Director for India Programs, Resident Director, Pune, India
Listener • 911 for Students in India • Workaholic • Loves Cooking
“India, Nature, and people, each individually and both together as a whole give a deep experience of life! I serve in study abroad to share this deep experience with young and intelligent minds of India and America. Studying abroad in India is teamwork. It is tough and demanding. This work gives me the opportunity to use all the skills that I acquired since 1980 when I started working. I play many roles here: The director, a good friend, a quiet listener, a firm administrator, a respectful colleague and an understanding parent to children I barely got introduced to! I get to work with layers of society and absolutely different cultures. I need to be objective and fearless. It is an enriching experience of understanding and interpreting. I get to be creative! We introduced folkdance and it was fabulous! Introduced Indian Buddies, which was a forced friendship but worked! Both Indian and American students are making friendships that would last. Last but not the least, I could introduce the Indian student advisor - Abhishek. Now he has taken up the responsibility of being Assistant Resident Director. His parents said to us, “We had a gem but you found him!” I face challenges. We occasionally have angry host parents, frustrated students, mismatch of expectations between students and the organization. Remaining calm and saying “Om” to myself is really tough but I still love the process of resolving everything in the benefit of our students. I serve in this field because it fulfills my wish to live a quality life. Quality of life means being and remaining human to me. However professionally demanding this field may be, it is rewarding in more than one ways!”
Uttaraa earned a Bachelor of Arts in German and Logic, and an MBA in Finance. She’s completed post-graduate courses in software programming and systems design and analysis. She is currently working on a master’s degree program in Gandhian peace studies.
A road side newspaper vendor in Mumbai asked me once, “Madam, what do you do? Who are these people?” I told him I work for a study abroad program and these are American students. He said, “I observe for last two years that your students are very well dressed. They follow our cultural norms! Not like other foreigners!” I was so pleasantly surprised and very happy about our orientation for students! I knew I should be doing what I do!
Did You Know?
I love playing table tennis, and have played and won championships in dodge ball, throw ball, and Lezim.