Alumni Spotlight: Utsav Jain

Utsav Jain, MS Software Engineering, 2019

Utsav Jain was selected to be the student speaker for our inaugural “Celebrate! Honoring International Graduates” event for the class of 2019. He currently works as a Software Engineer in Silicon Valley and remains an active international alumni, who continues to give back to our Global Spartan community.

What are you doing now?

Software Engineer at Corning Inc.

What is your most favorite memory of SJSU?

It is quite hard to pick one memory. Having group project meetings in the student union, playing games and chatting with other international students at the ISSS Coffee Hour. One of the most favorite things I did was the “Practically Speaking” program conducted  by Amy Russo from the Writing Center. 

I will also remember my graduation ceremony quite fondly. Due to current events, it might sound like a brag, but there was certainly something magical about the event.

I would like to mention my favorite professor, Prof. Michael Larkin. The way he conducted his lectures was truly remarkable.  

How has your SJSU experience impacted your life either personally or professionally?

My advanced degree from SJSU enabled me to further my career as a Software Engineer. A major advantage of my program, MS in Software Engineering, is that most of the courses are taught by professionals working in the industry, that too in Silicon Valley.  

Personally, I started a new phase of my life after graduating from SJSU, although I carried a lot of lessons, memories, and friends from my “University times”.

What do you wish you would have known sooner about life in the U.S. or about being an international student at SJSU?

Firstly, you will get home sick. However, the Bay Area is very diverse. There’s a good chance that you’ll find shops and restaurants catering to your background. Nothing can replace the comfort of your hometown, but going to a place which serves food like home certainly helps.

Secondly, if you plan to stay in the US for long, depending on your nationality, you may need an immigration plan that might be a decade or longer. You would need to be selective with your employers and limited to the kind of jobs you can work.

Lastly, SJSU has so many resources, it’s hard to even know all. I wish I had attended some more random events and participated in some more random activities. For example, the aforementioned “Practically Speaking” program was a totally random thing offered by the writing center. I was a software engineering student, so it didn’t really have a connection with my  field of study. But it turned out to be one of the most fun things I did and improved my overall personality.     

What advice would you give to current international students?

Firstly, always stay on top of your paperwork, especially immigration related. It appears quite intimidating at first, but most of the time, it is pretty straightforward. Also, whenever the U.S. immigration authorities want something from you, it’s best to give them as soon as you can even though they might take an arbitrarily long time to get back to you. 

Secondly, connecting with your peers in class is just as important as making industry connections. It may feel a bit difficult to talk to people of other nationalities in your class, but it can be very rewarding.  

Lastly, change your computer language to default to English (U.S.) :-).

Job Search Success Panel

As part of our Global Spartan Month celebration, we’re collaborating with the Career Center to bring you a special international student and alumni career panel, Strategies for Job Search Success on March 18, 2021 from 4:00-5:00 pm (register here).

Our panel features two current international students and two recent graduates, who will share their experience searching for job and internship opportunities in the U.S. The panel will be moderated by International Student Advisor James Coon and Career Counselor Judi Garcia. This is a great opportunity to hear advice from peers, ask questions, and expand your network by connecting with our panelists. 

Learn more about our panel!

Sadaqatali Mirza

Sadaqatali Mirza is from Mumbai, India and is a Test Engineer at Apple Inc. with specialization in mechanical design and testing. He collaborates in new product launch activities to perform tests on various Apple products and develop test plans. Sadaqat received his M.S degree in mechanical engineering from San Jose State University and was awarded two scholarships for his academic performance and on-campus involvement. While in school, Sadaqat enjoyed participating in events designed to bring together the international community and is driven to help international students succeed in the U.S.

Joy Seet

Joy Seet is a designer based in San Francisco. She was born and raised in Singapore, and recently graduated from B.A Design Studies at San Jose State University in June 2020. She has interned at Ogilvy and WPP, and discovered her interest in the marketing side of design. Joy is now a designer at TikTok, where she helps brands invent and launch legendary creative solutions that help brands and creative companies thrive on TikTok. Joy is also an advocate for helping graduating students navigate and launch their career journey. She is excited to share some tips and advice to international students wanting to succeed.

