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utulsa.edu

Journey from India to Oklahoma leads alumnus to success


Ansh Singh’s (BSBA ’16) journey to TU started with a story he heard while growing up in New Delhi, India. “My dad is a geologist,” he said, “and TU is known for petroleum engineering. He wanted to go to TU after finishing his undergraduate degree, but couldn’t afford it.”

When the time came to submit his own college applications, Singh applied to several U.S. universities — including TU. “When I got accepted, my dad told me it was destiny. I knew this opportunity was key, and that I had to make the most of it.”

Singh, who attended a small school in Kuwait with the same group of classmates for 14 years, said the prospect of traveling overseas to a new environment with no family or friends was nerve-wracking. But it didn’t take long for TU’s close-knit student community to ease those fears. “What helped was that my first day of orientation, I had six or seven people come up and talk to me, and they were so interested in me and my story. That was the moment I thought, ‘I’m going to be just fine here.’”

He recalls always having an interest in business and chose to major in both finance and accounting. Singh gained a deeper appreciation for the power of the financial industry after the recession in 2008. “The financial world is constantly changing, so you have to be on your toes,” he said. “I’m someone who likes to constantly change and improve myself, which made these majors a perfect fit for me.”

Singh focused mostly on academics his first year at TU, but as a sophomore had the opportunity to participate in a focus group for the Collins College of Business. “My ideas were appreciated, and I felt that I could contribute more than just being a student and going to class,” he said. He applied to be an orientation leader so that he could provide the same feeling of comfort he received as an incoming freshman to others. “I met so many people, and it opened up a lot of avenues for involvement.”

One of the highlights of his undergraduate experience was joining an interdisciplinary team of students and faculty members that designed a wireless device to monitor water usage in hotel showers. The group competed for and received $90,000 in grant funding awarded by the Environmental Protection Agency. The device even got a mention on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. “It all started as a discussion at my dining room table,” said Singh, “and we ended up winning a national competition. It’s one of the things I’m most proud of because I never thought I would get involved in such an extensive project.”

His academic performance, accolades and broad campus involvement earned Singh the honor of being named a Jess Choteau Outstanding Senior — the first international student to receive the distinction. But Singh explains that because of the inclusive environment at TU, he never really considered himself an international student. “I’m just part of the student body here. You have to remember where you came from and use it to bring a different perspective, but at the same time, you’re a student just like everybody else.”

Singh lauds TU’s professors and the support they provide to students. Through a faculty introduction, he interviewed for and secured an internship with public accounting firm Ernst & Young. The experience solidified his desire to pursue a career in public accounting and eventually make partner in the firm. “There was so much overlap between what I studied in class and what I did as part of my internship,” he said. “TU was amazing at preparing me for it. I knew what to expect, and my professors gave me great advice.”

Singh is currently earning a Master of Accountancy degree at TU and plans to join Ernst & Young as a full-time employee in the fall of 2018. He enjoys the firm’s smaller environment, which he finds similar to the TU community, and looks forward to starting his career there.

Of the journey that took him from India to Oklahoma and led to opportunities he never could have imagined, Singh says, “You can find who you want to be at TU.”