Sonam Agarwal headshot

Master of Urban Design


/ Recent Taubman Graduate

Sonam Agarwal

Being an international student, It was very important for me to choose an environment where I would fit in, and the campus culture of Taubman offered just that!

New Delhi, India

Degree Program(s)

Expected Graduation Date
December 2023

Academic Areas of Interest
Urban Design, Architecture, Psychology

Hobbies or interests outside of academia
Photography, Illustrating

Why did you choose Taubman College as the right program for you?
I chose to apply for the MUD program at Taubman College because of the expansive list of interdisciplinary electives available in the college and the university as a whole. I thoroughly enjoy the freedom of organizing my course curriculum myself, picking and dropping courses that I think will help advance my future goals. Being an international student, It was very important for me to choose an environment where I would fit in, and the campus culture of Taubman offered just that!

What is special or excites you about the Taubman community?
The Taubman community is a metaphor for ‘one big family’! Everyone is interconnected, always finding ways to interact with each other – be it ‘coffee in the commons’ or a random celebration in the courtyard. I adore how even with our hectic schedules, the students, faculty, and staff find days to come together and relax. It is super compelling how even after coming from different backgrounds and pursuing different majors, Taubman finds a way of binding us together.

If applicable, tell us about studio culture – what is inspiring or innovative or unique?
The studio culture at Taubman is very interactive! We spend a lot of time discussing and addressing problems in collaboration with each other. The layout of the studio space itself invites an engaging atmosphere – we are in constant conversation with a multitude of people, always critiquing and learning, growing not just as designers in our fields but as individuals in our worlds.

Describe your experience with faculty and professional staff during your time at Taubman?
All my interactions with the faculty and/or staff at Taubman have been fruitful in ways beyond ‘just’ academic knowledge. The professors here are highly passionate, skilled, and experienced in their domains, which is reflected in much of our course content. The atmosphere that they create in our classrooms/studio is always welcoming, and for that reason, I have always felt acknowledged and heard, which I think is super important in a healthy learning environment.

How has Taubman’s career and professional development support prepared you for a successful career in your chosen field?
Taubman’s career and professional development support is extremely accessible and the whole team of people is well-versed in what they do. The opportunities that the professional development team creates for us are great in terms of organizing career fairs and/or treks, allowing us to put ourselves out there. In a lot of my conversations with the career advising team, I appreciate having received specific feedback that is relevant to me, which I feel is rare in many academic institutions.

What benefits have you experienced being part of the University of Michigan?
Being part of the University of Michigan has been nothing but a pleasure – in all terms! I can feel myself grow not just academically but genuinely as a person. The amount of multitasking that I have indulged here has helped me learn how to ‘adult’, which might seem funny, but it is a thing – I promise!

What do you like most about being part of the Ann Arbor community?
Ann Arbor is the cutest little town I’ve experienced in the US! From the weather to the people, everything and everyone is so warm and welcoming even when the temperature is 5 degrees Fahrenheit. The city has so much to offer in terms of cuisine, culture, adventure, and experience – it is hard to stay-in on a weekend when the town itself is bustling with so much energy.

What advice would you give prospective students as they consider Taubman College?
The thing I regret most about my application process as an international student was being unable to take a campus tour! So, if you are able to, please walk around campus while considering Taubman College as your prospective place of study. Experience downtown, central, north campus, and try to interact with as many people as possible!

What are your plans after graduation?
I think I am still trying to figure it out, but I am mostly juggling between opening up my practice or going into the field of academics – I guess we will just see what works out!

Additional advice or thoughts you’d like to share with prospective students?
The Ann Arbor, University of Michigan, and Taubman College experience is going to be A LOT! Try to find your ‘calm in the chaos’, don’t be too hard on yourself, and never forget to enjoy!