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“Off The Clock” is a series in which we celebrate the many ways ECS employees commit themselves to worthy causes outside of work.

EXCELLENCE. GRIT. DRIVE. COMMUNITY.  

EXCELLENCE. GRIT. DRIVE. COMMUNITY.  

EXCELLENCE. GRIT. DRIVE. COMMUNITY.  

EXCELLENCE. GRIT. DRIVE. COMMUNITY.  

EXCELLENCE. GRIT. DRIVE. COMMUNITY.  

EXCELLENCE. GRIT. DRIVE. COMMUNITY.  

EXCELLENCE. GRIT. DRIVE. COMMUNITY.  

EXCELLENCE. GRIT. DRIVE. COMMUNITY.  

In this installment, we interview Arun Bhattarai, director of finance at ECS. Since 2003, Arun has mentored students across the world as they apply to universities and programs within the United States. He is also the founder of Guru Global, which provides advising, guidance, and application support to students seeking higher education opportunities in the U.S.

Arun Bhattarai
Director of Finance at ECS

Q: What drew you towards mentorship and education?

I grew up in a lower middle-class family in the hills of Nepal. My dad ran a small retail grocery shop. We didn’t have electricity until I left my village for higher education. My dad instilled in me the value of education early on in my life. He never got the chance to complete his college education, but he always believed that education was the ultimate tool to succeed in life and help the world at large. He’s the reason I got serious about my own studies. I eventually went to university in Kathmandu and later to George Mason University for a master’s in business administration (MBA).

Q: What inspired you to start Guru Global? What makes a U.S.-based education so highly sought after?

I started mentoring in Nepal even before I started my career in banking and finance. Writing has always been a passion of mine, and after graduating, a friend asked me to help mentor young students as they applied to higher education programs in the U.S., United Kingdom, and Australia. That business was eventually sold, but after moving to the U.S. for my MBA, I started mentoring again on the side. In 2017, I started Guru Global to expand our mentorship, career counselling, and study abroad assistance efforts and reach.

U.S. education is highly-rated all over the world. Students come from every part of the world to study here because of the opportunities an American education opens up. Even in my home of Nepal, a small landlocked country, many students express interest in getting an education in the States. I feel compelled to help them with their efforts, given the impact higher education has had on my own life.

Q: What kind of services and guidance does Guru Global provide?

I help students with all tasks related to the application process, from essay review to interview prep and visa advice. My mentees have applied to undergraduate and graduate programs, and even Fulbright Scholarships. One of my mentees recently started a master’s in engineering at Carnegie Mellon. Another is finishing up her doctoral degree at Tennessee State University.

Life has gotten busy with work and a new child, and in recent years I’ve shifted away from administrative work with Guru Global into a mentorship-focused role. My dad passed away last year. One of the ways I keep his legacy alive is by continuing my own development while also being of service to others as they seek higher education and better careers.

Q: You spoke about your passion for writing. How does writing influence the advice you give aspiring students?

Storytelling is such a huge part of the application process. You can be a good student, but creating a strong application is its own skillset. You need to craft a narrative in order to best tell your story and convince admissions officers of your talents and capabilities. I use storytelling to help students communicate their background, their experiences, and their struggles so they can present their strongest selves to the universities where they are applying. The work is my way of paying forward the opportunities given to me and carrying on the lessons that my dad instilled in me.

“Off The Clock” is a series in which we celebrate the many ways ECS employees commit themselves to worthy causes outside of work.

Learn more about how philanthropy, volunteering, and giving back are central to ECS’ culture.

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