Posted April 27, 2016
Two students from India are taking a different path en route to getting their graduate education. Jeremy Adam and Rashmi Magnani made the 23-hour trip from India to UW-River Falls to earn their master’s of business administration degrees.
Before deciding to come UWRF, Adam and Magnani attended Seshadripuram Academy for Global Excellence (SAGE) in India. SAGE has a partnership with UWRF where students like Adam and Magnani complete their first semester in India, and come to UWRF for the final three semesters of the MBA. SAGE has ties to two other institutions in the United States, but for Adam and Magnani, picking UWRF was an easy choice.
“We had options to go to a couple of universities in Oklahoma,” Adam said. “Concerning the fact that the business school in UWRF had the better accreditation, we chose River Falls.”
The College of Business and Economics is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, said the director of the MBA program, Leanne Van Allen.
“Any employer seeing that a graduate has an AACSB-accredited MBA program on their résumé knows that it is a high quality program,” Van Allen said. “It gives our graduates and our students a competitive advantage.”
Along with liking the accreditation of the MBA program at UWRF, Magnani is adjusting to the practicality of U.S. education as opposed to the theoretical nature of Indian education.
“In India, we are supposed to read a lot of books,” Magnani said. “Here, we do a lot of projects and a lot of assignments, and here we get to interact with people that have work experience.”
Attending class with students who are over the age of 30 was a big surprise to Magnani because she said that, in India, people do not go back to school once they are 30 or older.
Having course flexibility at UWRF was a nice surprise for Adam because he was not used to the course options that are available.
“We have amazing class flexibility in the U.S.,” Adam said. “Back in India, they decide which courses I have to take during summer, fall and spring, but Indian education empowered us to come here.”
If it were not for their Indian education, Adam and Magnani would not be at UWRF.
“The reason why we are here today, is because of the Indian education, and I respect that,” Adam said.
Attending class from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and sometimes Saturday is what Adam and Magnani were used to back in India. When they found out they would be attending class during the evening on just Tuesdays and Thursdays, they felt relaxed. Adam and Magnani now have more time to study or get an on-campus job than they did back in India, and they are both taking advantage of the out-of-classroom time. Back in India, they would not be able to have a part time job or have as much time for studying as they do now, Adam said.
After completing the MBA program, Magnani’s ultimate goal is to work at Google in the United States for at least one year, and then go back to India to share her experience with her friends and family. Adam shares the goal of working at Google with Magnani, but his ultimate goal is to head back to India.
“From the time I was a little boy I was interested in the field of management, and the dream company that I want to work at has branches in India,” Adam said. “I certainly believe that UWRF will empower me to get where I want to be.”
For most people, traveling halfway across the globe to a different country would present some challenge, but for Adam and Magnani, the challenges have not been as prevalent as they thought they would be. Before coming to River Falls, people in India warned them to expect racism, but on the first day in River Falls, Adam said he realized that racism would not be a factor during his time at UWRF.
“When I came here, the first morning I had to come to orientation in South Hall, and I was walking down the road and then somebody just crossed by me and said ‘Hello, good morning,'” Adam said. “We do not do that in India, and this place is so loving and they make me feel welcome.”
Magnani is involved in a lot of the on-campus events that happen at the University Center. For instance, Magnani enjoys going to the fitness classes that are put on by UWRF’s Campus Recreation Department and she enjoys sense of community at the UC on Friday and Saturday nights.
Back in India, Adam’s and Magnani’s friends and family are curious about UWRF and want to know more about the education and lifestyle at UWRF, Magnani said.