Mindy Trieu is an international student from Vietnam who has been studying in the U.S. for seven years.

Mindy Trieu

She earned her B.A. degree in Advertising from the University of Florida in 2018 and later moved to San Jose State University to pursue her MBA with a concentration in Business Analytics. Mindy currently serves as a Global Leader and iSucceed Advisory Board Member for International Student & Scholar Services and as an Instructional Student Assistant for the Jack Holland School of Business Success Center. On the way to making her first steps in achieving her career goals, Mindy would be happy to share her experiences with other international students and see everyone succeed together.

Vicky Vo

Vicky Vo is an Award-Winning UX Designer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She was a Product Design Intern at DoorDash, a former Lead UX Designer at OrthoFX, and recently joined Jumpstart as a Product Designer. Vicky is currently a senior B.A Design Student at SJSU. Besides school and work, Vicky co-founded Students of UXD, an international community for students of all ages who are pursuing UX Design. Her broad background in UX, Visual Design, Psychology, Marketing, and Entrepreneurship has helped various startups to launch several digital products from scratch. 

We hope you’ll join us for this event and more during Global Spartan Month! Follow us on Instagram for the latest updates.

Student Spotlight: Mindy Trieu

Y Mindy Trieu

Major: Masters in Business Administration | Home Town: Vietnam

As a Global Leader and Advisory Board Member in our iSucceed Mentorship Program, Mindy is an active and important contributor to our Global Spartan community.  You may have met her during a Global Leader chat or at one of our ISSS events, and experienced her warm smile and friendly welcome.

What is your dream job?

I’m still exploring my career interest; however, I would love to land a position as a Business Analyst or a Project Manager at a global tech company upon graduation. My MBA cohort has given me incredible advice for my career path, and my professors are also helpful in giving me insights into the current business and job trends.

What types of activities are you involved in at SJSU or in your community?

I’m an Advisory Board Member and a Global Leader at the International Student & Scholar Services. I’m also an Instructional Student Assistant at the Jack Holland Student Success Center.

During my time here, I’ve had a chance to help several graduate students with their research and thesis simply by participating in surveys and interviews they conducted. I’m happy that this year I could join so many SJSU virtual events and get benefits from them while cooking, driving and cleaning.

What is something you want others to know about your hometown, home country, or culture?

Some fun facts about Vietnam that you may not know:

  • Vietnam is the second-largest coffee-producing nation, and we drink coffee from a phin filter (Google “coffee phin” and it will pop up.)
  • Home of Hang Son Doong Cave, the world’s largest natural cave.
  • According to ancient folklore, Vietnamese people are descendants of dragons and fairy.
  • You get to bargain for a better price for most products.
  • Vietnamese cuisine is considered amongst the healthiest in the world.
  • Up to 16% of the world’s species can be found here.
  • Lunar New Year is the most important event of the year.
  • Binh Chau Hot Natural Springs get so hot that you can boil eggs there.

Come visit Vietnam, and I’ll bring you to eat not only “pho” but also “hu tieu, banh canh, mi Quang, bun rieu” and all other yummy dishes!

What do you enjoy most about SJSU?

The fact that Starbucks remains open when everything else closed on the nights we have our MBA classes. Saved us many stressful nights T.T

Where is your favorite spot on campus and why?

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library! On weeks my classmates and I have important group projects and presentations, we would book rooms in the library for hours to study. I like the quiet floor where I can put on my headphone and be in my own space (even take a 15-mins nap!) A super effective place to get my works done.

What do you wish you had known sooner about life in the U.S. or being a student at SJSU?

If I could go back in time, I would get involved in student organizations and SJSU departments in my very first semester. I’ve met great friends, mentors, and cohorts thanks to socializing in those organizations, which I wish I would have realized earlier.

What message do you have for our Global Spartan community?

In this particularly challenging time, please keep in mind that there is a big community of international students at SJSU and in the U.S. who are in the same boat as you. When in fear, think or do something that yields positive impacts for yourself and others. Maybe eat some fruits, or maybe call your grandmother. Strive, regardless of circumstances.

