Student Spotlight: Janak Malla C’21

Janak Malla  C’21

Where were you born and raised?

I was born in a rural village of Kalikot in Nepal and moved to India when I was 5 years old due to a Civil War that lasted for 10 years in Nepal. I returned back to Nepal in 2012.

What attracted you to Drew?  

Drew was recommended to me by my academic advisor in NepaI while I was applying for colleges. I didn’t have the opportunity to tour the school in-person but I looked Drew up on maps/virtually countless times and envisioned myself being there; I would have a smile on my face each time. The campus size just seemed perfect and the trees made this campus look so beautiful. Additionally, I liked that there was a good number of international students here plus Drew’s proximity to New York City.

Did you know what you wanted to major in when you started at Drew?

In Nepal, schools didn’t offer many subjects and students had pursue science or arts. I chose the science field in high school. To some extent, I was interested in pursuing Computer Science because I loved playing games and the fact that programmers can do all sorts of cool stuff with computers. I was better at working in computer labs than natural science labs.

Why did you choose Computer Science and Business as your majors?

I had a general idea I wanted to pursue Computer Science as a major before applying to Drew. When I took programming courses and worked on class projects in my freshman year I knew I made the right choice. Additionally, I knew I would be staying all 4 years at Drew and wanted to make the most out of my time here, therefore, I added Business as my second major and Data Science as my minor. I chose Business right after I completed the Semester on Wall Street in my sophomore year because I fell in love with the Business program at Drew and the fact that it’s a vast field and having an additional degree opens up more opportunities.

Do you have any mentors at Drew?

I’ve learned a lot and always have fun conversations with Dr. Jonathan Golden who has helped since my Freshmen year.  Also, two of my supervisors, Shawn Spaventa and Matt Acosta, at the Media and Resources Center have given me great advice.

Have you studied abroad? Done any short or nycTRECS?

I did the Semester on Wall Street during my sophomore year where I had to go to New York City twice a week for classes and get to meet Drew alums that work at different companies on Wall Street. Also, I was selected for a trip to Guatemala (spring break 2020), where we’d help build a school with recycled materials but unfortunately it got cancelled due to Covid.

What are a few of your favorite memories of Drew? 

The Semester on Wall Street is one of my favorite memories. It was a very unique experience for me, from waking up very early in the morning to catching the train (missed it a few times), meeting different people working at big firms on Wall Street, and then at the end of the day sprinting with friends to catch the subway so that we don’t miss the train. It was a fun time!

What advice would you give students who are just starting out?

Don’t be scared If you don’t have a major yet. Take advantage of the liberal arts education that Drew offers  by taking courses in different fields and figure out what you like best. Also, stay connected with your old friends while you meet new people!

What are your career goals? Where do you hope to be in 5 years?

In 5 years, I want to be working for a technology company.

Any Fun fact (s) you would like to share?

I have than 50 “siblings” because I belong to a Children’s Home, Kopila Valley, in Nepal . To know more about it visit

I also speak Nepali and Hindi.

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