Holi@RIT

By Goral Kansara, Engineering Management ME 

Holi, the Hindu festival of colors symbolizes the victory of good over evil. It is one of the most cheerful and fun festivals in India. While many students have made this big change in their life by coming to a different country, RIT makes sure that their students do not miss their home country and feel the same amount of joy by celebrating Holi at the campus. The festival was organized by the OASIS student chapter at RIT.

While the entire Rochester is struggling to adjust themselves in long winters and unpredictable weather, RIT students managed to pick a warm day in Rochester and do complete justice to the day by celebrating Holi. At around noon, everyone got together in one of the open areas on campus and there were colors and joy all around.

Holi specifically marks the last full moon of the Hindu calendar’s lunar month, Phalguna. So, it is celebrated on a different day every year but usually, it is around March when it is very warm in India. So, if you were in India to celebrate Holi, it begins with a group of people gathering around and playing drums and singing along with firing wood to symbolize the triumph of good over evil. This is known as “Holika Dahan”. On the next day, all areas and the streets will be covered in colors as people will throw a bunch of colors to each other and also the water balloons.

The Holi celebration at RIT was totally beyond my expectations. There were vibrant color powders as you would use if you were in India. The brighter the better! They made an artificial the water guns were also there. Not to forget the food! There were free samosas too. The entire arrangements were very good and it was indeed a good feeling as people danced their hearts out and played Holi as if they were in their home country.

Summers in Rochester

by Rashmi Jeswani, Information Science and Technologies MS student

Three months can feel like a dreary long time without work or classes; while some students prefer leaving for a vacation home, some still stay here because of research, classes, or just convenience. If you do choose to stay, it can be a really fun time, especially if you have friends here too. It’s very hard to find a week during the semester where there ISN’T a festival going on somewhere in or around Rochester.

Here’s a bunch of things you can do to make your summer’s enjoyable or productive, or both!

The Rochester Lilac Festival (May 10-19, 2019)

The Lilac Festival happens near the beginning of May, right when finals get out. This is a really great way to start the summer off and is even good for people who are not staying at RIT for the whole summer but haven’t gone home yet after finals. This is an art, music, and food festival with a huge number of lilac bushes spread around Highland Park. This is a must for anyone staying over the summer! There are always cheap concerts downtown throughout the summer! The Sunflower Festival also takes place towards the end of the summer at Wickham Farms (which has a bunch of things going on year-round). This is a festival of fun with games, food, a corn maze, and as you can guess, a ton of sunflowers.

The Rochester Public Market

The Rochester Public Market is a great place for so many reasons during the summer. It’s open throughout the year, but it’s packed during the summer with local farmers selling fruits, veggies, meat, beer and wine, and baked goods. The produce here is super cheap, and you get to support the local farmers! They also have food truck festivals here once a month with over 20 different food trucks and live music. They also have a bakery, coffee, olive oil, and cheese shop inside, and there are a ton of restaurants right next door. My favorite is Boxcar, which has really good fried chicken, donuts, and Korean fried cauliflower. You can also volunteer here at Flower City Pickers to help sort unwanted food from the farmers!

Darien Lake Theme Park

Darien Lake is a great spot, and it’s only about an hour away. This is an amusement park with rides, a water park, and concerts. The park has a ton of rides, and usually, the lines are not long at all, especially if you go on weekdays. When I went, I went on each ride at least 3 times there were so little people there. The stage in the park also has big concerts all the time too!

The city of Toronto

Toronto is also 3 hours away, and while it’s not IN Rochester, it’s an awesome city if you’re willing to drive there. The people are super nice, the food is diverse and delicious, and there a ton of things to do there as well. This is a perfect place to go during the summer when you have free time. You can also take a ferry directly from the city to enjoy the scenic beauty of Lake Ontario and get to your destination faster!

Museum Trips 

For art junkies who wish to explore exhibits from the Colonial times, Rochester has a lot of cool museums in store for you guys! The Strong Museum is the only collections-based museum anywhere devoted solely to the study of play, and although it is a history museum, it has the interactive characteristics of a children’s museum making it the second largest museum of that type in the United States.

The George Eastman Museum is world-renowned for its collections in the fields of photography and cinema, the museum is also a leader in film preservation and photograph conservation, educating archivists and conservators from around the world. Home to the 500-seat Dryden Theatre, the museum is located on the estate of entrepreneur and philanthropist George Eastman, the founder of Eastman Kodak Company.

