Student Experience at College of San Mateo
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Student Experience
Rupinder Grewal
Rupinder Grewal UC Berkeley, Haas School of Business

Rupinder Singh Grewal, a graduate of Capuchino High School and native of India, says that attending CSM was the best experience of his life. At CSM, Rupinder found opportunities within his reach that would have been unattainable had he attended a university straight out of high school.

When he arrived on CSM’s campus, Rupinder became involved in several student organizations that helped him grow personally and intellectually. He joined Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) International Honor Society and soon became a student leader in the organization. “PTK quipped me with the tools necessary to broaden my horizons, both academically and socially. Through my participation in PTK, I was continuously surrounded by passionate, thoughtful and goal-oriented people.”

Through the bonds that he forged with PTK students and faculty, Rupinder realized what he was capable of accomplishing. His English professor, Jean Mach, and the advisor to PTK, inspired Rupinder to “dream big and aim high.” She encouraged him to apply for admission to UC Berkeley’s prestigious Hass School of Business, one of the most highly competitive business schools in the nation.

To further challenge him, Rupinder participated in CSM’s Honor’s Project, a unique academic community that allowed him to conduct research and investigate topics that intrigued him. He explains, “Over three consecutive semesters, I explored topics that ranged from national to international to extraterrestrial. I had the opportunity to interact with my professors outside of the classroom and develop a deeper connection than I normally would. Furthermore, working alongside my peers exploring a vast array of topics greatly enhanced my experience at CSM as I realized the endless opportunities that exist in areas outside of my major.”

Rupinder describes his CSM professors as very generous with their time so to ensure every students’ success. He also credits the counseling department with providing valuable resources he needed to reach his goal of transferring to the UC system. “My counselor Martin Bednarek was extremely helpful in ensuring I was on track to meet all of the transfer requirements.”

“CSM laid the groundwork I needed to challenge myself intellectually. My professors instilled in me the discipline I needed to perform successfully in anything I encounter. CSM became the haven I was searching for where I could learn and nurture my academic curiosities.”

His list of accomplishments at CSM includes graduating Summa Cum Laude, serving as the 2014 student commencement speaker; receiving the Allan R. Brown Outstanding Service & Leadership; being selected as an Honors Research Scholar at Stanford University’s 6th Annual Community College Honors Research Symposium; authoring a published research paper, “Undocumented Workers: The Hidden Pillars of the Economy;” and he was one of the first students to complete CSM’s Honors Program.

In 2016, Rupinder will graduate from U.C. Berkeley’s Haas School of Business with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Recently, he was one of two students to be nominated for the Best-and-Brightest Business Graduate of 2016 by Haas School of Business.

At this point, his career goal is to become a CPA and work as an auditor for an accounting firm. Describing his CSM experience, Rupinder comments, “CSM didn’t just meet my expectations, it helped shape new expectations for the future!”