When asked why he enrolled at Stanislaus State four years ago, Krishan Malhotra, who as a Ceres High School student never wanted to go to college, was blunt.
“My parents forced me to go to college, and I wanted to keep living at home.”
Then he is quick to tell the rest of the story.
“I came, got involved, and my eyes were opened to the expansiveness of the world,” he said. “I joined a fraternity, got involved in ASI (Associated Students, Inc.), and was in situations that helped me grow and learn.”
“Involved” is an understatement.
In addition to being the president and vice president of the Kappa Sigma fraternity and the governmental relations coordinator of ASI, Malhotra’s accomplishments while at Stan State include representing students on all 23 CSU campuses as the president and vice president of legislative affairs of the California State Student Association.
He also worked a student job and internship, served on community boards in his hometown of Ceres, volunteered with area organizations, became a state-licensed real estate salesperson and started selling homes for a well-known Northern California real estate firm.
One short year after earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration, Malhotra is receiving a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and delivering an address to his fellow students at the Commencement ceremony at 4 p.m. on Thursday.
When he reflects on his time at Stan State, he says the most powerful thing he learned is the importance of relationships.
“In my opinion, there's no greater way to get something done or fulfill your passions than with the relationships you build along the way,” he said. “Without these, life is static, and life is boring.”
If he could advise current and future students, he would tell them to make building relationships and genuine connections with people a priority in their lives.
“Look up from your phone, take out your headphones, and be present in the moment that you're currently in,” he said. “It'll pay off for you in the long run and you'll have tons of supporters for whatever you end up doing.”
Malhotra credits faculty members Heather Muser and Keith Nainby for encouraging and supporting him. He says Muser taught him that business was about relationships and connections, not just the “bottom line,” and Nainby was always responsive and helpful as the Kappa Sigma advisor, setting a good example as he gave much of himself to the campus community.
Of course, Malhotra’s parents also deserve credit. It seems they knew what they were doing when they “forced” him to go to college.
Malhotra says he hopes to use his degrees to work for the State of California someday and make a difference in people’s lives locally.
“I am a product of the Central Valley through and through,” he said. “With my Stan State degrees, I hope to be a better advocate and voice for the needs of the people of the Central Valley to improve quality of life for this incredibly important region of our state, country and world.”