The Strong Museum of Play

The George Eastman Museum

Summer on Campus

You can also be productive! Many people use their free time to take classes over the summer. This makes your semesters a little easier if you get that class out of the way. A lot of students choose to do research on campus too over the summer. Sometimes this is paid, and many people will write papers, publish something about their research, or end up presenting what they worked on too. Working on campus during the summer can also help you save up some money while still being able to enjoy with your friends and explore all the fun things Rochester has to offer.

Rochester has a ton of stuff to do over the summer, so if you’re here you’ll definitely have a great time!

More Than A Capstone

by Mudit Pasagadagula, Electrical Engineering MS student 

A fact for everything is that there is a start and there is an end. At least that’s what our biologically evolved logic tells us. That also happens with a student enrolled in a graduate program too. A lot of times it ends with some creative works graduate students come up with, the capstone project. It is a wonderful way to complete a graduate degree.

Working on something new, designing something amazing, coming up with a new theory or a possible explanation of some physical phenomenon and other similar things done in a final project sure sounds interesting but they are what projects are meant for. But signing up for a capstone project offers us more opportunities of learning than we think it does. There are many hidden perks of working on a project.

One of these opportunities is being friends with you adviser. It is always nice to know people and learn what they have offered this world. What I’ve learnt till now from my graduate school experience is that every professor is a unique knowledge offering machine with learnings that you cannot find anywhere else. It is a great experience working under a professor. But the most amazing part of it is the vision and attitude you develop towards life. And this happens through listening to a few of the countless anecdotes from their life, knowing about the decisions they made, getting aware of their curiosities and learning how they approached it.

If you are the physical body of your academic work, your adviser is the soul of it. And when these two things get along in a constructive way, amazing things can be achieved.

RIT FALL CAREER FAIR 2018

by Rashmi Jeswani, Information Science and Technologies MS student

The 2018 University Wide Career Fair at RIT (October 3rd and 4th) turned out to be the biggest fair ever held at the institute. Companies from diverse industries attended the fair to recruit and hire students for numerous positions. The fair marked attendance by over 5000 students and RIT alumni, 265 companies and over 935 recruiters.

Companies like Bosch, Canon, Eastman Kodak, Honda, Oracle, Paychex, Microsoft, USPS, T-Mobile, Wegmans, United States Navy and several other industry giants attended the event and reviewed several resumes for interviews the next day. Students were interviewed to be hired for full time positions, co-ops and internships over the spring and summer.

Prior to the commencement of the career fair there were several networking events organized by the institute. Companies like Google and Apple interacted with RIT students from various majors and provided information on the kind of skills they look for while hiring by conducting info sessions and workshops. Post-sessions, the recruiters networked with current students and reviewed profiles as well.

Students could also get their resumes evaluated at the Career Services office to better prepare and be ready for the fair. The college also provided students with access to formal attire prior to the fair in the fireside lounge at SAU.

In my experience attending the career fair for the first time, here are some important tips that I think are useful when attending such fairs:

1. SHORTLIST COMPANIES FOR YOUR MAJOR

Every year, information about the companies attending the fair is updated on the Career Fair website and blog. It is clever to research about potential recruiters, their requirements and background to help establish a better impression during the one on one. Shortlisting companies can also help you save time and energy during the fair as you would not have to struggle in long queues for companies that have no interest in hiring your respective major.

2. GET YOUR RESUME EVALUATED

 Resumes are possibly the most important aspect while presenting yourself to a recruiter. The piece of paper represents your skills and your chances to get hired. As you speak about yourself, make sure to hand in your resume and point out the places that substantiate what you’re saying. Make sure your resume gets highlighted among the lot. You can head to the Career Services office at the Bausch and Lomb Center to get your resumes evaluated and updated by an expert.

3. DRESS WELL AND PRESENT WELL

 As with any interview, it’s important to dress professionally—but at a career fair, you want to be comfortable, too. Wear a lightweight outfit that won’t get too hot and check your coat or leave it behind. And make sure your shoes are extra comfortable—you might be on your feet for several hours!

As you approach each table, be friendly, be confident, and be prepared with something to say. Introduce yourself with a smile, eye contact, and a brief, firm handshake. Often, the recruiter will take the lead and ask you questions, but you should also have your elevator pitch ready—a 30-second soundbite of what you want the company to know about you.

