love, and faith of our students, parents, families, and colleagues. This has given us the wings of independence and allowed us to continue doing what we do best - Making a difference in our students' lives.
Celebrating UC alumnus, Pranshu Agarwal (CAAS 2019); he graduated this year and has joined Tesla.
So many students. One wild ride...
Your relationship with the counselors
Charu Ma'am and Ragini helped me throughout the whole process. From identifying the right course for me, the universities which fit my profile, to helping me write and edit endless essays during the application process. Both have been very supportive during this time and even kept me positive despite getting many rejections in the early days.
Arsh Gulati, Penn State University, USA📍
Going to the University of Southern California, USA to study MS in Finance 📍
He also got offers from Babson College and Boston College.
College planning helped me learn a lot about myself. The process of writing endless essays and stories about my life has helped me reflect internally on what I want to do and what I need to do to get there. I enjoy research in general and researching different colleges and courses was something I was excited to get into.
My parents have trusted Ma'am and Ragini from the very beginning, so much so that they did not feel the need to constantly check up on my applications or follow up with me for every deadline. They knew that with the guidance I have, everything would be completed perfectly.
Before writing any essays, I was asked to write a few pages about my entire Life Story. During this process, I had time to reflect on my journey till date and was able to understand better what skills or areas I need to improve on. Through this activity, I remember how much time I used to devote to extracurricular activities such as sports, which I had limited time for due to work. Since that activity, I have been able to devote more time to myself and to pick up where I left off with my personal interests.
Ms. Charushilla and Ms. Ragini have been invaluable guides on my personal and academic journey. They have provided unwavering support, helping me gain clarity on my career goals through introspection and reflection. Beyond academics, they have assisted me in identifying my strengths and weaknesses, providing constant motivation for self-improvement. Their constructive feedback has truly brought out the best in me, and I am immensely grateful for their unwavering assistance and belief in my potential.
My parents recognized the immense value of the guidance and expertise provided by the Orange team and entrusted me and the team with the task of college planning. They are sincerely grateful for the invaluable assistance and support offered throughout the college planning process.
Sai Wankhade, SP Jain School of Global Management (Mumbai) 📍
Going to the University of Bristol, United Kingdom to study Msc Economics, Finance, and Management
College planning has been a significant part of my personal growth. It has taken me from just dreaming to turning those dreams into a reality and has made me more self-aware. Through the process of college preparation, I have been pushed beyond my comfort zone, working on internships, preparing for exams, and writing essays simultaneously.
One thing you discovered during this journey?
Throughout my college planning journey, I discovered my remarkable flexibility and multitasking skills. Balancing numerous tasks like researching universities, completing applications, and studying for exams required me to adapt and adjust. Despite facing university rejections and unexpected situations, I found the resilience to bounce back stronger. This experience has instilled in me a profound belief in my ability to embrace change, handle multiple responsibilities, and thrive in challenging situations.
Glass ceilings shattered..
SUSTAINABILITY GRINCH GARIMA
Garima Sawhney received admits for
Biomedical Engineering at University of Michigan and Georgia Tech
Computer Science at University of Illinois Urbana Champaign (UIUC)
SPACE KULTIVATOR KAASHVI
Kaashvi Jain recieved admits for Physics and Space Sciences at the Penoni Honors College - Drexel University, University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign UIUC and the University of Massachusetts Amherst
I do not think my parents trust me as much as they trust Charu Ma'am. After my elder sister's journey, Mom automatically thought of putting me in (the care of) University Connection because she did not want to see any other counsellor at all.
I think I may have discovered my love for writing. After millions of college essays and research papers, I realized I may like writing, which is surprising considering I never wanted to write essays at the start of the college journey.
Reyhaan Yadav, Step by Step School (Noida) 📍
Going to Drexel University, USA. He's joining the Pennoni Honors College where he will be studying Finance
He also made it to Indiana University, University of Waterloo, University of Toronto.
WARM-HEARTED FINANCE NINJA
College Planning meant a great deal to me. It helped me discover my ambition and parts of myself I didn't know existed altogether. Ultimately, what I thought would be a tough ordeal, turned out to be one of the most interesting periods in my life - where I discovered myself.