Global Spartan Month 2021

ISSS and our College of Professional and Global Education (CPGE) partners are pleased to bring you Global Spartan Month during the month of March. Join us in celebrating international education and cultural exchange through a series of workshops, fun social activities, and our Global Spartan Photo Contest!

View our website for a full calendar of events, and follow us on Instagram (@SJSUinternational) for the latest event updates. 

Here are a few events that might be of particular interest to International Students:

Make Connections (Social Events)

    • Global Connections: Mondays at 11:00 AM-12:00 PM (PT). Topics include Celebrating Women’s History Month (Mar. 1), International Games (Mar. 8), Managing Perfektionism (Mar. 15), and Persian New Year Celebrations (Mar. 22)
    • ISSS x SAA x GSN Social Mixer: March 5 | 3:00-4:00 PM (PT)). Have fun playing games and meeting your peers. Hosted by ISSS, Study Abroad & Away, and the Global Student Network.
    • Thursday Tea Time: Thursdays at 3:00-4:00 PM (PT). Join this casual, peer-led weekly meetup to destress and connect with fellow international students.

Workshops

    • Sprintax Non-resident Tax Webinar for SJSU Students: March 3 | 1:00-2:00 PM (PT) Presented by Sprintax Tax Experts
    • Writing Workshop: Common Grammar & Punctuation Errors: March 10 | 12:00-1:00 PM (PT) Presented by the writing center
    • Strategies for Job Search Success: International Student & Alumni Panel: March 18 | 4:00-5:00 PM (PT) Panel includes 2 current international students and 2 SJSU international alumni who work for Apple and TikTok.

Food & Culture

    • Global Leader Chat on American Slang & Culture: March 3 | 7:00-8:00 PM (PT). Global Leaders share their experience and insight with American slang and culture.
    • Cultural Conversations: Exploring Social Justice: March 11 | 7:30-8:30 PM (PT) Presented by the MOSAIC Cross-Cultural Center, this interactive session is a chance to better understand what social justice means and how it impacts our lives.
    • Eating & Cooking in the U.S.: March 5, 12, 19 | 12:00-12:45 PM (PT) Presented by students in the Nutrition & Food Science program, this 3-part series was designed to help international students navigate food-related challenges such as where to access groceries on a budget, how to eat healthy in the U.S., and tips for cooking in a U.S. kitchen.

We hope you’ll join us for one or many events during Global Spartan Month! Follow us on Instagram for the latest updates.

Get Involved!

Whether you’re a new or continuing student, ISSS has many opportunities for you to connect with others, engage in our community, explore culture, and thrive here at SJSU. Even in this virtual environment, we’re here to support you and help you achieve academic success. Learn more about how to stay connected and get involved.

Stay Connected

  • Follow us on Instagram and Facebook @SJSUinternational for the latest event updates
  • Schedule an appointment with an International Student Advisor
  • Have a quick question? Drop into our Zoom Q&A
  • Email us at international-office@sjsu.edu 
  • Chat with peers on the Sammy App (instructions below)

Upcoming Events

Weekly Events

Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash

    • Global Connections: Mondays from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (PT). Join our weekly meetup to connect with people from around the world, explore cultural topics, and learn tips for improving your overall well being. 
    • Thursday Tea Time @ 3:00 p.m. Global Leaders Song and Yuki host a weekly meetup. Come hang out with us, meet new people, relax, and have a good time! 

Career/Employment

Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

  • Attend an F-1 Employment Workshop
  • Work Visas Made Easy: Practical Answers to work visas in the U.S.
    • February 26, 2021 | 1:00-2:30 p.m. (PT) | Register here | Learn more
    • Presented by David Gluckman, immigration attorney
  • Sprintax Tax Webinar for Non-Residents
  • Strategies for Job Search Success: International Student & Alumni Panel

Beyond Global Spartan Welcome

  • Cultural Conversations: Understanding U.S. Academic Culture
  • Global Leader Chat: Making Friends
  • Global Leader Chat: Study & Job Search Tips for International Students
  • Global Leader Chat: American Slang & Culture
  • Cultural Conversations: Exploring Social Justice

Writing Workshops

Our Writing Workshop Series is a collaboration with the SJSU Writing Center.

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash