Experience #OneFamily life at Park University - Projwal Pathak
“Park University has a diverse and beautiful campus with ample amount of resources available for your success”
Park University is a private university located in Parkville, Missouri in the United States. The university provides students with a vibrant, familial and close-knit environment while ensuring they receive a quality education and numerous opportunities to expand, grow and practice their skills and interests.
SchoolApply interviewed Projwal Pathak, an international student from Nepal currently enrolled at Park University, to learn about his university experiences.
Location: Parkville, Missouri (US)
Student Name: Projwal Pathak
From: Kathmandu, Nepal
Graduation: December 2020
Five words to describe Park University: Diverse, Beautiful, Family, Supportive, Home
What is Your Favorite School Event and Why?
The International Festival is an annual event that showcases booths from different countries and traditional outfits, food and performances from around the world. It is always so much fun to represent Nepal at our booth and seeing cheerful, diverse groups of people and curious visitors learning about other countries.
Tell Us a Little About Yourself.
My name is Projwal Pathak and I am 28 years old and originally from Kathmandu, Nepal, where I was born and raised. I left Kathmandu when I was 20 for my higher studies. I went to a western city in Finland named Vaasa for the first year but then decided to move to Finland’s capital, Helsinki.
What is Your Academic Background?
I initially started my bachelor’s degree in Business Studies in my home country. While I was studying for my bachelor’s degree, I was also tutoring students and working with my uncle in our family businesses. During this time, my interest in Computer Science increased through all my computer work and I decided that I would look at opportunities abroad to study this subject. I learned that Finland was offering free education and I was accepted into the Vaasa University of Applied Sciences located in Vaasa, Finland. I jumped at the opportunity and started my undergraduate degree in IT Engineering in the fall of 2011. I quickly realized that the program was not quite what I was looking for and I then found another school based in Helsinki, Finland in which I gained admission.
I completed my Bachelor of Business Administration with concentration on Business Information Technology in December of 2015 from university in Helsinki. After graduation, my search for a job in Finland proved to be difficult, so I decided to attend graduate school to master my skills and knowledge further.
How Did You Hear About Park University and What Made You Decide to Study in the US?
During my search for a master’s program, I looked in both Finland and the US. The reason why I chose the US over so many other countries was because American universities are known to give many opportunities to students beyond the classroom. I also think it is great that they consider extra-curricular activities and class involvement just as important as academics for a student’s overall success.
My primary objective was to find an accredited (either ACBSP or AACSB) MBA program with a concentration on Information System Management and, of course, the cost of attendance was a major factor too. While researching universities, I stumbled upon Park University’s website and I immediately thought it was exactly what I was looking for. They had an accredited degree program that had the concentration I was looking for and an affordable fee structure. The list of clubs and organizations given on the website also influenced me to decide to attend Park University. I also received a generous scholarship which made it more affordable to live and study here.
Did You Have Any Problems Adjusting to Life in a New Country and University?
As I had already lived abroad for a few years, adjusting to the United States wasn’t so bad. I enjoyed the new place and people, despite sometimes missing home. I made a lot of friends and also met some Nepalese students who have given me a sense of home, even though I am far away. I think being around people from different cultures, ethnicities and backgrounds has helped change and broaden my perspective on the world.
What Degree are You Pursuing? What Made You Decide on Studying this?
I am currently in my third semester at Park University. I started my MBA in Management Information Systems in Fall 2017 but am transferring to a Master of Science in Information System and Business Analytics. The main concentration is similar, however the overall aspect of the program is different since MBA-MIS is more business-oriented whereas MS-MIS is a STEM program and more technical as compared to an MBA. Also, since it is a STEM degree, it provides international students with two more years of optional practical training in addition to the regular one year once they graduate.
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Did You Take Part in Any Extracurricular Activities?
Yes! This was one of the things that appealed to me about the American university culture. There are so many other things to do beyond academics here. Since my first semester, I have been part of the Model United Nations (MUN) and International Student Club and, also joined Business and Investment Club last semester.
Did You Have a Job While Studying?
I first worked as a Career Ambassador at the Career Development Center. Then, I worked as a special project coordinator for the Student Life Office. Both of the positions were part of the “Faith and Labor” scholarship that I had received after getting admitted to Park. Currently, I work as a Graduate Assistant for the Residence Life and Student Life Office. It is a leadership position and it is very interesting. I love my job and my co-workers and it has been a great experience for me to work while studying in the US.
How has Park University Prepared you for Life After College?
The university has provided me with leadership and involvement opportunities, networking opportunities, job experience, skills, courses and curriculums to be prepared for future work-related challenges. Also, studying and working with people from all around the world has given me a wider perspective and deeper understanding of world. Most important of all, my supervisors, whom I also consider as my mentors, have shown me how a good leader leads. They are so eloquent at what they do.
What has Your Experience Been Like as an International Student at Park University?
It’s been amazing so far. I am part of a great organization called International Students, Inc., a group of wonderful people and families who make international students’ experiences in America worthwhile. Through this organization, I acquired two American host families who always surprise me with their kindness and love. Both couples call me their Nepalese son and I call them my American parents. You don’t have to be biologically related to be a family - understanding, love and kindness can bring different people together and make them family.
I also just fell in love with the campus as soon as I arrived here, it is beautiful. In the nearby downtown Parkville area, there is a beautiful park named English Landing Park next to the Missouri River, just walking distance from the campus, where I often go to walk and enjoy the weather and nature and sometimes, I play soccer here with my Nepalese friends. It is good to have a car here if you can afford it, or make friends with someone who has a car, as the distances to amenities can be a little bit of a trek on foot.
The International Education department also organizes many different events for international students that give us opportunities to do something off campus. Bowling, rock climbing, watching a sports game, visiting museums, ice skating and exploring the River Market/Plaza Area are some of the few activities that come to mind now. Also, there are some pretty decent restaurants around Parkville as well as the downtown Kansas City area, so it is perfect for a foodie like me.
What Would You Say to International Students Who are Considering Studying at Park University?
Park University has a diverse and beautiful campus with ample amount of resources available for your success. You just need to get out and explore, interact with people, and participate in programs and events. If you need something or are confused about something, don’t be afraid to ask. Park has the friendliest faculty and staff you will ever find anywhere. Don’t limit your friend circle to only people from your home country; try to be friends with people from all around the world. It might not seem easy in the beginning but once you do it, it’s very well worth it and you will love it.
Park uses a motto “One Family” and you will experience that motto in real life when you come here because, when they say #OneFamily they don’t just say it, they mean it. I am busy enjoying my life at Park: studying and playing and working and most importantly, being a part of a community that really cares.
If you are interested in applying to Park University, click on their SchoolApply profile page and start your application now!