Alumni Spotlights
GGU Alumna Supriya Upreti
April 12, 2024 |

GGU Inspires MS Finance Alum to Make a Difference

By Jenny McKeel

Growing up in the small Indian state of Uttarakhand in the Himalayan foothills,  Supriya Upreti’s family stood out. A family of educators, her grandfather and both parents were teachers who believed in the value of education. But in Uttarakhand, basic amenities were considered a luxury and students walked miles to reach the only school. Many girls were encouraged to drop out of high school to marry rather than pursue an education.  

“Before moving to the United States of America in 2016, I never dreamed that one day I would be a first-generation immigrant to the United States and would get the opportunity to complete my education here at GGU,” reflected Supriya, MS Finance ‘21. 

With few resources available locally, teaching was the only profession on Supriya’s horizon, but she dreamed of becoming an engineer. After high school, she earned a polytechnic diploma in business while simultaneously enrolling in undergraduate coursework with her parents’ support. In her computer classes, Supriya gained internet access for the first time—no internet access had been available in her hometown.  

Supriya made her way to Delhi where she earned an MBA, married, and gave birth to a son. She accepted a position performing back-office operations in a brokerage firm. 

“I read about stocks and mutual funds and got that keen interest,” said Supriya. They promoted me to be a relationship manager and within a year I was a branch manager. I was ambitious and commanding, overseeing a team of 10-15 people. At 22 years old, my journey started toward financial advising.” 

When her husband received a job offer with a technology company in the Bay Area, Supriya joined him. Here, she discovered that GGU’s MS in Finance program provided the perfect opportunity to gain entry into the finance profession in the United States. 

“I had blockers because I didn’t have the licenses here or any American experience,” said Supriya. “If I wanted to get a job, I needed to learn how finance is run here. The terminology in India is very different. I needed to understand all of that.” 

Supriya enrolled at GGU during the pandemic while home-schooling her son and working full time. With the support of her husband, she earned her degree with high marks and received an Outstanding Student Award. 

“GGU created an extraordinary environment for the student during the pandemic,” recalls Supriya. “All in-person classes were converted into Zoom classes and professors were always available over the video calls and emails for any questions. The two years of the masters were about living the journey of all professors, real-world case studies, and their professional expertise. The best part of most of the advanced courses was reading about the latest events and upcoming challenges in the industry. I felt so ready to take on my new career. Thank you GGU, I’m proud to be an alum of this great institution.” 

Today, Supriya is a financial advisor with Morgan Stanley, managing portfolios for individuals and institutions, assisting them with asset allocation, stock and mutual fund research, and risk assessment. 

A few years ago, Supriya returned to India to visit her home state. She found that while living conditions had improved, the basic issues remained. Her own father passed because he couldn’t get adequate medical attention in time from the nearest hospital.  

Supriya’s advice to women around the world is to dream big. 

“Dreams become reality if you think about it,” she reflected. “A company like Morgan Stanley is a dream company for me and today that’s where I work. What a wonderful time to be a woman. There are many disparities, but we are gaining equality. Take every single opportunity and make the best of it. Be relentless and put as much effort as you can toward your goal. You have a right to make your destiny. You’re not just here to do the housework and raise the kids. You are here to make a better world for people, show your kindness, and do the best things.” 

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