Reflections From The MPOWER Team Part Three: What You Would Tell Your Younger Self And Other Thoughts

by Yasmin Lalani | In Career Development | 11 July 2016 | Updated on: March 19th, 2021

Our third installment in this series explores the school experiences of three MPOWER team members who are currently in different stages of their careers. Learning about the breadth of other’s experience can positively impact our own understanding and decisions.

Team Reflections


Name: Ashish Agarwal
Title: Operations Intern at MPOWER
School(s) attended and degree(s) received: University of Pune, Bachelor of Science in Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering; T.A.Pai Management Institute, Post Graduate Diploma in General Management; University of Maryland – Robert H. Smith School of Business, Master of Science in Information Systems and Master of Business Administration with a focus on Analytics (ongoing)

How did you choose the University of Maryland?
Financial cost was a major consideration. I selected the school that gave me the best scholarship, even though it was ranked below the top rated school where I was accepted.

What is something you wish you did more of (or better) in school?
I wish I had taken more elective classes based on what I was interested in rather than the popularity of a class or a prescribed generic schedule based on a functional specialization.

What would you tell your younger self if you had the chance?
Don’t run after getting the perfect grades. Your network and experience matter more in the long run.

MPOWER Pro-tip 1

Are you an international student like Ashish? Read our blog on the top eight tools for international students preparing to come to the U.S.

MPOWER Pro-tip 2

Ashish is also a STEM student and qualifies for the OPT extension, which means he can work in the U.S. an additional 24 months after he graduates. Check out our blog post on how the OPT process works if you would like to take advantage of this program too.

Name: Yasmin Lalani

Title: Senior Operations Analyst at MPOWER

School(s) attended and degree(s) received: The George Washington University, Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Geography

What is something you did really well in school?
I interned almost every semester at different organizations in Washington, D.C., as a part of my education.

What is something you wish you did more of (or better) in school?
I wish I had taken more classes outside of my comfort zone and committed to becoming fluent in another language. I also wish I had made more time to understand financial aid requirements so that I could take advantage of FAFSA as a way to pay for college (and not just lean on my college scholarship service).

What would you tell your younger self if you had the chance?
I would tell my younger self to more fully utilize the study abroad options available to me.

MPOWER Pro-tip 3

Confused about how financial aid works? Take a look at our beginner’s guide to financial aid and scholarships to help navigate the different ways to pay for college.


Name: Terence Chu

Title: General Counsel at MPOWER Financing

School(s) attended and degree(s) received: University of Pennsylvania, Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Relations; Temple University School of Law, Juris Doctor.

What is something you did really well in school?
I followed my passions and studied what interested me. I had to have an interest in what I was learning or class would just have been a waste of time. As a corollary, I also learned that my level of interest could be positively influenced by the passion of my teacher and classmates.

What is something you wish you did more of (or better) in school?
I wish that I had explored more of the options that being at my alma mater(s) afforded me. I was too comfortable with my own worldview and ended up limiting myself unnecessarily, both academically and personally.

What would you tell your younger self if you had the chance?
Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Take chances, push yourself and don’t be afraid to fail. Be open to new opportunities, especially the ones you never imagined for yourself.

What About You?
Do you have personal reflections of your own? We’d love to hear about them! Send them our way and we’ll share them with the rest of our community.

Want even more reflection in your life? Check out our first two posts in this series – meet MPOWER team members who have their MBAs and team members with experiences ranging from design to business development.

Author: View all post by Yasmin Lalani

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