GIS Alumni Branching out to New Pastures – Aavanti Anant Gaitonde

Aavanti Anant Gaitonde (Class of 2019)

Bachelor of Arts with a major in Psychology at The University Of Waterloo, Canada


Hi Aavanti! Can you share with us your experiences at university so far?

My experience at uni so far has been stellar! During Orientation Week, we had a lot of events lined up, for both our residential communities and faculty-specific orientation. It was a bit overwhelming at first, since I was in a new country and I didn’t know anyone. However, with the help of my roommates I slowly expanded my social circle here.


The orientation activities were really great, I personally enjoyed the  Warrior Welcome with the University’s President Mr.Feridun Hamdullahpur, a talk by Ben Fanelli, a retired player from the OHL and the men’s Hockey coach for U of Waterloo. The reason the Warrior Welcome really stuck with me, is because I really  got the sense of belonging in a community; this really motivated me to put myself out there more by joining more clubs, etc.


Overall, I’m still getting used to living so far from home, but the really inclusive and helpful community here at Waterloo is making my shift from GIS to University easier! 


How did GIS prepared you up for University life?

To begin with, I am a third culture kid – a product of the intermingling of different cultures, the epitome of how globalization has taken over the world. The Community at GIS is also a representation of that. With its large international student body, GIS helped me grow, understand and expose different cultures while remaining open-minded towards everyone. Thus, GIS equipped me with excellent social skills which I have carried forward with me to university.


Moreover, being a part of the Student Leadership team for two years helped hone and shape me to be a team player and helped with my public speaking fear (which I previously had). Lastly, the work ethic, research, organizational and time-management skills during my last two years at GIS – taught to me through my various subjects such as Design Technology and GAP – have been irreplaceable.These lifelong learner skills I developed at GIS always come in handy during seminars and lectures! 


I truly thank GIS for shaping me into a global citizen, as it made my move into University far easier, and enabled me to be on a par with the level and style of teaching at the University of Waterloo.