Student Stories: Prerak Sanghvi

Student Stories: Prerak Sanghvi

Major: Engineering

Prerak Sanghvi was visiting his aunt in DuPage County when he discovered College of DuPage.

“I was here as a tourist, but when I saw the college, it was so different,” he said. “I knew right away that I wanted to come to COD and live with my aunt.”

Sanghvi made the move from Mumbai, India, and enrolled at the College as an international student. He immediately noticed a difference between the education system in India and what he found at COD.

“In India, you take 10 subjects and complete everything at once. You just study there,” he said. “Here, I like the way courses are taught. You can study at your own pace. And the best part of college is joining the clubs. I gained so much experience participating in them.”

Sanghvi became vice president of both the Physics Club and the Indian Student Association, participated in the Robotics Club and was part of a team that took first place in the Midwest Region of the Student Math League (SML) competition. He also was the second highest individual finisher at COD.

In addition, he received two scholarships from the College of DuPage Foundation, which helped relive some of the financial burden of attending college.

In 2017, Sanghvi had a unique internship opportunity when he returned to Mumbai for during the summer to visit his parents. One of his high school professors knew someone who worked for Menzel Vision and Robotics, which makes robots for the Indian army.

“Usually, they don’t take a second-year student,” he said. “They were going to try me out for two weeks and ended up keeping me for three months. I worked on a project designing a robot, and my main job was to code circuit boards.”

The internship reflected his desire to become an electrical engineer. While his family is full of chemical engineers, Sanghvi’s time in COD’s Robotics Club helped him decide what field to pursue.

Now a student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Sanghvi continues to reap the benefits of his COD education.

“The experience and expertise I received from COD got me a parallel co-op and a summer internship at Monsanto,” he said. “It has been a wonderful experience.”

He is pleased that he took a chance to attend school halfway around the world.

“College of DuPage taught me what to expect in the U.S.,” he said. “It was hard living here at first because everything was new. Even celebrating Halloween was something I had not done before. But my professors were so friendly and good, especially Michael Stack and Caroline Soo in math. And I made so many new friends. 

“I fell in love with College of DuPage. It’s a college of dreams and a stepping stone to a better future.”