Student Mentor relationship..
Ragini Ma'am was so much more than a counsellor. Over the journey with UC, she became not just a counsellor but a therapist, motivational speaker, and friend. No matter how I felt or what was going on with me, Ragini Ma'am had a solution along with faith in me and believed in me from the very beginning. I do not think I would be in college if it was not for the whole UniConnection Team.
Things you discovered in this journey
Over the past year, I ventured on a journey of self-exploration. I was able to realise my full potential and also realised that I am capable of much more than I assume. Through various internships, I was able to get additional insights regarding the course I am pursuing and also improved my social skills. I changed a lot as a person over the past year which has definitely worked in my favour.
During this entire time period, I felt the constant urge to keep proving myself. I wanted to show everyone that I am capable of much more. Many of my classmates thought that the universities short-listed were very difficult to get into and well none of my family members by the last month believed that I’ll make it to London. But here I am, super pumped and all set to be in that lovely city.
Sirjan Kaur Bawa, Prudence School, Ashok Vihar (Delhi) 📍
Going to King's College London, United Kingdom to study Psychology
She also made it to University of Bristol and University of Manchester.
Over the past year, I got to learn many things and realised that picking out the right college can be a difficult yet a very crucial decision. The type of college also depends on the location, community and funding options available. Also in this process, one gets to discover who they truly are. Writing the personal statement really helped me to introspect and venture on a journey of self-discovery.
Honestly, this journey and even making it to King's wouldn’t have been possible without Ragini Ma’am. She guided me through some of the most difficult times in my college planning journey. With her able guidance, I was able to firmly make up my mind as to which college is best for me and the steps I need to take so as to make my dream come true.
My parents are really happy with how things turned out. Frequent calls received from Ragini Ma’am helped them stay up to date with the college process. They were henceforth able to guide me in the right direction and guide me towards the right path that I needed to take.
My counselor, Ragini Ma'am, played a key role in stimulating the college application process. She provided invaluable help in fine-tuning the application essays, and preparing me for the interviews, and streamlining the flow of things.
The Orange team really helped in preparation for the journey, as well as in providing valuable knowledge and research about the colleges.
Shrey Bhatnagar, Tagore International School, Vasant Vihar (Delhi) 📍
Was going to Ashoka University, India to study a BSc Biology degree but then cleared his NEET exam and is now studying Medicine at Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College (JNMC), Belagavi!
He also made it to other colleges like KREA, VIT Bhopal, and more.
HARDWORKING SCIENTIST SHREY
College planning involves thorough research about not just the academics, but also the general student life there. After all, you’ll be calling the college home for the next few years of your life. Thus, it becomes imperative to choose a college into whose ecosystem you fit well.
The UC journey encouraged a lot of self-introspection to analyze whether you’ll fit into a particular college. It encouraged me to think critically and analyze all the options and keeping my mind open to back-ups, and stopping me from hyper-fixating on a particular college initially.
My time at UC helped me break biases about certain courses and places. It helped open my mind to all possible options. I discovered that on a deeper dive, a couple of courses I had earlier dismissed, actually were really interesting!
My journey with my counselor, Ragini, was a great load of fun!! She helped me-
Build by extracurriculars by sending interesting opportunities my way
Encouraging me to keep doing more
Helping me in places where I was stuck or confused
Always keeping me on track
My parents felt that the UC mentorship really helped me be on time and on top of my college admissions. It took a burden off their shoulders and loved the way I was always occupied with one internship/activity or another.
Kriti Gunakesharan, Vidyaniketan School (Bengaluru) 📍
Going to University of Manchester, United Kingdom to study Biology
She also got offers from University of Lancaster, University of Bristol, University of Exeter, University of Edinburgh, Ashoka University and KREA.
BUDDING CHANGEMAKER KRITI
College Planning to me is..
Figuring out what I want to get out of college
Narrowing down the fields of study
Selecting the one of most interest
Selecting region of the world to study in
Finding colleges that are known for my chosen field of study
Shortlist shortlist shortlist
What did you learn about yourself in this journey?
