We recently had the pleasure of sharing a conversation with Shruti Sitaram a Senior Associate at Strategy& living in Boston, MA, on our LCR Success Stories Podcast.
A graduate of Wellesley College, Sitaram received her conditional Green Card after an 18-months journey that began with filing her I-526 petition in 2017.
In this article we’ll be sharing excerpts from our conversation which you can listen to by subscribing to our podcast on iTunes or Spotify.
Thoughtful Consideration of the Prospect of University in the United States
“I was 12 when my older sister was starting her collegiate journey and that opened my eyes” is how Shruti began.
Like many, the journey for Shruti started with witnessing the first-hand experience of a family member or friend exploring higher education options abroad.
“Each summer over break I experienced my sister differently. The types of conversations we were having, the experiences were so diverse, I found myself very interested in a conscious way to pursue college in the United States.”
As the time grew closer to make a decision on whether she should go to the United States, her family was supportive and still cautious. While Shruti focused on attending university in the United States, she still applied for local universities in India as well.
The big draw of a collegiate experience in the United States was the liberal arts education. Like many young people, she had diverse interests and making a decision to select a career path directly out of secondary school was difficult. The liberal arts education offered at Wellesley was an ideal fit.
“I wanted the opportunity to experience many different career options and with the liberal arts education I was exposed to many different subjects in robust ways.” Additionally, she brought up the opportunity to have work experience, “the opportunities available to intern and learn on the job was another big factor. Wellesley creates a great environment to get a taste of the professional world while still in school.”
Shruti went on to say “Economics wasn’t what I had intended to study but the way it was delivered at Wellesley was very interesting. It wasn’t about hardcore finance or monetary policy. The approach was more about gaining an understanding of resource scarcity and allocation around the world. The statistical basis and the more macro view on decision making intrigued me. I definitely didn’t expect that but I’m very glad that’s where my curiosity took me.”
Planning and Organizing to Get Your Green Card
“The best advice I can give is to stay in the moment, release your doubts and trust the process. I’m a planner by nature and those skills helped me immensely on this journey.”
While starting her junior year at Wellesley Shruti was already applying for jobs feeling certain that staying on in the United States was the right next step both professionally and personally. For many, this is the most difficult decision.
Having a green card through the EB-5 also meant she didn’t need to be sponsored when she spoke with employers. The process typically takes between 16-18 months with the USCIS reviews but with support in planning from LCR Shruti was issued her green card in just over 12 months.
“Definitely do your research and save all of the documents.” Having all paperwork organized with certified copies is critical to ensure the process goes smoothly. This includes birth certificates, marriage/divorce certificates, medical certificates, police clearance certificates, university degrees and other education related certificates, property deeds, ID documents, and of course passports.
Making the United States Home and Finding India Abroad in the States
Over the course of attending college and creating a community in Boston Shruit became fully immersed in pursuing many internships building experience and skills but she also found time to enjoy Boston.
One of our favorite questions to ask in the podcast is: what’s your favorite place to go here in the United States? We found great delight in how when Shruti answered with a story about beer gardens, it actually took us down a bit of an adventure back to home.
“I like to go to beer gardens and that’s something that I don’t think I would have gotten to experience if I hadn’t moved here. I found this brewery not too far away from me in Boston called Mighty Squirrel. And it turns out the founder is Indian and he’s from Chennai. I was so excited when I heard this. The beer is great, and they have beers named after old movies that I watched at home and it all feels a bit sentimental.”
A special thank you to Shruti for sharing her story and insights with us. You can listen to the full interview with Shruti Sitaram on iTunes or Spotify.
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