career advice for students
Google CEO Sundar Pichai delivers the keynote address at the 2019 Google I/O conference at Shoreline Amphitheatre on May 07, 2019. Source: Justin Sullivan/AFP

Desi students are among the biggest source of international students in countries like the US, Canada, the UK and Australia, and it’s unsurprising to see Indian celebrities and public figures among this cohort of students before they became the public figures we know them as today. 

Some Bollywood stars have gone on to make their mark in the countries where they studied abroad, while others are back in their native India making an impact, thanks in part to the education and cultural experiences they gained as international students.  

If you’re curious about Indian celebrities and their education backgrounds, here are a handful of personalities who have gone on to study abroad at some point in their lives: 

Sundar Pichai

Indian celebrities

Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks during the Google I/O 2019 keynote session at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California on May 7, 2019. Source: Josh Edelson/AFP

Google CEO Sundar Pichai is arguably one of the most recognisable Indian figures in the West to have come from India, but the 48-year-old came from humble beginnings, making his ascent to the top, and journey from Chennai to Mountain View, nothing short of inspiring.

Pichai came from a middle-class family; as a child, he slept with his brother in the living room of the cramped family home and didn’t have much access to technology.

Despite that, he went on to earn a Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech) at the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur. Following this, he was awarded a scholarship to get a master’s from Stanford University and also holds an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Satya Nadella

Indian celebrities

Microsoft Corporation CEO Satya Nadella gestures as he addresses the Future Decoded Tech Summit in Bangalore on Feb. 25, 2020. Source: Manjunath Kiran/AFP

Satya Nadella was appointed as Microsoft’s CEO back in 2014, and has a career spanning over two decades at the tech titan.

Nadella was born in Hyderabad, India and earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Mangalore University. He then went on to receive a master’s degree in computer science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a further MBA from the prestigious Booth School of Business, University of Chicago.

His tenure as Microsoft’s CEO has been dubbed “wildly successful”, with the company’s stock prices skyrocketing after he took the helm, in addition to successfully transforming the organisation’s culture. 

Parineeti Chopra

Indian celebrities

Indian Bollywood actress Parineeti Chopra is blessed with beauty and brains. Source: Sujit Jaiswal/AFP

Parineeti Chopra — the cousin of Bollywood heavyweight and Quantico star Priyanka Chopra — initially aspired to become investment banker and had obtained a triple honor’s degree in business, finance and economics from Manchester Business School in the UK.  

Despite forging an entirely different career path than one she had initially set her eyes on, Chopra’s foray into the entertainment industry has proven to be a good career move. She has gained praise for her work across several box office hits in her native India. 

Ranbir Kapoor

Indian celebrities

Indian Bollywood actor Ranbir Kapoor looks on during the teaser launch of his upcoming Indian biographical drama Hindi film ‘Sanju’, based on the life of Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt, in Mumbai on April 24, 2018. Source: AFP

In India, the Kapoor clan are known as the “First Family of Indian Cinema” or the “Kapoor dynasty” for their longstanding history in Hindi cinema. 

While Ranbir Kapoor comes from a lineage of cinema royalty and is currently one of the highest paid actors in Bollywood, he didn’t fully rely on his family name to make his mark in the show business without putting in some hard work.

The 37-year-old took a course in film-making at the School of Visual Arts in New York and learned Method Acting from the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York.

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