I have interests in diverging fields and areas and the real accomplishment is to bring them together and see what greatness it can reap!
Understanding that it IS possible to work in different fields, even if they are not the slightest bit related.
Ragini Ma'am has been great help for me. She is very quick in updating things and keeps track of everything going on from time to time. Having her by my side made it easier for me to go through the whole process since she was my go-to person who cleared my doubts.
My parents were happy by the fact that we had professionals handling my profile. They were thankful that my application is going to be one of the top.
Sai Shriya, Oakridge International School (Hyderabad) 📍
Going to the University of Manchester, United Kingdom to study Finance
She also got offers from the University of Warwick and Lancaster University.
VERSATILE ACADEMIC SHRIYA
This journey has been very special and exciting for me throughout. College planning for me included finding out about different universities, building up my profile for it to be good enough to get accepted into those colleges, preparing myself mentally for each and every outcome, and thinking of it as a lesson.
One thing you discovered in this journey:
Patience is a virtue. I am usually someone who is not very good at waiting but going through this I realized that this is definitely not something you can rush on. These are major decisions you take for the next phase of your life which need a lot of thought and understanding by going through them in detail. Even the period where we wait for the decisions to come can be very frustrating but it is a part of the journey. "Good things take time".
My counselor has helped me deal with both academics and daily life hassles. She provided me with guidance and I am grateful for the advice I received. She has inspired me throughout and helped me find myself and understand my needs better, both in the college perspective and in life.
Prajanna Singh, Hopetown Girls' School (Dehradun) 📍
Going to Huron University College, Canada to study Psychology
She also got offers from Guelph University, Lakehead University, and York University.
My College Planning journey...
College planning for me was understanding my capabilities and finding a college that helped me further enhance those skills. it is about stepping out of the comfort zone and doing the things required to ensure future success!
One thing I discovered about myself during this journey is that communicating with people isn’t as intimidating as I thought it was. It has definitely helped improve my communication and decision-making skills.
Prajanna's mother says, “ We are extremely thankful to Shraddha for helping our child accomplish their dreams. As parents, there is nothing more satisfying than watching your child grow. It was an amazing opportunity to have worked with the Orange Team. We can’t thank you enough for your support.”
Throughout this journey, I learnt about how challenges can be converted into opportunities while writing my essays, and that following your gut instinct is very important when applying to colleges.
Stuti Bhattacharya, Billabong High International School (Mumbai) 📍
College planning to me is deciding on which schools would suit my interests the best and how to apply to them.
My Orange Counselor helped me with the selection of schools and the overall development of my essays. Meanwhile suggesting and increasing access to internships and extracurricular activities to strengthen my resume proved to be very meaningful.
My parents really appreciated her availability for elaborate discussions.
I was pretty hard on myself before I started this journey. However, I am grateful for all the small victories in life. My whole life I thought I was being self-aware, but I was just being self-critical without giving myself props for anything. You have to do both in order to truly be reflective.
I’ve had a very healthy relationship with my counselor. She’s helped me feel more confident and secure.
Naved Yusuf, Boscoss PU College (Mangaluru) 📍
Got offers from KREA University, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Amity University, and more..
College Planning journey
It’s been a journey of self-discovery and perseverance. I’ve also acquired a lot of skills during the process that I can apply to so many areas in my life.
My parents have been a little paranoid over the course of this journey but I feel like they believe in me a lot more now.
I believe I can overcome any obstacle, and the fact that life is all about ups and downs, the ups need to be celebrated and the downs need to be analysed and learnt from.
My journey with UC
My orange counselor, Ragini Ma'am, was my biggest mentor. Without her, nothing would be possible. At every step, she corrected me and helped me build my resume and portfolio, waking up till late at night just to help me to complete my tasks on time. With her, I had zero difficulties in my college application process. Because of her, I got into the best study abroad program in the country I always dreamed of studying fine arts and design.
Akshat Rao, GD Goenka Public School (Gurugram) 📍
Going to Marist College, USA to study Fine Arts- Studio
He also got offers from the College for Creative Studies, Kent State University, OTIS College of Art & Design, and Drexel University.