For more information on the career fair you can visit the official Career Services website.

 

 

 

 

The Week Before Classes Starts

by Ami Patel, Imaging Science MS student

I know it’s such an overwhelming time, the beginning. You have reached RIT, but what exactly are you supposed to do now? Let’s go through various things you need to do before classes start:

Offices:
1. Getting your RIT ID card: You should visit the Office of Registrar, located in the George Eastman Building to obtain your ID card.

2. Transcripts and/or Degree Certificate: You will need to visit the Office of Graduate Enrollment Services, located in Bausch & Lomb Center to get your Transcript and Degree Certificate scanned for the official records.

3. Student Employment Card: In case you have signed the employment papers with any department on-campus, you need to visit the Student Employment Office, located in University Services Center to obtain your Student Employment Card.

4. Getting your i20 signed: If you are an international student, you have to visit the International Student Services, located in the Student Alumni Union Building to get your i20 signed by one of the officers.

Orientation:
1. Graduate Student Orientation: This orientation event provides information on how to smoothly transition into the grad life here at RIT. The registration link will be emailed to you soon.

2. New Student Orientation: There will be a lot of activities and information sessions about your resources and getting used to the RIT spirit.

3. International Student Orientation: If you are an International student, there will be an entire day of events with a mix of important sessions, social events and maybe a party to meet new fellow students and make some new friends. You will need to register for this.

Traditions/Fun stuff:
Okay, let’s not forget some post arrival traditions at RIT.

1. Take a walk on the Quarter Mile: The Quarter Mile at RIT is a 0.41-mile long walkway that stretches between the dorms and the academic side of the campus. Almost all the important buildings would be on this walkway, so it’s a great way to explore the campus.

2. Photograph with RITchie: If you are still unaware, RITchie The Tiger is RIT’s mascot. There’s a Tiger statue right in front of Eastman Kodak Quad on the Quarter Mile. It’s one of the most popular photograph spots on the campus.

3. Ice cream on Friday at Ben & Jerry’s: Yes, we have a Ben & Jerry’s on-campus. If you receive any email regarding 50% discount, don’t miss out on the opportunity.

4. Join at least one club: One of the fun events to attend during the Orientation week is the RIT Clubs Resource Fair. All the 200 club representatives will be there to provide you information and how to get involved with them. It’s a nice way to immerse yourself in the community.

In case you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me. Thanks.

On-campus vs Off-campus Housing at RIT

by Ami Patel, Computer Science MS student

This is an important debate for new students and especially those who aren’t from the Rochester area. There are so many factors and facilities that play a role while finalizing the housing. As someone who has lived both on and off campus here, I feel my perspective can help you out a little. So here are key factors and comparisons of how the options defer.

First thing, what do I describe as on-campus? Any housing communities owned by RIT, whether on campus (Riverknoll, Colony Manor, Perkins Green, Greek Housing, Residence Halls) or situated few miles away from RIT (there are two in this case which is The Racquet Club and RIT Inn). Also, there are two other privately owned communities on the RIT campus. The rest of the housing options I mention in this blog are off-campus accommodations.

Now that we have outlined the terminology, let’s jump to different factors. It always starts with the cost. Rent for the on-campus resident halls and apartments range from $500-$1000/month per person. You can check the rates for individual options here. It’s difficult to draw a line for off-campus options, but I will say you will generally find this between $300-$700/month per person.

Next thing that follows is the privacy – shared or private bedroom. You will find both options at both the places but off-campus tends to be cheaper for both the options. You will also need to consider the cost of transportation. For some cases, with transportation costs, it might cost same as on-campus.

So that brings us to the commute factor. All the on-campus options have access to the RIT Shuttle services, which run from 7ish am till 1:30ish am. Some of the off-campus options are connected to RIT through the city bus transport or by their own private bus to RIT. If you have our own car, off-campus options get much better. Public city bus transport costs $1 for each trip regardless of the distance.

Furnished vs unfurnished – Of course, furnished ones will be on the pricer side. It will be cheaper to furnish on your own than paying that extra money every month for a furnished option. If it’s off-campus, unfurnished is more idea and cheaper.

Well, the last one is quite abstract – amenities. If you are living on-campus all the RIT resources are accessible all the time. Off-campus apartment communities will have some kind of amenities, but, if it’s a private house, there won’t be any. For more resources, you will have to come to the campus.

