The UC Yearbook 2023

So many students. One wild ride...

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. 

Arsh Gulati, Penn State University, USA

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.

DILIGENT ARSH

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. 

Sai Wankhade, SP Jain School of Global Management (Mumbai)

Going to the University of Bristol, United Kingdom to study Msc Economics, Finance, and Management 

REFLECTIVE ECONOMIST

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..

During college planning, I acknowledged my bias towards believing that only top-ranked universities could advance my career and dreams. I thought that giving my best would guarantee acceptance anywhere. However, I realized the flaw in this mindset. It was essential to focus on improving myself, rather than solely seeking out top-tier schools. By shattering this glass ceiling, I opened myself up to new opportunities and a more holistic approach to achieving my goals. It sank in me that opportunities can come from various sources, and success is not limited to attending a particular institution.

Sai Wankhade, SP Jain School of Global Management (Mumbai)

Reyhaan Yadav, Step by Step School (Noida)

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 altogetherUltimately, 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. 

The glass ceiling I shattered was getting into college. I know everyone believed in me, but on a personal level, I did not think it was possible.

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. 

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.

COMPASSIONATE SIRJAN

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. 

Student-Mentor relationship

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. 

Sirjan Kaur Bawa, Prudence School, Ashok Vihar (Delhi)

Shrey Bhatnagar, Tagore International School, Vasant Vihar (Delhi)

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! 

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

  •  APPLY! 

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. 

Kriti Gunakesharan, Vidyaniketan School (Bengaluru)

Sai Shriya, Oakridge International School (Hyderabad) 

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". 

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.

CHARMING PRAJANNA

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.” 

Prajanna Singh, Hopetown Girls School (Dehradun) 

Stuti Bhattacharya, Billabong High International School (Mumbai)

Stuti Bhattacharya, Billabong High International School (Mumbai)

Got offers from UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbra and PennState

THOUGHTFUL STUTI

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.

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. 

Naved Yusuf, Boscoss PU College (Mangaluru)

Got offers from KREA University, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Amity University, and more..

DETERMINED NAVED

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. 

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) 

Akshat Rao, GD Goenka Public School (Gurugram) 

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

My College Planning Journey

For me, College Planning is the most important ingredient of our future planning, without it we can’t have a balanced future. Everyone has their dream university to get admission into, and it's not easy for anyone of us to make it there without college planning.
With University Connection I discovered my essay-writing skills. While writing some reflective essays, I learnt how to create pointers around specific questions and eventually loved writing more and more. 

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. 

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..

ENIGMATIC SHAURYA

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. 

Parent-Counselor Partnership

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. 

Shauryaveer Chandwani, The Shri Ram School, Moulsari Campus (Gurugram)

Shristhi Singhania, Chinmaya International Residence School (Siruvani)

Shristhi Singhania, Chinmaya International Residence School (Siruvani)

Going to Ashoka University to study Psychology

Also received offers from KREA, Flame and OP Jindal University

BUDDING PSYCHOLOGIST

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. 

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. 

Raghav Garg, Modern School Barakhamba (Delhi)

Studying at Narsee Monjee College of Commerce and Economics, Mumbai 

DILIGENT RAGHAV 

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 would be completely lost if my counselor wasn’t involved. My parents also trusted her completely.
[We're so glad that you let us be your navigator, Raghav! So proud of how much you achieved in a short span.]

Raghav Garg, Modern School Barakhamba (Delhi) 

Tavleen Kaur, Mayo College Girls’ School (Ajmer)

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

GO-GETTER TAVLEEN 

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. 

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. 

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. 

Gurkamal Singh, KR Mangalam World School (Gurugram)

Khushi Angolkar received admits for Medicine from St. Georges, American University of Barbados, Carrabean Medical University, Xaviers Aruba

ENERGETIC KHUSHI
ENERGETIC KHUSHI

Aman Dheer received admits from Radboud University, Netherlands and KTH Royal Institute of Technology for Molecular Techniques in Life Sciences

METICULOUS AMAN
METICULOUS AMAN

Garima Sawhney received admits for Biomedical Engineering at University of Michigan and Georgia Tech Computer Science at University of Illinois Urbana Champaign (UIUC)

SUSTAINABILITY GRINCH GARIMA
SUSTAINABILITY GRINCH GARIMA

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

SPACE KULTIVATOR KAASHVI
SPACE KULTIVATOR KAASHVI