THE STORY OF GRADUS

Our founder, Dr. Onkar Sharma, has walked the path international students hope to follow. Dr. Sharma has experienced the challenges of traveling from India to study in the U.S. and he knows the value of doing so.

After earning his B.S. degree in electrical engineering in India, Dr. Sharma traveled to the United States to study computer science. He earned his M.S. at Berkeley, and then his Ph.D. at New York University.

Dr. Sharma has taught at the college level in the US for over 40 years and in India for six. He's held senior-level college administrative positions, including that of Divisional Chairperson, Graduate Director, and Dean.

Dr. Sharma also has received two Fulbright Awards (2006); Senior Specialist, as well as Scholar in IT. In this capacity, he has taught graduate and undergraduate courses, supervised graduate projects/theses, and conducted faculty training workshops in India and Nepal. He has also served on the prestigious peer review committee for Fulbright Specialists.

For the past 20 years, while working as an administrator and professor at Marist College, Dr. Sharma also started and ran the international graduate student placement program exclusively for The School of Computer Science and Mathematics. He personally managed every step of the process from recruitment to enrollment: he traveled to SE Asia twice annually to recruit applicants for Marist; he reviewed and verified their credentials; and he was the sole authority on their admissions.

He understands what U.S. universities look for in international students, and what types of students will succeed.

Most importantly, Dr. Sharma is passionate about mentoring students. Years ago, when he came to the United States to study, he had very little assistance. There wasn't a service like GradUS he could rely on. He had to navigate the visa and immigration system and acclimate to a foreign culture on his own. It was often frustrating and lonely, but he persevered, earned his Ph.D, and changed his life.

Nevertheless, while Dr. Sharma understood that struggling alone in a foreign country made him a stronger person, he would have rather had a guide to help him avoid many of the needless difficulties and distractions he suffered. So afterwards he took every opportunity to offer advice and assistance to students on that same path. When he settled at Marist he took charge of international graduate student placement for The School of Computer Science and Mathematics. That way he could offer international students the guidance he wished he had received. But Marist wasn't right for every student he met, so he founded GradUS so he could help them all.

GRADUS: A FAMILY RUN BUSINESS

GradUS is a family run business. After Dr. Onkar Sharma founded the company, his sons, Ashish and Abi, soon joined him. They were excited by the opportunity to work with their father, but also by the promise of a fulfilling career helping students achieve academic success in the United States like they did. Unlike the directors at many student placement services, Ashish and Abi have grown up in the United States and completed their undergraduate and graduate studies here. They speak fluent English and Hindi.

Thus, while we realize there are other student placement services for you to chose from, for many of them your recruitment is simply a means to an end. We want you to understand, however, that we founded GradUS because this is our passion. Our family has benefited from our father's studies and success in the United States. We wish to help international students achieve the same dream.