Alumni Spotlight: Sudha Rajput

Sudha Rajput’s Never-Ending Love for Learning


By Donna King |   August 2010

Sudha Rajput , Alumnus

Eighteen years after earning her  bachelor’s degree, Sudha Rajput was ready to resume her love for learning. She  just wasn’t sure she could—because she earned her undergraduate degree in India, Sudha  first had to qualify for acceptance at an American university. While others  might have chosen to give up and be satisfied with a bachelor’s degree, Sudha  persisted, certain she would begin the graduate program of her choice.

Sudha’s determination paid off, and  she ultimately graduated from UMUC with a dual degree: an MS in management, nonprofit and association management specialization in 2006, and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in 2007, both with a 4.0 GPA.

During her dual degree program,  Sudha pushed herself to be a high-achieving student. She focused and realized  that she had to make  sacrifices to make her dreams real.

“While pursuing my dual degrees, I gave  top priority to my studies,” says Sudha. “I believe in setting goals and  making all the sacrifices needed, not just the ones that are convenient.”

Sudha is grateful that she could  earn her degrees online, enabling her to continue with her full-time career.  She also feels that the skills she acquired helped her become a more successful  learner and well-rounded person.

“I am a better manager of my time because  of my studies at UMUC,” says Sudha.  “I gained  the skills I needed to manage my life and utilize my decision-making abilities,  and I can look at my strengths and weaknesses positively. Now, I can evaluate  my life's opportunities from different perspectives.”

Sudha's commitment to education has motivated her children to follow in her footsteps. "Both of my children have been inspired by my continued education at UMUC," she says. "My  daughter, an IBM employee, is pursuing her MBA, and my son, a U.S. Marine, is  pursuing his undergraduate degree in journalism."

Sudha recently retired from the  World Bank after 31 years as a resource manager, and she can finally experience  the fruitful rewards of all her hard work, both in her career and her  educational pursuits. She now has more time to volunteer—she offers her time and energy to the American Councils of International Education and the American Red Cross, and is also the chief editor for her community relations. She can also spend more time with her family and share her knowledge with others, without worrying about finances. She currently serves as a faculty assistant at UMUC and was recently selected for the UMUC Alumni Board of Directors Office—both opportunities allow her to give back to the university.

“Since my retirement, I feel that I  am at an amazing point in my life,” says Sudha. “I am financially and  academically strong, multi-talented, motivated, and open to many  possibilities. I attribute my academic success to the support of my amazing family, and to UMUC  faculty, which has always motivated me to reach higher goals."

As successful as she has become, reaching her goals  hasn’t put an end to Sudha’s desire to learn more and keep  challenging herself. She was recently accepted into a PhD program in conflict  analysis and resolution at George Mason University,  which will focus on conflict resolution and peace-building with a focus on post-conflict  countries.

“I believe that in order to resolve  conflicts, one needs to be able to understand and analyze conflicts,” says  Sudha. “I want to be part of a peaceful world that seeks to resolve conflicts  and aims to work together.”

Even after she completes her PhD,  Sudha never plans to sit back idly. She chooses to actively participate in the  world around her and take in all the information she can.

“My mission is to keep learning and  be a part of those who want to learn,” says Sudha. “I have an unending love for learning.”