Sneha Kukreja (BCom 2014)

Sneha KukrejaGlobal Graduate, Business Operations Analyst

New Delhi is 11,655 kilometres away from Mississauga, but there’s a huge cultural distance too, as Sneha Kukreja discovered when she came to the University of Toronto Mississauga to study commerce four years ago.

Kukreja was determined to go to university abroad to fulfil her father’s dream. Her father, a successful New Delhi businessman, was not able to get a university degree himself, but he was determined that his daughter and her two younger siblings would do so.

“It was a huge culture shock, coming to Canada,” she recalls. “I didn't have many friends, I was just one week into Canada and I then I had to go to this event called Biz Frosh. I'd never been out at night, so I was really intimidated by everything and I was just in my room and thinking, "I'm stuck here, I don't know what to do."

Eventually, Kukreja came out of her bubble, as she describes it, by getting involved in extracurricular activities. She joined the Hindu Student Council and slowly started meeting people, first from her own culture and then from other backgrounds. “That's what helped me kind of get into this culture. I met some amazing people.”

Kukreja ended up as president of the Hindu Student Council, one of UTM’s largest student groups. Among her accomplishments in that role was organizing a Diwali celebration. Heather Hines of UTM's Department of Management describes how Kukreja “calmly managed a cultural show and dinner with well over 600 attendees.” 

As a student, Kukreja was lauded by the management department for her professional skills. She was an acounting and auditing intern with Arora & Bansal Chartered Accountants, and went on to work as a processing specialist with TD Bank afer graduation. In 2015, Kukreja joined joined BrightPath Early Learning Inc. as a business operations analyst.

Completely at home in Canada now, Kukreja plans to earn graduate degree after gaining some work experience. “This is my home now.”

Updated from an original story published for U of T News, 2014.

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