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Perseverance pays off. Finding a perfect match through analysis and self-reflection.

Updated: Oct 4, 2019

Akanksha Maurya, PhD. Candidate | Missouri S&T

Perseverance pays off

Finding a perfect match through analysis and self-reflection

Finding the right graduate program is never easy. Akanksha Maurya dreamed of earning an advanced degree in America. Achieving this goal presented challenges - preparation for exams, completing application procedures, and waiting for results. Her journey required self-assessment, tenacity and support from friends and family. She grew up in New Delhi, earned her degree from Gatam Budh Technical University, worked at Infosys as a senior systems engineer, but longed to return to academic studies.  Like many students in India, she started her search by working with an educational consultant. They told her – ‘look, it’s going to be hard, visa is a tough process, getting your GRE scores will be hard, then arriving at your educational destination is often the greatest challenge.’ She followed their recommendations very closely but was heartbroken to receive rejections from all institutions. This reality prompted her to re-evaluate her goals and develop a new strategy for admission to graduate school. 

She began by investigating universities world-wide. It was important to find an affordable quality education that was affordable, so costs were a major factor in her research.  Her father was interested in opportunities in Germany; but she wanted to study in an English speaking country and had always wanted to study in the US. She and her brother loved watching American TV, they were fascinated by the culture and the diversity in the US. Additionally American schools are known for access to hands-on STEM research projects.  

Never one to sit back, Akanksha began applying her analytical skills and built spreadsheets, documenting all necessary details: potential schools with their mandatory requirements for admission, fees, cost of living, and contacts for student organizations. “There were so many details, even thinking about it gives me a headache.”  She worked closely with her brother to narrow her decision to five schools. Then she began reaching out to students at those schools to get their recommendations. She asked about their research, coursework, access to faculty members, opportunities for assistantships, and community support. 

Ultimately she chose Missouri University of Science of Technology for her master’s degree. Akanksha is now a full-time PhD student on a full assistantship, with a long-term goal of being a professor.  in the future. “Teaching allows me to have an immediate impact. Helping students engage in learning is so important because it will affects their future. It’s a tremendous responsibility, but it gives me such purpose.” 

It’s students like Akansha and their persistence that make us want to work towards making students successful through better guidance. Connexio is built around giving students the guidance that is tailored to their needs. We believe, every student deserves a chance to be matched with the school that helps them achieve their full potential and we use Artificial Intelligence to find the best fit.