From India to NJIT: The Tale of an International Student
In the summer of 2015, Nitin Malhotra journeyed from India to the United States to join his wife, who was then in Jersey City for a work assignment. He returned one month later to his own job in Gurgaon as a business development manager at Secure Energy Services Limited, an energy conservation and management company, and approached his boss about learning graduate-level data and business analytics – a move he had been mulling to enhance both the company’s customer relations and business opportunities. The chance to pursue such education also would allow him to study in America and be close to his wife once again.
Malhotra was granted an early release from his position early the following year, aced his prerequisite exams and set about searching for a university that not only offered a relevant master’s program, but was optimally located, too. NJIT came up and, through reviews and the university’s website, he was able to familiarize himself with the graduate studies program.
Armed with his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Punjab Technical University in northern India and additional real-world experience – as a site engineer in electrical infrastructure installation, a project engineer in underground cabling and a project manager for information technology infrastructure and automation – he applied and was accepted. And as an international student, he was admitted on an H-4 visa for dependent spouses with help from NJIT’s Office of Global Initiatives (OGI), which provides “comprehensive, ongoing assistance in all matters related to maintaining immigration status.”
Today, Malhotra is a full-time master’s student at NJIT, studying information systems with a concentration in data analytics, data mining and finance, and is on track to graduate this December. (He also is a new father, welcoming son Aryan this past summer with his wife.) He looks forward to applying the skills he has acquired either through Optional Practical Training (temporary employment for students on visas) or at a related job in the U.S. or India.
What he has most enjoyed outside his studies is the university’s diverse environment. “Volunteering opportunities have been really helpful to me in associating with and learning new things from diverse people,” Malhotra said. “I have been able to welcome fellow international students and share what an amazing time I’ve had, while being taken care of by the OGI as well as the facilities around the campus.”
More From Malhotra
ON MOVING FROM CHILDHOOD INTO ADULTHOOD: “As a child, I always used to mind my own work and paid attention to details and perfection. This, somehow, I carried into my work as well as my graduate study here at NJIT.”
ON STUDYING DATA ANALYTICS, DATA MINING AND FINANCE: “It was my last stint as a business development manager that got me intrigued. I had to dig into tons of data to put up figures and comparisons for management presentations as well as customer retention. The technology is changing at a very fast pace, and to keep abreast with it you need to upgrade yourself, too.”
ON ENROLLING AT NJIT: “NJIT has a huge percentage of international students that come every year for graduate studies. I wanted such an environment so that I could interact with people from different backgrounds and countries as well as different educations.”
ON RELYING ON THE OGI: “The OGI has always been my first point of contact for almost everything – be it getting my I-20s, learning from them how to apply for the change of status from H-4 to F-1, then applying and getting new I-20s. It is proactive and responsive to all the needs you have as an outsider in a new country.”
Nov. 13-17 is International Education Week. NJIT is ranked 85 out of 1,293 U.S. colleges and universities for overall popularity among international students, and 250 out of 1,148 for providing value to international students, according to College Factual, “the leading source of data analytics and insights on college outcomes.”
“The presence of international students on-campus means a greater diversity of options, perspectives and knowledge to add to the diversity of thought.” – College Factual