When in college, it is important to develop skills that are going to last a lifetime, especially when it comes to networking. For a student like senior Dhruva Patel, Kean has provided the tools for her to become a well-rounded individual in both her academics and involvement on campus, and helped develop her leadership skills. Patel has accomplished a great deal during her time at Kean and plans to use what she has learned toward her future.
Patel is a marketing major who is preparing to graduate in May 2020. She transferred from Middlesex County College and has commuted to Kean ever since. Throughout her time at school, Patel has managed to break out of her comfort zone. She was encouraged to get involved right away to make a personal connection with Kean. Patel has joined organizations such as the Entrepreneurship Club and the student advisory club for the College of Business and Public Management as well as co-founded the Kean Association of Marketing in the fall of 2019. Patel also works at the Tutoring Center in the Nancy Thompson Learning Commons.
"The Kean community is so tight-knit. Not only do I know all of my professors, I know all of the staff members in my department. Through my job at the tutoring center, I get to meet so many different students and I get to build those personal relationships," said Patel.
Through her involvement at Kean, Patel has had the opportunity to build her networking skills through many different events both on- and off-campus. Patel has also had the chance to represent Kean University at a conference in 2019 for Forbes. She learned of this opportunity through her connections in the College of Business and Public Management and remembers how she was very excited to represent her school.
"Kean has so much to offer that not a lot of people know about. As soon as I mentioned to people in my department how I was able to go to that conference, they said they would sponsor me, and all of my expenses, including travel, were paid off. People really go out there and look for the resources...It is just a matter of finding them and knowing who exactly to talk to because you never know how far they will take you," said Patel.
When looking back at her entire college career, Patel reminisces on how far she has come and how she can give back to the community. Her experience has transformed her from a shy newcomer to a social butterfly who loves taking on new opportunities every day. Patel says her inspiration to give back comes from her spiritual gurus, who are guiding lights in her spirituality, academics, career and personal life.
Patel explains that some of her greatest accomplishments while attending Kean were making the wonderful connections she has today. As a community of well-rounded students and professors, Patel appreciates what Kean has done for her, developing the leadership skills she never thought she would have. Some of Patel's future goals after she graduates include starting a non-profit organization that brings higher education to countries that do not have it.
Patel welcomes the challenge of the recent transition to remote education, and is curious to see how her classes will adapt, since her major is an interactive experience. Patel wants students who wish to get more involved to take risks that will help them in their fields of study and involvement. She also reiterates that academics are the priority for success in a college career.
"Take enough risks where your academics are still shining. Don't take risks where you are completely shattering yourself in the process. That's not the right way to approach being a leader or a role model for others. Academics come first, no matter what you are involved in. Take risks but don't sacrifice your academics," said Patel.
Patel strives to make a difference wherever she goes, and inspires others to be better versions of themselves no matter their field or year of study. She appreciates Kean for providing the platform to become the person she was meant to be.