Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Leadership lived: International student finds her career path thanks to a unique UIS internship program


When international student Madhuri Podipireddy started searching for a college in the United States she discovered the University of Illinois Springfield’s Graduate Public Service Internship Program (GPSI), a governmental internship program that allows students to work for a state agency while earning their master’s degree.

“My main thing was the GPSI Program, which really attracted me to UIS,” she said. “It’s a very unique program. You don’t find this everywhere in the United States.”

Podipireddy is now a leader in the GPSI program, serving as secretary of the student organization. The graduate Management Information Systems major just started her second semester interning for the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services as a business analyst in the Department of Innovation and Technology.

“This internship has actually helped me to understand what I’m good at and what field I need to choose after my education,” she said.

On campus, Podipireddy is president of the Indian Student Organization and YesPlus Yoga, a program that teaches students stress management techniques and other skills. She is also the treasurer for International Student Friendships, an organization that helps international students adjust to the culture in the United States.

“Being an international student is not really a difficult task at UIS because you always have something happening on campus that will remind you of home and you will not feel alone, never, on this campus and you will always feel at home on this campus,” she said.

Podipireddy, who is from Visakhapatnam, India, says she would like to continue her career as a business analyst following graduation from UIS.

She says she’ll never forget what she’s learned at UIS.

“Leadership lived is the concept of UIS and I think because of so many organizations, I’ve been given so many opportunities to bring out the leader in me.”