Monday, April 25, 2016

Leadership lived: International student finds passion for volunteering at UIS

Chetan Naik traveled more than 8,000 miles to attend the University of Illinois Springfield. However, it wasn’t until he arrived that he found a passion for volunteer work.

Naik is a graduate student majoring in Management Information Systems (MIS). He’s involved in the Rotary Club and plans to start a Martial Arts Club on campus.

He and other UIS students recently volunteered to build wheelchair ramps at three Springfield homes as part of a Springfest Service Project, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Sangamon County.

“I just wanted to gain experience involving service, so I came here,” he said. “It was a totally new experience for me. I never did this stuff back in India.”

After helping with the building project on his own, he decided to bring a group of friends back to work a second shift. He says service is important because it teaches you teamwork and other important skills.

“I thought of brining my friends to do this volunteer stuff because it’s new to them,” he said. “Introducing new things to my friends is leadership according to me and UIS taught me this.”

Naik says he’s enjoyed his classes and recommends the Management Information Systems and Computer Science programs to other international students.

“You have an opportunity to interact with other people, people from other countries, and the course work is really good for Computer Science and MIS. The course work is designed in such a way to help your career.”

Overall, he’s glad he chose UIS.

“The University of Illinois, back in India it’s a very famous university.”

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