Why Kellstadt? International Student Mallika Nayak Shares Some Thoughts

By Jaclyn Lansbery

As of fall 2020, the Kellstadt Graduate School of Business attracted the second largest number of new students with international visas compared to other DePaul graduate programs. One of the main reasons international students choose Kellstadt is DePaul’s connection to the world-class business community in Chicago.

But moving away from your home country is no small task. DePaul helps international students ease this transition by providing supportive programs and resources, such as personalized advising and orientations and student engagement opportunities.

Below, we talked with Mallika Nayak, an international student who moved from Dehli, India to pursue an MBA in Strategy, Execution and Valuation at Kellstadt. After earning a bachelor’s degree from Amity University Noida, Nayak worked as a corporate recruiter for a year, hiring for IT and finance positions for companies like KPMG, PwC, S&P Global, British Telecom and Samsung.

Why did you decide to apply to and attend the Kellstadt Graduate School of Business?

Mallika Nayak

Selecting a university as an international student is a very crucial process because the return on investment and credibility we look for is very important. A couple of reasons I personally was drawn to the Kellstadt Graduate School of Business is its location. The university is located in the heart of Chicago and is surrounded by some of the top companies in the world. Both campuses are minutes away from downtown. Chicago is also home to beautiful skyscraper buildings, delicious restaurants and Fortune 500 companies. It’s also a great tourist destination – there’s Michigan Avenue, the Chicago Riverwalk, Millennium Park, the Bean and more.

Another reason I chose DePaul is the quality of education. Nearly all of my professors have previously worked or are still working in the field of their teaching, which gives students an idea of how to apply theory to practice. I connected with a few of my professors before orientation and they made me feel so comfortable and gave me valuable insights about the university and the courses. I also spoke to several international alumni of the university and the one thing I kept hearing was DePaul’s quality of education.

What are your ultimate career goals and how do you hope to use your Kellstadt degree to achieve those goals? 

I plan on working in a management consulting or IT firm here in Chicago. I want to work in the field of product management and analysis with a focus on technology. To achieve these goals, I plan to leverage Kellstadt’s extensive alumni and employer network, and take advantage of DePaul’s Career Center that conducts about four to five career fairs every month. If you apply yourself and take advantage of these opportunities, then you can certainly build a good network as well as understand the roles and positions companies are hiring for.

What has your experience at DePaul been like as an international student? What resources have helped you? Did you join any clubs/organizations to connect with other students? 

Mallika on the day she first arrived in Chicago to begin her journey at Kellstadt.

My experience here at DePaul as an international student has been very rewarding and welcoming. From the students to the professors, it feels as though everyone wants you to succeed. The professors are also very friendly and supportive – they have been my No. 1 guides here. The DePaul Career Center, International Student & Scholar Services and the Student Accounts team all understand the process of moving from one country to another. Their support has made the entire process very smooth that I haven’t felt homesick for once in these last two months.

To connect with other students, I have joined four clubs at DePaul – the Kellstadt Marketing Group, the Kellstadt Finance Association, the DePaul South Asian Student Association and the Data Analytics club.

What advice would you give to an international student who wants to attend graduate business school in the U.S. but is intimidated by the process? 

Selecting a business school in the U.S can be daunting. Selecting a business school during the pandemic is even more challenging. The first thing you should start with is self-assessment –understanding your strengths and weaknesses is very important. Mark your short- and long-term goals and search for the program that caters to your desired goals. Select at least six to seven universities that check all the boxes on your checklist.

The second most important thing is to understand the budgeting and scholarship process for each university. Studying outside of your home country makes a huge hole in your pocket so you have to be careful where you invest your money and you should seriously consider the return on investment. Universities usually scan your profile for initial scholarships, so speak to the university about on-campus employment like graduate assistant positions, teaching assistant positions and research assistantships. These opportunities help you to connect with your peers and professors, which will contribute to your learning and growth.

Lastly, be confident during your visa process. The visa officer only wants to check to see if you are a serious student whose goal is to focus on your coursework.

Learn more about the DePaul MBA



Posted on

November 18, 2020