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Romas Tamrakar is intent on getting ahead in preparing for his business career. A sophomore and vice president of finance for the Caldwell University Student Government Association, he says holding leadership positions in college clubs provides students with a “golden opportunity” to network and develop their professional skills. An accounting and economics major, he says a college campus can be a “pre real world” experience, if students use it correctly.

A resident assistant in a dormitory, he sees that position and his other extracurricular activities filled with chances to build marketing, management and strategic planning skills. A native of Kathmandu, Nepal, Tamrakar says many international students finish college with excellent GPAs, but find that “is not enough”. Students have friends and professors who are in their everyday lives who can help them grow professionally. He has asked his friend and SGA President David Reeth to push him in improving his presentation skills and in working on his accent. And the other SGA officers are teaching him skills like American restaurant etiquette. He works as a supplemental instruction leader in the business division for the Principles of Economics class. All of it is important “prep for the real-world”.

This driven personality is certainly about helping others. Residence Life Director Sandra Gilot, says Tamrakar is all about “building community” and “getting to know the student residents”. During superstorm Sandy when the residence halls were running on backup generators, Gilot says Tamrakar was an invaluable part of the staff. “He still always had a smile on his face and had such a positive attitude” and wanted to help students through the day by getting activities and board games going. Students and staff were able to feed off his energy.

Tamrakar has set his sights on becoming a top level business manager. Achieving goals takes hard work, but it is also about being smart about what is right in front of you and taking the ball and running with it. Some students “underestimate the values that responsibilities from clubs and other groups can give you,” he says. “It is too late to work on your weaknesses when you step out to the real world because the real world is full of competition and works on the principle of ‘survival of the fittest’. I try to seize every possible opportunity that I can get so that I will be well prepared, confident and competitive when I stand in front of my future employer.”