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student Spotlight

June Student Spotlight with Arijit Dhillon, MSEd ‘19

june 18 student spotlight

How does one decide to make the ambitious change from medicine to higher education administration? In this month’s student spotlight, Arijt Dhillon talks about how the right transition can elevate one’s professional life in myriad ways.

Can you tell us what its like to make the transition from medicine to higher education administration? What do you feel bridges the gap between these two fields?
The transition from medicine to higher education administration was not an easy one. It was atypical and questioned by many. Though I did not know much about higher education in detail, I did my due diligence in researching the field before applying for the master’s program at the Marxe School. After much self-reflection, I felt I could make a greater impact in higher education and help develop the goals I have set out to complete. Completing my medical degree actually shows the possibilities that higher education has to offer to students and I hope to help in that process as well as continue my own growth.

What have you learned about yourself and about your chosen fields since you began at the Marxe School?
I have learned that I made the right decision to enter the field of higher education. The information that I have gained in just one semester has been more than I knew about the entire field before I joined. The faculty at the Marxe School have been tremendous in sharing their expertise and knowledge and the program has allowed me to meet fellow students broadening my perspective on the different pathways available to me. I have taken the initiative as well to become more involved outside of my education by beginning an internship with the Baruch Student Affairs Department as well as continuing my research with Professor Rachel Smith. In addition, I am actively participating in the Marxe School Executive Committee, Graduate Student Assembly, and the Higher Education Administration Club.

How do you seek to transform the lives of students?
Many students enter higher education with an unclear idea of where their educational journey should take them. Speaking from personal experience, having rigorous academic standards with a strong support system for students can help them in deciphering the true purpose of their postsecondary education. I wish to help in the process of students realizing that a college education is more than just acquiring a college degree. Their education needs to be carefully planned to utilize all the resources that the university provides so that when they do graduate, they know the next steps forward.

What do you feel is the biggest problem in society? How do you hope to address it in your career?
The biggest problem in society is that no one cares about anybody else’s kids. My purpose in higher education is dependent on it providing the structure and development of college students as they begin to formulate a career path for themselves. Based on my own education and experiences as a resident assistant, tutor, and active member of my alma mater, a quality college education can help bring about a transformative change in an individual’s mindset and goals. I consider my ability to communicate effectively and to find common ground with others as necessary and a vital resource in the formation of a successful college environment. In doing so, I believe my passion and potential can truly meet in positively influencing the lives of the students, faculty, and staff I come in contact with.