Meet Ananya Thukral
Ananya Thukral is an International Student from India going into her fourth year in Bachelor of Computing with a major in Computer Science. Ananya was hired for a work study position as an International Admissions and Recruitment Assistant in the Winter 2019 semester, where she had the opportunity to connect with students from all over the world while learning communication, leadership, teamwork, and time management skills. “Being an international student myself, I was instantly connected with the prospective students and became comfortable answering their questions.”
At the end of her work study position in April, she became the International Student Ambassador where she used a chat and blog portal called Unibuddy, writing blogs about her experience moving to Canada, reasons and tips for living in residence, how to choose courses, and what to expect in first year Computer Science. In May 2020, her position at International Admissions transitioned to a full-time Co-op where she was involved in the Virtual Spring Open House, Latin America Pre-Departure event, Middle East and South Asia Pre-Departure Event, and various research projects.
How did you find the job search process on Experience Guelph?
"I found the Experience Guelph website/portal to be very user friendly. I loved the way I can save multiple resumes and cover letters – it speeds up the entire process of applying. I like that there is always one platform where I can apply to various types of jobs (ex, work study, co-op, career, research opportunities)."
Is Unibuddy available to all students? What's the most beneficial thing about the Unibuddy portal?
"Yes, Unibuddy is available for all International and Domestic students. I am amazed how students can connect from all over the world to current students and staff at U of G and get their questions answered within 24 hours on almost anything from student experience, cooperative education, over 1000 experiential learning opportunities, study abroad, more than 200 student clubs and so much more! My Unibuddy Profile can be found here!"
What's your favourite thing about working with prospective international students?
"I love how I am making a difference in their career decisions. They are inspired by my experiences which is the biggest achievement for me. As soon as they ask any questions, I am able to connect with them right away, as I was them a few years back. My favourite thing would be telling them to learn from my successful experiences but also from my mistakes so that they don’t miss out on wonderful opportunities!
I am from a really small city from India. When I share my stories and experiences with students from all over the world, they feel inspired and the things they felt were impossible now seem possible to them. My ultimate goal is to make a difference and both work study and co-op helped me to gain that confidence, knowledge and experience irrespective of my background! I am proud that I am a Gryphon and I feel one step closer to my goal everyday!"
What is your favourite event or research project that you have been a part of while in your co-op role as International Student Ambassador?
"Virtual Spring Open House 2020 – best experiences I have ever had. I got an opportunity to produce the event virtually on behalf of International Admissions. I learned several technical and backend skills while managing the whole team of around 10 people (students and staff) and several students joining live in the session."
What would be one piece of advice you have for incoming students?
"BE YOURSELF. Remember that everyone has unique talents, and you have 4 years to cultivate yours. Your grade in one class does not define you."