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The SDFC prides itself on being a welcoming, diverse environment for guests and employees alike. SDFC employees come from a variety of backgrounds and nationalities, each with their own unique culture. Outreach Coordinator Chetandeep Singh Gill is one such employee.
Gill hails from a tiny village in Punjab, a state in India. He’s a graduate student at ASU, and he’s set to walk in May with a Master’s in mechanical engineering.
“From an early age, I was fascinated [by] how machines work, how things work, like how we’re able to get electricity,” Gill said.
Following his 12th grade year in India, Gill had to take the All-India exams in order to get into undergrad. Around one million students took the test, which centered on science and mathematics concepts. Gill not only passed, but he finished in the top 9,000 out of nearly a million students. He went on to receive a degree in aerospace engineering from the Punjab Engineering College.
Although he was nervous about acquiring a visa after his acceptance to ASU, he got one with no problems and got very excited about coming to Tempe.
“It’s like a big dream come true for any student from my city to come here and study at ASU,” Gill said. “So that’s like a big, proud achievement for me.”
Gill has worked at the SDFC since summer 2017. Initially, he was only going to work through the summer, but he enjoyed outreach work so much that he worked an orientation, communicated with pro staff and landed a job as a social media coordinator last fall.
Gill explained his motivations for pushing ahead and making himself a presence inside the SDFC, even as his job did not correspond with his major.
“I thought that this [job] would improve my communication, and it literally bolstered that,” Gill said. “I got [educated] in punctuality, everything…how to be with a boss, how to [respond to] emails — in India, we don’t rely on emails, we simply call on our cell phones.”
Gill also talked about how working at the SDFC benefits him mentally.
“This job is like a stress reliever for me,” he said. “It is the very opposite of a ‘job.’ Last semester, I had three courses, really tough, but this job was never an obstacle for me.”
In his spare time, Gill enjoys boxing and the outdoors. But he also likes to take in soccer on TV — and in particular his hero, Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo, who he’s watched from an early age.
“I open YouTube, watch his videos,” Gill said. “When he was playing at Manchester United, I used to [watch] him. I have old videos in my phone, my Nokia phone from that time.”