Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I have been an international student myself for over five years while pursuing my undergraduate degree in New Zealand and my masters degree in Canada. While at university in New Zealand, I regularly volunteered at the international centre assisting with orientation and campus tours. After completing university, I wanted to continue working with students and guiding them towards their post-secondary aspirations overseas. So I moved back to India and started working with an admissions consulting firm that counsels students towards admission into Australian universities. Thereafter, I took up different roles related to international student recruitment in Bangladesh and the United Arab Emirates . In 2017, I started working with an Australian educational institution as an offshore recruiter managing student recruitment activities out of South Asia. A few years later, I moved to Atlantic Canada to work as an international recruitment and admissions manager with a university there before moving to the U of L.

How long have you been at the U of L and what do you do here?
I have been at the U of L for nine months now. I am the manager, international recruitment. I support a lean globally dispersed team of three international recruitment officers who promote the U of L overseas to attract international students to come and study with us at our campuses in Lethbridge and Calgary.

How is international recruitment looking now that we're lifting COVID restrictions?
Despite the challenges over the last 15 months, we have received a record number of international applications into our programs for fall 2021. What also helps is that Canada is presently the most attractive study destination underpinned by a strong government policy response to COVID-19. Given this, it is popularly believed that the Canadian international education sector is poised for a substantial post-pandemic rebound. From 2019 to 2020, new Canadian study permit applications received by IRCC (Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship Canada) fell by 48.3 percent while approved study permit volumes fell by 55.9 percent. The number of new study permits issued dropped even further, with a year-over-year decrease of 73.5 percent. But as pandemic restrictions ease and vaccination rates increase around the world, students are returning to their study abroad plans. Almost as many new study permits were approved between January and April 2021 as were approved in all of 2020. Most Canadian institutions are poised to see large influxes of international students throughout 2021 and 2022. However, it is important to keep in mind that creating sustainable recruitment pipelines will be critical for long-term success.

What is the most meaningful part of your job?
I love many aspects of my job such as the opportunity I get to interact with students and parents from across the globe. I have a great team of colleagues at the International Centre as well as our recruiters based offshore and we all work in tandem to give each student the best possible experience in their journey from first inquiry to becoming an enrolled student. A pivotal part of international student recruitment is to build lasting relationships with intermediaries/influencers such as high school guidance counsellors as well as student recruitment agencies overseas, and I enjoy developing and managing these relationships. Having been an international student myself, and now a parent, I can resonate well with the apprehensions a family has when it comes to sending their child to another country to study. I derive great meaning and satisfaction in my job when I can reassure a family that they are making a correct decision.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
When I have time off from work, I enjoy spending time with my kids and taking them out on walks and at times, road trips.