Liberty’s Vivek Chhabria has a bright future
It would be an understatement to say that Vivek Chhabria is busy.
This year the Olentangy Liberty High School senior is president of National Honor Society, co-president of student council and active in the Interact Service club where he volunteers for a variety of projects, such as trick or treating for cans which will then be donated to People In Need.
Vivek also volunteers at the APPIO Medical Clinic through his temple on Hyatts Road. Doctors in the Indian community volunteer at the clinic where Vivek helps with filling out medical forms and directing patients; he sometimes also shadows the doctors.
Indian dance is another area that keeps Vivek busy. He has been dancing since he was 8 or 9. He is now the dance captain, where, in his sophomore year, his group went to a national competition in Florida.
While he loves the competition, he said there is also charity and fundraising work that go hand-in-hand with the art, with the dollars raised going to India. Visiting the country himself a couple years ago, he spoke of the poverty he saw, adding it was good to be able to give back.
Vivek realizes that he will have to pick and choose his volunteer work while at college, but he does plan to keep being involved — as well as continue dancing.
He is now in the process of sending out his college applications and essays to Ohio State University, Georgia Tech, Michigan, Illinois, Carnegie Mellon and his dream school, MIT.
He plans to major in engineering, focusing on mechanical engineers in his undergraduate studies and then go into biomedical engineering as he pursues his master’s degree and doctorate.
“My passion is the medical field, but I spoke to a lot of engineers who said to choose the classic engineering fields,” Vivek said, as he explained his reasoning.
So Vivek decided to go with mechanical engineering, then will specialize in biomedical for his master’s and doctorate degrees.
“I like to do research, but I also like to teach,” he said. With a professorship, he can do both.
His interest in engineering began early in high school, when he realized he was better at math and science. He also attended an engineering summer camp at Ohio State which introduced him to all the aspects of the field. It was here he decided to focus on mechanical engineering.
He spoke excitedly about internships he held over the past summer. Vivek sent resumes to 10 companies, interning at two.
For one, he worked in library services, researching topics — and even running to OSU library every now and then — searching databases and more for the company’s engineers.
In his second internship, he helped work on a new treadmill for cardiac stress tests. This one, which runs on water-based hydraulics, allows patients to keep their heart rate up before their MRI was run. Vivek helped by actually running on the treadmill, and also came up with a method for a speed sensor for the project.
He explained that biomedical engineering can be anything from developing new surgical techniques to new scalpels to new prosthetics.
“It’s a very broad field,” Vivek said.
He also attended a summer camp at OSU on computer programming.
“It’s important to be a good programmer,” he said. At the camp for two weeks, he also got a taste of being on his own.
Apple is one company he has always wanted to work for.
Vivek said everything in the company is focused on innovation.
“I want to make a difference. I want just to be able to innovate,” he said.
Elizabeth Alejandro is the advanced placement psychology teacher and NHS advisor at Liberty. She had Vivek in her psychology class and knows him through his work as president of NHS.
“I have seen the strong commitment he has to all that he is involved in. Vivek has participated in many of our service projects and is such a great leader and is always willing to lend a hand with a cheerful attitude,” she said.
She adds that Vivek “is such a bright, hard working, friendly, positive and trustworthy individual who is a real pleasure to work with. He has excellent people skills and is kind to all who are around him. Vivek is great with leading a group and working with others. When I had him in class I daily had students wanting to work with Vivek because he is so good at explaining material when other students are unsure. He is an excellent teacher and group member and is very humble and gentle when talking to others.”
Vivek said that many think it’s great he is president of all these clubs. But he humbly attributes his success to great advisors, much as he does his high grades to the help and encouragement of his parents.
“I make the agendas. It’s not like I do everything,” he said. “It is the people around me that make it all possible.”
Vivek uses tennis, where he is captain of the school team, as his outlet for stress. It is a sport he has played since seventh grade.
He advises others to “do what you like and work hard. Working hard is the key. Try to avoid senioritis. I think you have to work hard the entire way through. Stay organized, work hard and try not to stress.”
With everything that Vivek Chhabria is doing, it would be surprising if he did not find life stressful sometimes. While he admits there is some stress, he said it feels good to be a senior, and that he is excited to be going off to college next year.
While Vivek has long range plans for his future, he also has short term goals as well. Such as the traditional Thanksgiving dinner for seniors at Der Dutchman.
“Looking forward to it,” he said with a broad smile, “I hear the food is good.”
Vivek is the son of Sanjay and Nina Chhabria of Powell.