CREATIVE & HUMBLE AKSHAT
Glass ceilings shattered
Yes, during this whole process, some of my school teachers doubted if I will get into any university as I was not great in academics. But in the end, I got into some of the best Universities and also got selected for the best program in all of the US at Marist College.
Shraddha Ma'am, she is a rockstar honestly speaking. I never thought that I could bond with my counselor on such deep levels. She has always helped me approach my problems with a positive mindset and it was just so exciting to work with her. We always worked as an amazing team from working late nights to talking about sports in our free time to lifting me up whenever I was stressing myself out. She has helped me a lot through this journey and I can with confidence say that it wouldn't have been possible without her. There were moments where we were on tight schedules but regardless of that we have done what had to be done and came up to become a very successful duo.
One thing you discovered...
University Connection helped me find myself through the chaos of life and honestly I am not sure if I would've been able to attain a balance in life without this wonderful team. I gained some clarity on what I wanted to do in college and how I wanted to do it, from where I wanted to do it. I got to meet a lot of new people in the process and learn new things in life which was one of the best things that could happen to someone. UC is not only a counselling place for me, it is family. I have always been welcomed with open arms and pushed towards excellence whenever it was needed. I have never felt that I was left in the battlefield alone but it always felt like the UC team was always there for me. It is one of the greatest moments in my life to have worked with such a wonderful team through this all.
Shauryaveer Chandwani, The Shri Ram School, Moulsari Campus (Gurugram) 📍
Decided to clear the CUET and join Kirori Mal College, University of Delhi
Got offers from KREA University, FLAME University, VIT and more..
My College Planning Journey
College planning and preparation is a very integral part of everyone's life. It's very overwhelming I'd say coming so close to the point where I will finally fly off with my wings open. It has been a very emotional journey as well because through the whole journey, all the people around me have supported me at my lowest and helped me achieve great feats. Through the whole college planning process, I have learnt quite a lot of things about myself and what suits me the best. I have got to know about some of the greatest institutions in India and how other dynamics have to be taken into consideration while choosing the right college, the kinds of people that will be there and how much a lot of factors change our decisions. This journey has been a very critical one for my family as well because it's their first kid going off to college, starting off from nervously sitting around the table awaiting results to celebrating the smallest achievements, it's been a roller coaster.
There is one story that will always stay very close to me through this journey. It was the beginning of 2022, my class 11th results were supposed to be released and well sadly they weren't the results I had expected. There was an environment of distrust and my parents stopped believing in me
UC came to us as a blessing in disguise honestly because I still remember after my class 11th results, I had a meeting set up with Charushilla ma'am and interacting with her gave all of us a sense of calmness and that everything will be fine, well 9-10 months down the line it is the case. My mom felt a little worried and nervous through the initial phases of the journey, however she gained confidence in the team and the whole process of counselling and choosing the right colleges. My dad was confident since the day this journey started and it was a very positive thing coming from someone who is your hero, he was supporting me through all my highs and lows and helped me deal with all success with humility. In the end, my parents are emotional as well because it's time for me to begin a new phase of my life and especially being their first child, it's a little hard for them to let go as well but I love them from the bottom of my heart and well I am thankful to have them.
This journey was quite enriching and informative. With the help of my counsellor I picked up multiple professional, presentation and communication skills. Luckily, as my counsellor was also a professional psychologist, exploring my choice of degree with her led to many informative discussions which enhanced my general knowledge of the subject as well.
My mother felt assured that I was in safe hands but to be honest there were times when the going went a little rough, as is always the case in any journey.
Shristhi Singhania, Chinmaya International Residence School (Siruvani) 📍
Going to Ashoka University to study Psychology
Also received offers from KREA, Flame and OP Jindal University
College planning to me is...
This journey has been quite important and insightful for me and my family as it gave us a proper idea of the communities where I belong in this world. Figuring out the right college for me was more than just scrutinising a college’s achievements and focusing on how they would help me harness the potential talents within me.
The journey with UC really enhanced my self-confidence as my counsellor, as well as the other experts, made me realise that for the future I have in mind for myself, I already possess a caliber that is sufficient to achieve my aspirations. The entire Orange team was highly supportive and cooperative and made my college journey as a boarding school applicant much smoother.
