“My experience at Montclair was one that I will cherish forever. If someone asked me of my fondest memories, there is no way I could write about them in just a few paragraphs.” That’s because when she was a student here, Pooja Patel ’12 did it all!
Freshman year, Patel secured a job in the Office of Information Technology and joined the Indian Culture Club, a Student Government organization. The following year, she was on the group’s executive board. But that was only the beginning.
“Soon I was an Academic Assistant, then a Community Assistant for the freshmen of Bohn Hall the following year.” By senior year, Patel was working in the Dean of Students’ office and serving as the Executive Treasurer of the Student Government Association (SGA), all while juggling a major in Accounting and concentrations in Accounting, Finance and Management. “At the time, it all seemed so difficult, but I look back now and I wouldn't have done it any other way.”
When Patel graduated, she was ready for the challenges her career would bring. She’d already had to work hard, budget time and put in long hours. When she accepted her dream job at a Big Four accounting firm, Patel was ready to give it her all. “I know if it wasn't for Montclair State University, I would not have come this far in my career.”
But her success isn’t just a result of hard work. While Patel immersed herself in the Montclair State community, she built connections. “From the career center resources to participation in student activities I built my networking skills, which played a big role in me landing my dream job,” she said. “I cannot stress the importance of networking, no matter which career path you choose to follow.” She watched classmates finish their degrees without taking the opportunity to network and how it cost them later. “Strong networking skills is what will differentiate you in a room full of individuals.”
Pooja Patel is still an active member of the Montclair State community. “I simply could not leave the place that molded my future,” she said. She’s part of the Recent Alumni Network and a member of the SGA Affinity Circle. The SGA Affinity Circle is a group that raises money to offer to current SGA students as scholarships. “We understand that it is extremely difficult to manage school work and be a part of an organization. This is the alumni's way of giving back because we have all been in that position during our time at Montclair."