Alum Voice: Peep into the US job market through career fairs

Getting referred at a career fair helped Delhi boy Ayush Misra get a job in America after a course in Management Information Systems
Universities in the US have always been the most sought-after option for Indian students aspiring to study abroad. A balanced approach in the classroom and practical learning helped Delhi-boy Ayush Misra, an alumnus of the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), bag a job as a Solution Architect at Marsh, a claims management and processing software company.

He completed his BTech in Information Technology (IT) from Indraprastha University, New Delhi, and after working with Tata Consultancy Services Limited (TCS) for a project for McKinsey and Co for two years, Ayush decided to go in for management course. An urge to understand the management side of the corporate world prompted him to pursue a master’s degree in Management Information Systems (MIS) at UIC.

“Coming from a technical background, I always wanted to learn how business is done in an IT company. While I was working on the McKinsey project, I realised my aspiration towards understanding the managerial side of the business and hence, I started preparing for the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE),” says Ayush.

After preparing for three months, he scored 316 out of 340 in GRE with 161 and 155 marks in Maths and English, respectively. “While preparing for the GRE, I used to read anything and everything I could lay my hands on. To succeed in such entrance examinations, one should not know many words but should know the context in which those words can be used. Mastering the art of time management is crucial,” says Ayush.

His high score got him accepted in as many as five American universities, including UT Dallas which was offered him a 50% fee waiver. However, he decided to go ahead with UIC because of its management-oriented curriculum, which included business statistics, financial accounting, and operations management as integrated subjects.

When Ayush first applied for the student visa, he did not face any problem, however, scenario changed when he applied for an H1B work visa as rules have been regularised and guarded strictly.

“Since I applied for my student visa in 2016, when Barack Obama was the President, the process was relatively easy. But when I applied for my work visa, it was rejected the first time. When I applied the second time, I was scrutinised on my purpose of staying, nature of work, tenure etc. The third and final attempt took another three months before my work visa was finally granted. Because of new amendments in the H1B work visa rules, it took six months for something that previously used to get done in only 15 days,” Ayush tells Education Times.

UIC, he says is a viable option as it offers on-campus employment opportunities by organising regular career fairs. This helps students to widen their network and get referred to various companies.

“There are several options to avail paid internships and scholarships that help in financial support. Other than that, the university regularly holds career fairs where several companies interact with the students. This helps in networking and if the representative gets impressed by a student, they are referred to the company,” says Ayush, 28, who was referred to Marsh in 2018. He now works as a Solution Architect in the same company and deals with claims management and data analytics in

Chicago. “Flexibility in the job, paid vacations, and a balanced work-life culture is something that has attracted me to stay in the United States,” he adds.