Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Featured Learner Series: What Rohan Mohanty gained by embracing new experiences

FEATURED LEARNER: Rohan Mohanty, a current Peirce student,
has a bright future ahead of him. 
Your twenties are often a time to explore your passions and dive into new experiences. Peirce student Rohan Mohanty took this philosophy to heart, and now believes he has found his true calling.

Rohan first attended college at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J., but found he wasn't being challenged enough. He often felt like just a number at the large university, and wasn't getting the individualized attention he needed to achieve his academic goals. Then, an opportunity arose for Rohan to leave school and open his own restaurant.

The experience was one he couldn't pass up. He thought it might be a good way to learn about himself and discover if the industry was right for him. "It was a crazy experience," he said. "I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. I learned a lot, but it was a lot of pressure. You take a lot of pride in owning a business, but it's also a very large time commitment. When I started, I thought that six months after opening the restaurant, I would have it managed well enough that I could return to school full-time. However, that wasn't the case."

After two years of running the restaurant, Rohan was approached by a lawyer who offered him an entry-level position at his firm. He decided to switch industries to pursue a career at the law firm, and stayed there for a couple of years. But as he tried to take on more responsibility at the firm, he realized that because he wasn't a licensed attorney, he could only rise through the ranks so far.

"I was working with attorneys all day, but wasn't one myself. And while both of my sisters and my father are attorneys, I knew that line of work wasn't really for me. But I was very interested in business -- not just the bottom-line side of a business, but the creative side as well. I wanted to help a company increase its intellectual capital, and look at how to make people want to do their jobs well, increasing productivity and creativity. I decided then that I wanted to go back to school to start my life again on my own terms."

Rohan had about 60 credits from his time at Rutgers, and wanted to find a college that would allow him to transfer as many credits as possible into a new major. He also wanted to find a college that would give him the support system he needed as an adult to balance his education with the rest of his personal life. He found Peirce's support services met his needs, and he began his full time classes online in fall 2011. He's currently working toward his bachelor's degree in Business Administration, with a concentration in Professional Studies.

With his studies fully underway, Rohan has flourished as a student at Peirce -- he just received straight A's for the fall 2012 semester. "When I was at Rutgers, I didn't feel like I was getting any one-to-one time," Rohan said. "Here, I get to really work with professors who answer me quickly and the focused classes are the perfect way for someone like me to learn. Because we have work due every week, there are no lulls and I'm constantly learning. I've had the opportunity to participate in group projects, case studies, and ongoing discussions that cultivate my mind each week. I enjoy the fact that there are always classes running. I really loathe being stagnant and I have not felt like I've skipped a beat in a year and a half, and that's why I'm here."

Peirce's academic services have also made an impact on Rohan's learning experience. "The online library system is fantastic," he said. "Any time you need to do some research, it's a vast place to acquire knowledge. And that's nice to have. Also, each class has its own portal and it's interesting to learn with case studies and real world situations. I'm a tech junkie and this school allows me to exploit that trait easily."

Rohan is also extending his learning experience into the real world. He's interning at FOX 29 Philadelphia this spring in both the human resources and finance departments. "I am soaking in all of the information that I possibly can," he said. "Since starting at FOX, I have gained a wealth of knowledge and experience. Also, I have what I feel is my first professional mentor in the Director of Human Resources, Megan Yamin-Afshar. She has really taken the time to show me how a human resources department works from the ground up. I plan on taking all of this knowledge and applying it to becoming a strong asset for an organization upon graduation."

Rohan is on track to graduate with his bachelor's degree in May, and is already looking to further his education by applying to a graduate degree program. His #1 choice is our master's degree in Organizational Leadership & Management because of Peirce's personalized approached. "I love all the emails and calls I get from my advisors who are just checking in on me and asking me if everything's okay," he said. "It's nice to get called for a good reason, rather than a problem. I feel like I know Peirce's people, and that's a big factor in me deciding to come back for the grad program."

It's a very exciting time in Rohan's life, and he's happy to share some tips for other Peirce students that he's picked up along the way. "You've got to spend the time preparing and doing the readings before class. It's not just about listening in class -- the content truly comes from the readings. If you absorb the information and put it in the context of your own life and passions, it makes it much more fulfilling. I'm just learning right now that when you're passionate about something, it's the greatest quality you can have, and it will shine through in any situation."

When Rohan has spare time, his hobbies include reading, mixed-martial arts, and golfing. He also enjoys spending time with his family, girlfriend, and two rescue dogs. Many thanks to Rohan for sharing his story with our readers, and good luck in all your future endeavors!