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Jayhawk Career Network

Mentor Spotlight: Achal Patel

We’re highlighting Jayhawks who serve as mentors to fellow alumni and students to celebrate National Mentoring Month.

Achal Patel, ’22, is an international student from India majoring in aerospace engineering. He’s a member of the Student Alumni Network and the Student Endowment Board.


What prompted you to use KU Mentoring+?

Being an international student at KU during my first few days and not knowing many individuals made me curious and open to meeting new Jayhawks through all possible platforms. This included attending various events on campus such as speaker events, networking events, student club meetings, etc. but more importantly, it made me research what other channels were in place to connect with Jayhawks that had graduated already. This led to me getting to know about KU’s own LinkedIn – KU Mentoring+. Therefore the overall curiosity and drive to meet as many unique Jayhawks as possible and the openness of Jayhawks to connect prompted me to use KU Mentoring+!

Achal Patel

What have you learned from your connections? How have they helped you?

The most important and tangible lesson I have learned from the Jayhawks that I have connected with on KU Mentoring is the breadth and variety of applications and opportunities of what I am studying as an undergrad. I came in with a relatively narrow vision of how I can use my passion for innovation and love for aerospace to help mankind, but the interactions with Jayhawks have helped me broaden it which I believe is the most significant learning for me to date.

What are your career goals?

My ultimate career goal is to become an entrepreneur and contribute something tangible and significant to society for the advancement of civilization. Since my time at KU and in the States from July 2018, I have learned about numerous new opportunities and avenues where I could build a career/entrepreneurial endeavor, and thus the short term goal is to keep exploring and learning about what all exists and what needs to solve in order for the progress of humanity. Being a successful entrepreneur will not only allow me to serve mankind but also the Jayhawk community and that is what drives me currently!

What’s your favorite KU memory so far?

I have had several amazing experiences during my time at KU so it is very difficult to select one. But one that encapsulates many of those is when I was attending a conference in October 2019 in Washington DC and had a Jayhawk pin on my blazer when I went to introduce myself to then NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine. I didn’t have a clear plan on what I was going to chat with him about after the introduction but he recognized the pin and started talking about KU and a football game that KU had lost very narrowly to, I think, the Longhorns a day before. It turned out to be a great conversation with him and all thanks to the Jayhawk! I have had a couple more of these encounters at other conferences reiterating my love for the Jayhawk spirit!

Achal Patel with Chancellor Girod and Baby Jay
Achal Patel

Need a mentor? Want to serve as a mentor? KU Mentoring is open to students, alumni, faculty and staff, and friends of the University of Kansas. Professionals who are looking for opportunities to connect with KU and provide assistance to Jayhawks are also welcome. Learn more about KU Mentoring.


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