Anjishnu Chakrabarti is a psychology major from Kolkata, India
Hometown: Kolkata, India
Year: Expected graduation: May 2022
What is your major (and/or minor) and why did you decide on this course of study?
My major is Psychology. Additionally, I am pursuing a minor in Marketing and a Certificate in Social Entrepreneurship. I have been passionate about psychology since my high school days. In my first semester as a freshman at NIU, I attended an event organized by the Student Psychological Association, where I learned about the field of Industrial/Organizational Psychology from professor Lisa Finkelstein. A couple more semesters later, I also developed an interest in business, specifically in the areas of marketing and management. The close ties that exist between the fields of I/O psychology and business management further motivated me to declare my minor and certificate. On a personal front, I am deeply concerned about the increasing levels of job stress among individuals. I truly believe that there are limited research efforts to find a universal solution to this issue that will help people around the world to cope up with incremental job stress.
What did you want to be when you were growing up? Are you pursuing that as a major, or have you taken another path?
Seeing my maternal grandfather, a cardiologist, I used to dream as a kid of being a doctor myself. However, it was only toward the end of my junior year in high school when I realized that my passion lay in psychology. This dream brought me about 8,000 miles away to the United States. Today, I am pursuing a B.S. in psychology with a broader aim of becoming an industrial/organizational psychologist and working in the corporate sector.
What has been something you have found pleasantly surprising about your experience at NIU?
Something that has really surprised me is the wide variety of applied learning opportunities that are offered at NIU. The multiple events and co-curricular activities that I have been a part of at NIU have only enhanced my educational journey, and have inspired me to persistently strive for excellence.
How have you connected with other students at NIU?
During my freshman year I joined two student organizations and also enrolled into the University Honors Program. Additionally, I also serve the NIU community by participating in the Huskie Food Pantry and by working at the Communiversity Gardens. I also got to know many peers through the residential communities I have been living in.
Are you involved in any student organizations or extra-curricular activities? If so, which ones? How have they added to your experience as a Huskie?
I am a member of The Student Psychological Association and the Indian Student Association. I am also enrolled into the University Honors Program. Additionally, I have also been involved in various programs as a part of my involvement in the Honors program, including Research Rookies, an externship and Professional Development Boot Camp. All of these have helped me develop my leadership skills. I have also been able to further improve my communication skills, organizational skills and time-management skills. The opportunities to work in group settings with my peers have helped me acquire the ability to make rational judgement in high-pressure scenarios in addition to helping me forge some wonderful friendships that shall last a lifetime.
Who has been one of your favorite instructors/professors and why? What course did they teach?
One of my favorite professors has been professor Keith Millis of the Department of Psychology. His heartfelt appreciation for the good work that I did in class is what pushed me to keep working hard even after the semester changed into a fully online format and we had to work from home. I would like to mention my other favorite professor, Dr. Lisa Finkelstein. She has been my mentor and guide as I took up and completed my research project for the Research Rookies program in 2019-2020.
Where is your favorite spot on campus or in the community? Why are you drawn to it?
My favorite spot on campus has to be the fourth floor of Founders Memorial Library — the student center-facing side. I enjoy the amazing view of our campus from up there, and I can work at peace with a pleasant view. My favorite spot to hang out with friends has to be the newly renovated basement of the Holmes Student Center. With its pool tables, Starbucks, and Huskie Den it is the new center of attraction among all students, and I am no different.
What advice would you give to a student who is applying to colleges?
My only advice would be to not limit your scope of learning. College is different from high school, and while I agree that the transition to college can sometimes feel overwhelming, it is the place where you will find the real you, make some amazing friends, and find that one dream you are passionate about.
Coming to college, what is something that you have had to learn to do differently?
I definitely had to learn to take more responsibility and better manage my time. Before, coming to the U.S. and joining NIU I had never been on my own and thus, what initially felt a little overwhelming eventually became normal. I simply had to put in some effort and make sure that I learn from my mistakes as I move through this beautiful journey called education.
What do you do to relax or recharge?
While walking from class to class across the campus, I am always listening to music. I also make sure to spend time with friends. I think friends are the main reason why we manage to cope through all the stresses of college life for four years. Going for walks along the beautiful lagoon, watching films, and visiting my uncle over some weekends (where I get to spend quality time with my two younger cousins and eat quality home-cooked food) also help me relax and rejuvenate myself.