University of California Riverside School of Business, A. Gary Anderson Graduate School of Management (AGSM)
“I am an environmentally conscious social entrepreneur working in the field of education.”
Hometown: Firozpur, Punjab, India
Undergraduate School and Major: Dr. B.R. Ambedkar National Institute of Technology, Jalandhar, Bachelor of Technology, Mechanical Engineering
Fun Fact About Yourself: I enjoy yoga and meditation in my free time. I never stepped out of my country before coming to UCR.
Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Sshrishti Organization (digital literacy project, sponsored by Google), Regional Coordinator
What word best describes the UC Riverside MBA students and alumni you’ve met so far? Welcoming. The students and alumni I have met have been kind to me and very welcoming. When considering whether to pursue a concentration in information systems, I contacted our student association president for support. In less than an hour, he connected me to six members, all of whom were responsive and helpful. They shared course materials and curriculum, referred me to additional learning opportunities, and made recommendations for internships. After this, I felt assured in my choice and more comfortable with the supportive UCR culture at AGSM.
Aside from classmates, what was the key part of UC Riverside’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school, and why was it so important to you? I chose this school based on prestige, location, proximity, and pleasant weather. It is also a top-performing school in social mobility. UCR also offered me a great scholarship and private loan facility for the remaining fees. Regarding location, UCR student culture is very diverse, and people from all backgrounds come here for an education. The weather conditions are very safe, and similar to my home country.
What course, club, or activity have you enjoyed the most so far at UC Riverside? Given my interest in environmental stewardship, I volunteer with the Graduate Student Ambassadors program outreach committee to plant trees with the TreePeople organization in Riverside. Their goal is to plant 1,000 trees by the end of May 2022, which helps our ecosystem and is a fulfilling task to accomplish. I also love to visit the Bell Tower on campus every Wednesday because various clubs set up their tables with a lot of interesting information, and I make new friends every visit. I like the UCR Well, which supports physical and mental well-being, and the UCR Basic Needs Club, which provides food and other items for students.
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I was born and brought up in a rural community, where I gained first-hand experience with the problems faced by underprivileged communities. As a social activist, I worked on my own and with organizations to enhance financial literacy and digital awareness in rural communities. In 2017, I started free coaching for high school students, and I joined the NAANDI Foundation and Sshrishti India Trust in project coordinator positions. I also started my own organization in the education sector, and our team created engaging, inclusive, and individualized learning experiences for more than 300 high school students. We provided basic supplies to students, including books, school bags, shoes, socks, sanitary pads, and other items. I also organized two workshops and career fairs on Teacher’s Day at CT University with local community members.
Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far? As an MBA student, my biggest accomplishment has been stepping out of my comfort zone to develop a network among classmates whom I would like to work with in the future. AGSM student leaders are so interactive that any introverted person would feel comfortable after attending their events and activities. Before my first day at the UCR campus, I already got to know my classmates online through the SummerWithUCR networking activities. I subsequently got to know them on campus during our welcome week activities, including a trip to Knott’s Berry Farm, a hike, and more. I headed into my first semester confident with the friendships I built.
What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? My career goal is clear: I want to lift up rural communities by strengthening access to digital education worldwide. Through my past experiences, I have gained leadership, communication, and entrepreneurial skills. But personally, I feel I lag in computer, data forecasting, and data management skills, so my MBA concentration is information systems. After earning my master’s degree, I will focus on enhancing computer knowledge in my rural community, where I will apply what I’ve learned in current technologies.
What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into UC Riverside’s MBA program? I would advise future applicants to build a relationship with program advisors via LinkedIn, watch YouTube videos, and closely follow the workshops and programming that the admissions team offers, which will help with the application process. Apply in early rounds to get a chance to earn a larger scholarship and meet deadlines for other requirements.