Sree Malaya Bathina: From India to the US to Finding Community & Great Success at the UofM

Sree BathinaSree Malaya Bathina from Kakinada, India, recently graduated this month (May 2024) from the University of Memphis with her master's in Management Information Systems. Sree earned her bachelor's degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Aditya Engineering College. She currently still works as a Data Analyst for the City of Memphis, a role that she started as a intern during her graduate studies.

Sree's journey from India to the US and her prolific and rewarding graduate school experience at the University of Memphis are nothing short of inspiring. 

Let’s explore her academic achievements, leadership roles, and the incredible impact she has made during her time at UofM.

From India to the University of MemphisSree Bathina

Initially, Sree had questions about adapting to life in a foreign country. Her parents were hesitant about her decision to pursue a master's degree due to financial constraints, but they eventually supported her after witnessing her dedication to studying for exams and selecting colleges. Despite feeling excited about the prospect of studying abroad, she also harbored doubts about her ability to integrate into a new culture and community, especially considering her non-American accent. However, upon arriving at the University of Memphis, she found immense strength in the support of her family and the community here. Sree is grateful for the opportunity to challenge herself and pursue her academic goals, and she is proud to be a part of the University of Memphis community.

Picking a College & Living on Campus

Sree BathinaWhen she was contemplating her college options, several factors weighed heavily on her mind, including tuition fees, cost of living, course curriculum, and career fair opportunities. After hearing an inspiring and engaging presentation from a UofM representative who was visiting India, Sree ultimately decided to enroll at the University of Memphis. Looking back, she remarks, “I can confidently say that choosing this university has proven to be one of the most rewarding decisions I've ever made.”

When asked about her experience, Sree shared that she particularly enjoys the supportive community and the diverse opportunities available at the University of Memphis. Living on campus has enriched her experience by providing a vibrant and inclusive environment where she feels connected and supported.

Favorite Events, Rewarding Opportunities, and Unique ExperiencesSree Bathina

Sree Malaya mentioned, "FCB’s AMIS is definitely an experience that I recommend to every student interested in technology.”  CPCD hosts amazing professional events. Additionally, she has found enjoyment in being involved with ISS, multicultural affairs, and ISA for fun events.

One standout opportunity that she is grateful for was the chance to participate in the Amazon Prime College Tour Series. This opportunity allowed her to highlight the unique experiences and perspectives of her college to a wider audience. She was thrilled to have the opportunity to represent the UofM in such a prestigious and fun way. She says, “It's a testament to the talent and diversity of our student body at UofM.”

Finding Community at the UofM as an International Student

One of the significant challenges she faces is being away from her family, in India. However, the UofM community demonstrates exceptional kindness and acknowledges the challenges international students encounter when leaving home. This community is empathetic and warmly welcomes newcomers with open arms.

She says: “The sense of community at the University of Memphis for international students is akin to finding a second family away from home. It's a tightly knit network where diversity is celebrated, and differences are embraced. Stepping onto campus, I felt an instant connection with fellow students who shared similar experiences of navigating life in a new country. There's a shared understanding of the challenges we face, but also an unwavering support system that uplifts and encourages each other to thrive. From cultural exchange events to collaborative study sessions, the university provides a nurturing environment where everyone's voice is heard, and everyone's story is valued. It's not just a place of learning; it's a community where bonds are formed, friendships are forged, and memories are cherished for a lifetime.” 

Advice for other International Students: 

Establishing a network is frequently underestimated, yet it can significantly influence your journey. Begin connecting with people from day one; you never know what opportunities may arise. Through ups and downs, remember that each day contributes to your dreams. If times get tough, recognize how far you've come and never doubt your worth. You are stronger than you realize, so keep pushing forward. The show must go on, no matter what.

Professor Shoutout!

Sree BathinaThroughout her academic journey at the UofM, she says that Dr. Scott Vann has been an exceptional professor, providing unwavering support and encouragement that has shaped who she is. His pivotal role in offering guidance and mentorship during her master's program has been invaluable. She is deeply grateful for the opportunities he has provided her, from working as a graduate assistant under his supervision to serving as the President of AMIS. His belief in her abilities has helped me develop and enhance various skills, both professional and personal. She credits him as the gateway to numerous opportunities I have encountered at UofM, and I cannot express enough gratitude for his trust and mentorship.

Post-Graduation Plans

After graduating from the University of Memphis, she aims to apply the skills and knowledge she has gained to make a significant impact in the professional realm. Her aspirations include pursuing a career as a Data Analyst or software engineer. Beyond campus life, she anticipates embracing new challenges and seeking opportunities for personal and professional growth. She plans to stay connected to the campus community and the city, whether through local professional opportunities or active participation in alumni events. Remaining close to UofM will enable her to maintain connections and contribute to the university's ongoing success and vibrant culture.

Post-graduation she feels nostalgic about her time at the UofM, her involvement with the student organization (AMIS), attending classes, and working for Dr. Scott Vann. She also misses participating in various events and the wonderful community she has encountered here. However, she firmly believes that once a tiger, always a tiger.

Noteworthy Accomplishments: 
  • Received 4th place among 38 teams across the US at the National Data Analytics Competition representing UofM at Utah State University AIS SCLC Conference 2024
  • Received 2nd place in the Student Annual Research forum at UofM
  • President for an Organization called Association of Management Information Systems
  • Received the President’s Leadership Award on April 16
  • Represented UofM in the Amazon Prime series called College Tour which is set to air this fall. 

Sree BathinaSree Bathina