Priyanka Sethy, an accomplished Research Professional focused on public policy, healthcare and data analytics, graduated from the University of Chicago and is currently pursuing a PhD in Government at Harvard. Here’s a glimpse into her college experience:

Why study abroad?

“I entered college in the fall of 2013, certain that I would spend the next 4 years on the straight and narrow path towards a conventional major in Economics. Exactly one year later, I found myself back at the entrance to my dorm, this time as deeply committed to being a scholar of South Asian History, and perhaps studying Persian Literature. At the inception of my third year, my major was likely the furthest thing from my mind, as every waking moment was spent working as a member of the Secretariat of our campus Model UN organization. By the time my fourth year was complete, I was as surprised as anyone to walk away with an honours degree in Political Science, supplemented by a chance minor in Creative Writing.

This, to me, was the beauty of the American education system. It gave me space to expand my narrow path into a wide and constantly broadening horizon. It was these four years that made me comfortable with uncertainty, comfortable with discomfort – comfortable with the trepidation of leaving my white-collar corporate job a few years after graduation, to pivot back to academia with a PhD in Political Science.” 

Why Collegecore?

“None of this would have been possible without CollegeCore. Working with faculty at the organization to hone my application essays gave me the space and mentorship to introspect on my own interests and desires for my future. It laid the groundwork for the many leaps of faith that I was able to take during college. And more than anything, it remained a steadfast friend, with mentors that I reach out to till date for advice.”

Core Lessons

“The best way to make the most of college in the US is to try everything it offers – and it certainly offers a lot. Shuffling majors aside, I grasped every opportunity with both hands – from founding campus writing clubs (I loved this!) to making some of my best friends (from countries near and far), to finding professors willing to mentor me in research (and the realization that it worked for me), and even the chance to join a sorority (which maybe didn’t work that well for me). Above all, to make the most of college in the US was to constantly feel free the freedom to make mistakes, and to grow and learn from each experience.”