Raghav Garg, Modern School Barakhamba (Delhi) 📍
Studying at Narsee Monjee College of Commerce and Economics, Mumbai
Got a number of offers from City University, Lancaster University, University of Manchester, Queen Mary, and also Amity University, OP Jindal University, KREA University and more..
I discovered that I am very capable of achieving what I want. But if I focus on what other people have to say about me, it will be hard for me to move forward.
My school teachers thought that i wouldn't even pass my board examinations and I still did... without their support.
Tavleen Kaur, Mayo College Girls' School (Ajmer) 📍
Going to FLAME University to study Psychology
She also got offers from KREA, University of Lancaster, University of Leeds and University of Manchester
College planning has helped me grow and understand a lot about how college registrations work... the process has also helped me practice managing multiple things at the same time.
My Orange Counselor helped me..
In becoming a more responsible person. She has guided me through the whole process and has been a great motivator through my examinations too. She has made the whole process very bearable for me.
My parents also felt a little more at ease knowing that Kudrat di and Ma'am Charu were there to support me throughout.
One thing you discovered about yourself..
My professional experience as a digital artist for two years not only provided me with the technical skills and artistic expertise but also allowed me to develop a strong portfolio that impressed the admissions committees. The fact that my art was recognized and appreciated by USA universities speaks to the quality and uniqueness of my work. It indicates that my artistic vision, creativity, and technical execution resonated with the institutions that reviewed your application. Admissions officers likely recognized the level of dedication, commitment, and passion you invested in my craft, and they saw the potential for my artistic growth within their academic environment.
Gurkamal Singh, KR Mangalam World School (Gurugram) 📍
Going to UC Santa Cruz to study Computer Science
He also got offers from Indiana University, Drexel University, Arizona State University, UC Riverside, Davis, SUNY Buffalo and more...
GURKAMAL - THE TECHNOPHILE
College planning is an essential process of self-discovery and understanding your capabilities. It involves exploring your interests, strengths, and skills that align with my academic and career goals. By taking the time to reflect on my abilities and talents, I made informed decisions about the type of university that suits me best. College planning helped me identify the areas where I excel and find opportunities to further develop and utilize my capabilities for a successful college experience and future career.
Biases attempted to break...
Starting the college planning process late in the month of September indeed created anxiety and uncertainty, as many students begin their preparations much earlier. However, my ability to navigate this challenge and achieve positive outcomes speaks volumes about my resilience and adaptability. Securing admission to top universities in the US is a highly competitive achievement. It indicates that my application, including extracurricular activities, personal statement, and possibly your guidance, stood out among a large pool of applicants. My accomplishments and unique qualities clearly resonated with admissions committees, highlighting my potential to excel in higher education.
Khushi Angolkar received admits for Medicine from St. Georges, American University of Barbados, Carrabean Medical University, Xaviers Aruba
Aman Dheer received admits from Radboud University, Netherlands and KTH Royal Institute of Technology for Molecular Techniques in Life Sciences
Siddarth Ventantakrishnan received admits for Finance from University of Readings, University of Southampton, Flame, University of Bath, University of Manchester, NMIMS, & Symbiosis University
Hritika Malhotra received admits for:
Business at City University Hong Kong and Hong Kong University of Science & Technology
Symbiosis University, Pune
Navidh Kaur received admits for Economics from many universities like Ashoka University, O.P. Jindal Global University, Christ University & Narsee Monjee University in India.
CHIC & HUMBLE RITODHARA
Ritodhara Basutghakur received admits from Utrecht University, Maastricht University, Netherlands, University of Twente in the Netherlands and IFA Paris.
RESILIENT AND GIVING ANUSHREE
Anushree made it to the Apollo College of Veterinary Medicine, Jaipur.
Medhavi received admits from Lancaster University, University of Strathclyde, University of Dundee, Flame University, Ashoka University & KREA University
Medhavi, however, cleared NEET and has now started her medical school journey in India!
Vani Beswal received admits from University of Nottingham, Bath University, University of Warwick, Ashoka University, Christ University, Symboisis University & NMIMS