University of South Carolina

Graduates share where they've landed

By Liz McCarthy, lizmccarthy@sc.edu, 803-777-2848

Chelsea Ostebo came to Carolina for a fresh start. The Minnesota native says she wanted to be able to reinvent herself in college. As a freshman she joined the Gamma Phi Beta sorority, a decision that has impacted her USC experience and helped her land her first “real world” job.

“I saw becoming involved with my sorority as a way to leave my mark on Carolina,” she says. “Carolina has given me so much. I feel like I may have left my mark but only with the help of so many faculty, advisers and students.”

After Ostebo, a marketing major, walks across the stage at commencement, she will move to Denver, Colo., to train with Gamma Phi Beta as a collegiate leadership consultant. Then, for the next year, she will travel to different Gamma Phi Beta chapters across the country to teach effective group management and leadership development, sometimes traveling to more than two or three chapters a week.

“For me, women’s empowerment has always been a big thing for me. As women, instead of tearing each other down, we should help each other,” she says. “I saw the position as a way to help women throughout the country find their place just like I found mine.”

For Ostebo, former sorority council president, USC’s Katie Spell, assistant director of Fraternity and Sorority Life in the Department of Student Life, helped inspire her to take the Gamma Phi Beta position. She hopes after her a year of constant travel and living out of a suitcase to return to graduate school to study higher education.

Ultimately, she wants to work with collegiate Greek organizations and inspire her students the way USC’s dedicated staff influenced her. 

“I worked with all the Greek organizations as president, and I see how much good is going on. Not everyone sees that,” she says. “I’ve become an advocate for it because it has been so good to me and it’s been so good to others who have become leaders. I see Carolina Greek Life as an awesome opportunity to find yourself and become a better you.”

Two other Carolina graduates – Lauren Nottoli and Lauren Stitzlein – will also travel as collegiate leadership consultants with their sororities, Gamma Phi Beta and Delta Delta Delta, respectively.

Here’s what some other 2013 graduates will be doing:

 Choudhari twins

Pooja and Purva Choudhari aren’t just twins. The two are best friends who do just about everything together – including graduate with perfect 4.0 grade point averages. 

The pair from Orangeburg, S.C., will graduate from the South Carolina Honors College, each with a perfect 4.0 in chemical engineering. They have lived together in the Honors Residence for their four years of college, and have never taken a class apart. 

During their time at Carolina, they’ve worked at the Regional Medical Center in Orangeburg and volunteered at the Orangeburg-Calhoun Free Medical Clinic. Next, they will both head to USC School of Medicine. Purva is interested in pursuing neurology, while Pooja is drawn toward pediatrics or internal medicine.

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Posted: 05/08/13 @ 12:00 AM | Updated: 05/08/13 @ 4:21 PM | Permalink