Ashima Jain UIUC '11 shares her experience of life at UIUC

1. How important do you consider rankings while evaluating schools? How have your perceptions changed about this now?

I consider rankings important in choosing my college. More important than the overall ranking, I would look at the ranking of the schools in the area I want to pursue. The higher the ranking, the better the program is.

2. Did the geographic location (NE, Mid West, West , South)  and setting (urban, rural, suburban, college town) of your college impact your overall assessment of your college experience? Did you think about this when applying? How did your perception change with time?

My college, the U of I,  is in itself a small town village, we like to call Cham-bana - Champaign plus Urbana. It is a sweet little city in itself. I do feel left out of city life at times. But, at the same time, I feel very safe on my campus. Even the shopping malls are populated mostly by the students of our campus. I had thought a lot about this kind of life and the pros and cons before applying here. I guess I have to live with it till the time I graduate. Next time, I definitely want to experience a city campus, may be in Boston or New York.

3. Did you consider size (student population) as an important criteria while choosing schools? What do you think is a size that is ideal for you? Why?

I don't think the size of the population matters. If you are a good student, you compete with the best students around you. If the size is small, you still get to compete with the best students of the small population. Sometimes, the entire population is full of smart students. But, the deal is the same. What takes to compete with one smart student is the same as what takes to compete with 10 such students.

4 What is your current major interest? Did this change over time? Explain if it did? Do you think that the courses you took to fulfil general education requirements were good? What would you change about the choices you made?

My current interest is business. It was information technology before as I was confused about whether I want to pursue business or technology, so I chose a mix. Now, I feel sure to pursue the business route. The gen ed courses I took were awesome. I learnt so much about biology, practical physics, programming languages, asian landscapes and what not. And of course, I made the right choices.