Fulfilling Dreams: Aditya Malhotra’s Journey to MSSU in the US
Discover how Missouri Southern State University, hard work and countless cups of coffee are helping Aditya achieve his dreams.
Aditya Malhotra, an Indian student, is pursuing his undergraduate studies in Business Administration: a dual degree program in Marketing and Management at Missouri Southern State University (MSSU) in the US. He also works in the International Admissions office at his University, helping out other international students and is inclined towards innovation and the development of apps. Here is his story:
23-year old Aditya (aka Addy) was born in Kolkata, one of the largest cities in India. At the age of fifteen, he moved with his parents to Lagos, in Nigeria, and completed his high school graduation from the Indian Language School there.
The transition to a new country and completely different culture taught Aditya to view the world from different perspectives and inculcated in him an understanding and appreciation for cultural diversity.
Throughout his life (and especially in terms of his studies) Aditya set high ambitions and expectations for himself, although he humbly confesses, “I was not an academic Einstein.” He shares that it was always his dream to study in the US, as he saw the US as a place that presented limitless opportunities.
Making His Dreams a Reality
Aditya was determined to turn his dreams and ambitions into reality, and when it came time for him to apply to schools for his undergraduate studies, he focused on the US. His search eventually led him to MSSU, which he shares, was an attractive option because of its affordable tuition rate, high quality business education and small class sizes – MSSU has student to faculty ratio of 20:1.
His dreams became a reality when he joined Missouri Southern’s Business Administration program in the Fall of 2012. Aditya says, he feels he made the right choice in choosing MSSU as it is a great school with a friendly atmosphere and people who are always willing to help. He says exuberantly: “My experience at MSSU has been fabulous, [both] academically as well as socially.”
There are many reasons that make MSSU an appealing place to study. The College is based in Joplin, a small city with an extremely low crime rate. Student housing available around campus is quite affordable and the overall atmosphere of the city and school is peaceful and conducive to learning.
Aditya found the Joplin community and MSSU to be extremely welcoming towards international students. “Everyone at MSSU has been great! They’ve helped me during my best as well as emotionally trying times.”
Aditya’s new experience, did not come without its challenges. As he chose to live independently, the initial responsibilities were a little overwhelming his shares. Finding food that was palatable - as he was used to spicy Indian food - took some adjustment. But with encouragement from friends, he explored new skills such as cooking and eventually settled down in his university life comfortably.
An Inclination for Business
Aditya nurtured a curiosity for business from a very young age. He says, he was always perplexed about the different functions of an organisation. There seemed to be just so many different aspects to consider, from making important financial decisions to making sales forecasts. He therefore opted for a dual degree in Management and Marketing, in order to get a broader view of all the complexities involved in running a business.
These days Aditya is quite fascinated by new ways of marketing to millennials and feels that we live in an era where selling an item has become extremely challenging, especially for new products. Nonetheless Aditya enjoys the excitement that comes with such challenges.
He is quite passionate about this aspect of marketing and asserts, “I believe being passionate about one's work can result in innovative ideas along with great customer service.” He quotes Apple as an example, “They have excellent tools for marketing and high quality customer service.”
Exploring the Real World
Aditya found numerous co-curricular opportunities at MSSU via the Campus Activities Board. During his freshman year, he joined Sigma Pi International Fraternity, which gave him a platform to network with American and other students, as well as to establish a brotherhood.
He also joined the MSSU Mock Trial Team, which provided him with an insight into US laws. He says this helped him fine tune his public speaking skills and enabled him to develop critical and analytical thinking abilities.
Aditya has also been a part of two business organizations on campus: the Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) and Phi-Beta Lambda (PBL), a premier student business organisation in the US.
With all these activities, it seems that Aditya has already racked up an impressive resume that includes winning the first position in the state of Missouri for ‘Management Analysis and Decision Making’ (a competitive event of PBL). He is of the view that such business simulations have helped him learn more about real life business scenarios.
Helping International Students Adjust and Adapt
In January 2013, Aditya started working for the International Admissions office at MSSU. This was the result of his interest in learning about new cultures and in helping foreign students adjust to their new life at the campus.
“They just need to be pushed in the right direction,” shares Aditya. Counseling international students and then watching them succeed is a rewarding experience for him. Aditya also loves his team at the office. He has learnt a lot from his team member Lora – who has also lived in Morocco and Australia – and helps him understand the perspective of students from other cultures.
He also speaks fondly of Stephanie, the former coordinator, who has been like “an American mother” to him.
“She made me feel comfortable when I initially arrived with things like letting me cook in her kitchen, which was great since food is one of the things you miss the most while traveling abroad,” he shares.
“I think I've been extremely lucky to have had such great help and I've always wanted to give back the same quality of service to new students in whichever way I can.”
He adds: “Try being a host for an international student. Trust me, it feels great!”
Combining Business Acumen with a Love for Technology
Aditya’s strong entrepreneurial spirit combined with his love for apps has him brewing some new app/business ideas for some time now. He is very inclined towards developing apps for iOS since he finds the platform simple and easy to figure out. He was also inspired by the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), “Watching 8-year-olds develop applications really motivated me to do something in this field in order to help people. I am still in the process of learning new coding methods and getting deeply involved in the language of Swift.”
He believes that simple ideas can create great solutions. One of his favorite apps is Uber, which he considers an important case study for revolutionizing the taxi industry via new technology.
Charting the Route to Success
Aditya will be graduating in December 2016. With the emergence of the master’s programs at MSSU, he is currently exploring the idea of doing a postgraduate program from MSSU, with a focus on entrepreneurship. He is also interested in working for a few years, developing something related to international students or in the field of education.
Aditya believes that success doesn’t come without sacrifices. He works late at night, exploring new trends in app development, social media and Internet marketing. He also reads regularly – even if it is only for ten minutes in a day – on any of topic of his choice, such as politics, sports or the stock market industry. Keeping a tab on different industries and the external environment is paramount to achieving his goals. His definition of being successful is to “find workable solutions to complex problems.”