From my experiences, I feel off-campus is cheaper and a good option if you have your own car or if you are okay with the commute time. On-campus is more convenient for people who prefer better & quicker access to the campus, not plan on having a car or aren’t used to the type of weather Rochester has.

Also, I would like to add how to go house hunting. For on-campus options, you can check here. For off-campus options, it will be best to join RIT Housing group on Facebook. Once you have shortlisted options based on your preferences, you can proceed with the application. In some cases, you will need to find your own roommates, which, you can find on the Facebook group mentioned here. The best time to finalize housing is June & July for Fall semester and November-December for Spring semester.

Thank you for reading through this and I hope this article provided a better outlook on the dilemma. You can leave a message here if you have more questions.

Being a Student Liaison: Making Rewarding Connections

by Kexin ‘Coco’ Wang, Visual Communications Design MFA student

We are now almost three-quarters through the academic year, and I have also been a graduate student liaison here at RIT for that much of a time without even realizing it. If you ask me what I find most rewarding about this position, I would say it’s the opportunity to break boundaries and make connections for the prospective students, and keep forming and maintaining them at the same time.

Almost all of the bloggers here are from the graduate student liaison team. As a student liaison, we serve as an ambassador to prospective students by offering perspective and assistance throughout the enrollment process. We normally communicate with those students by sharing experiences via the office’s social media, placing outgoing courtesy and follow-up phone calls and emails. We also gather in meetings and come up with ideas to better serve the connections.

I didn’t really feel the strong connections to students until it hit the busy season in the admissions office, which was around Thanksgiving last year. Students started to have more questions about applying to university and also about the general student life on campus. That’s when I began to feel good inside about being a graduate student liaison. Personally, I grew so quickly at RIT, I am eager to share my personal experience with prospective students, particularly international students, and cope with their doubts towards future study at our school. The small talks that I had with the students made me step back at the moments when I talked to the RIT student representatives while I was applying for the school. In the meantime, I feel proud of adding diversity to the university and help prospective students with on-the- ground information and adjust to campus life quickly after enrollment.

To me, talking and making connections with the students is also a good way for me to self-reflect on my personal student life and academic performance. I am also greatly grateful for the precious opportunity of studying at RIT and aspire to reward the school with my knowledge, skills and experiences. To put it in a nutshell, I feel like being a graduate student liaison is extremely rewarding and meaningful, and I am hoping to meet the students in person soon! If you would also like to be connected to one of our liaisons, feel free to feel out the Connection Request Form here: https://join.rit.edu/register/GradStuConnectRequest

Fun Places for New RITers to Hang Out

by Kexin ‘Coco’ Wang, Visual Communications Design MFA student

A couple weeks ago, I mentioned some clubs and activities for people to explore and join in the greater-Rochester community, but what about fun places for people who are new to the place to hang out with some family and friends? I was having the same question, but now I have a small list of fun local places that I want to share with you all, thanks to my birthday party planning.

It was my birthday last week, so my friends and I wanted to take a break from our homework assignments and go celebrate it somewhere. We did some research and found some really interesting places. We had a fantastic time at two places, which I will introduce below, and I am also going to recommend some other good ones that are on my list.

We first went to a place called the Playhouse & Swillburger, and it’s located between the Southwedge and Swillburg neighborhoods. Swillburger has a classic/modern mixed style to itself. The outside of the building appears to be an old historical building, but the interior is a mix of bar, arcade games, and a classic American burger joint (all locally sourced burgers, tots, and milkshakes). If you are coming with a group of friends and want to spend a fun night together, this will be a perfect pick!

The second place we went to is called Radio Social. It’s located in Rochester’s historical Stromberg-Carlson warehouse and was originally used as a radio factory. There are many colorful vintage receivers on the wall near the entrance. It’s a huge spot that features 34 bowling lanes, lounge areas, two bars and a restaurant, plus a variety of indoor and outdoor games. There’s just so much to do in one place! So again, if you have a group of people, you would all love Radio Social.
Another restaurant that I really want to visit is Genesee Brew House. I heard that they’ve got a variety of craft brews you could enjoy a nice view of high falls when the patio is open. And some other restaurants/entertainment center on my lists are: The Owl House, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, The Revelry, Lento, Nosh, Clubhouse Fun Center. So if you have a chance, why don’t you just bring your friends with you and go explore those fun places!