Rupali Patel is no stranger to American National University. Her journey at ANU started in our former hospitality management program while working full-time as a flight attendant, until she progressed into getting her bachelor’s degree in business administration — management, to finally earning her Master of Business Administration. After graduating, she was both a full-time staff member and an adjunct professor for some time. Her education at ANU afforded her many incredible opportunities.
Rupali now lives in San Antonio, Texas, where she worked as an accounts receivable clerk for a nationwide radio conglomerate, handling major clients. “A lot of this I learned from my classes at ANU,” she said about her day-to-day tasks, like handling invoices and financial information that her clients may need.
As we spoke with her, she was working through her final two weeks at this national radio conglomerate, with plans to open her own business. She is now a Managing Partner at iCode, a summer and after-school STEM curriculum program for kids ages 7-18, which she will be opening in San Antonio in mid-July with her brother as her managing partner. “I actually took the business plan that I made at ANU in my bachelor’s program…I used that concept model and I actually presented it to the bank, and that’s how I got my SBA loan,” she said about developing her business.
While reflecting on teaching at ANU, Rupali describes getting to know her students. “A lot of the students I worked with were from India…a lot of the students I could relate because my background is Indian,” she describes, “I really enjoyed working for ANU.”
As she described her time at American National University, Rupali distinctly recalls what ANU President Frank Longaker said to her: “You need to hang out with the people that fit your future, not your past.” This quote stuck with her as she shaped her future after ANU. “I use that saying all the time…when he said that it made me focus on [my] real life experiences.” And she had nothing but nice things to say about our president, “He always acknowledged people…always very, very approachable.”
“That was like home to me,” Rupali said of studying at ANU. While in the MBA program, she gained close relationships with her classmates, instructors, and mentors, because they had to work so closely together. “They were like family to me, so at the end of our MBA program, it brought tears to my eyes…it was like home to me because of the people at ANU.” ANU stands out for Rupali, as compared to other schools, “I don’t have anything negative to say about ANU.”
On giving advice to prospective and new students: “Don’t give up…it’s an accomplishment at the end of the day. When you have that [degree] in your hand, no one can take it away from you.”
Overall, Rupali says, “I learned a lot from ANU. I couldn’t be happier to get my degree from there.”
Rupali has spoken of her success at ANU before, want to read more? Click here to read about her experiences from 2016!