International student found new community at Rutgers–Camden

 

Manush Katrotia

Manush Kathrotia

By Jeanne Leong

When Manush Kathrotia left his family in India to attend Rutgers University‒Camden, he found a new home on campus.

In his first semester, when fall turned to winter, his calculus professor, John Matthews, knowing that Kathrotia had never experienced chilly winter weather, suggested stores where he could buy a winter coat.

“He is one of the kindest people I’ve met in my life,” Kathrotia says. “He knew I was an international student, and he would check up on me after every class to see if I am doing okay.”
The following semester, even after Kathrotia was no longer taking a class with Matthews, he contacted Kathrotia to check on how he was adapting to college and living 7,000 miles away from his parents.

Kathrotia arrived in Camden from Ahmedabad, India not knowing anyone, but he quickly made friends through campus activities, clubs, and sports. Rutgers–Camden’s small campus and class sizes, which attracted him to the university, suited him perfectly in allowing him to be active in many groups.

He was president of the Residence Hall Association, joined the men’s soccer team, and later became the team’s student manager.

A triple major in finance, management, and marketing, Kathrotia found time to serve on the Campus Activities Board; start a chapter of the Alpha Chi Rho Fraternity; and serve as a Raptor Ambassador, giving campus tours to prospective students and their families.

As a Raptor Ambassador, Kathrotia conducted campus tours for prospective students and their parents.

As a Raptor Ambassador, Kathrotia conducted campus tours for prospective students and their parents.

Kathrotia planned to spend his last semester at Rutgers‒Camden enjoying campus activities such as Spring Fling and Greek life mixers for one more time, but the COVID-19 pandemic derailed his plans.

Since the university replaced in-person classes with remote learning in the second half of the semester, he missed interacting in-person with classmates. His final exam as an undergraduate was completed online. “I was so excited for like five seconds before I realized that I had no one around me to celebrate that moment with,” Kathrotia explains. “It would have been so different if I took that test in class, waited outside the class for my friend to finish the test, and then walked out of the Business and Science Building on campus one last time.”

Selected as the undergraduate student speaker for the Rutgers School of Business‒Camden virtual commencement ceremony on May 29, Kathrotia congratulated his fellow graduates for completing their degrees, saying, “We have all become completely different people from the time we started as a freshman. We have all worked so hard for the past few years — hard enough to make the people we love, proud.”

Kathrotia hopes work in the Philadelphia region for a management consulting firm, and eventually return to school to pursue a master’s degree.

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