Alumna Brings University Experience, Corporate Expertise to Prospective Chargers Around the World
After excelling in the corporate world, Ranjana Maitra ’91 MBA is sharing the impact of her own University of New Haven education with prospective students in her home country of India – and beyond. She’s playing a key role in expanding the University’s outreach, in helping to diversify the student body, and in further establishing the University as a global leader in higher education.
September 20, 2023
By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications
After graduating from the University of New Haven, Ranjana Maitra '91 MBA established herself as a leader in the corporate world. A former international executive with vast experience in the healthcare and life sciences industries, she’s now a leader in higher education. She’s discovered a true passion in helping future Chargers to have the same rewarding educational experiences at the University that she had.
As country head-international, Maitra oversees the University’s international undergraduate and graduate recruitment efforts. In her four years in this role, she’s also been expanding her outreach – and also further diversifying and increasing the University’s international student body.
Maitra is the face of the University, of sorts, as she connects with prospective students across southern Asia. Based in Mumbai, India, she has been expanding her outreach to other countries, such as Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal. She doesn’t have a prepared sales pitch when she discusses the University – she doesn’t need one. She has her own story to tell, and she shares her own experience as a Charger.
“I have such lovely memories of my time at the University, and that’s what I discuss with prospective students,” said Maitra. “I tell them all about my experience. They know I’m not selling a product. I’m just telling them my story.”
‘I was prepared’
Maitra’s story has been resonating with prospective students, and she’s taken every opportunity to connect with individuals who are hoping to continue their education in the United States. Passionate about networking, marketing, and branding on her LinkedIn page, she has developed robust connections online through social media and by representing the University at virtual events. She was able to continue her work during the pandemic, taking part in approximately 500 webinars and online education fairs and forums.
For Maitra, being accessible is a critical part of her role. She enjoys making personal connections, whether with organizations she works closely with such as EducationUSA or with prospective students and their families.
“Having someone they can speak with personally matters a lot,” she explains. “Parents play a big role in their student’s education, and they can call me. I’m always accessible, and I work during U.S. times and Indian times. I want them to know that education isn’t just about a degree. It’s about the holistic experience of international exposure.”
That experience that was so impactful in Maitra’s own life. As a corporate leader, she spent more than 15 years at Wipro Limited, a global leader in consulting, technology, and business-process services. She also spent more than a decade in leadership roles at Tata Consultancy Services, a leading Indian company.
“Without my University of New Haven education, I couldn’t have done my corporate jobs as well,” she explains. “Because of my experiences at the University, including the opportunities I had to meet with people of other cultures, I was prepared. I tell students that.”
‘The University made me who I am today’
Maitra continues to draw on those skills to connect with individuals on the international level. She recently visited Bangladesh, where she connected with prospective students at a major informational event focused on higher education. She’s also traveling throughout India to major cities, including Delhi and Bangalore.
Maitra also works closely Shruti Savekar, M.M., international recruitment manager for Southeast Asia, connecting with as many prospective students and families as possible. She says the support and collaboration with Savekar has been invaluable.
Maitra also collaborates with faculty and staff who are stateside. Along with the University’s deans and faculty, she helps identify programs that students are interested in, their needs, and how the University can best offer students the education and opportunities they are looking for. She says programs in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields are especially in high demand with international students, as STEM-designated programs enable them to stay in the U.S. for up to three years of Post-Completion Optional Practical Training (OPT).
Yashpreet Malhotra ’23 M.S., who hails from India, recently earned his master’s degree in data science. Now a product management business analyst at Proponent, an aircraft distributor and supplier company, Malhotra embraced the opportunities he had as a Charger. He’s grateful for the opportunities he had both in and out of the classroom.
“I will always remember the journey I had at the University,” he said. “I can sum it up by concluding that the University made me who I am today.”
‘I want them to have the best experience’
Maitra hopes to help create more opportunities such as the ones experienced by Malhotra for future Chargers. With her deep and personal knowledge of the University, she’s comfortable answering any and all questions from prospective students and their families.
Maitra takes sharing what the University has to offer to international students a step further, endeavoring to make them as comfortable as possible. Whether she’s showing them photos of the deans so they see a familiar face when they step onto the campus or she’s telling them about the University’s proximity to Boston and New York, she wants them to feel the support of the Charger community and to feel prepared.
“I want them to know that we’re there to help them in every part of their journey,” she said. “Our students are not just a number. Their professors are happy to work with them. There’s so much for them to do. I want them to have the best experience, to participate, and to branch out.”
‘I love the University of New Haven’
As a global higher education leader, Maitra, who is passionate about diversity, equity, and inclusion, continues to network. She works closely with several non-governmental organizations (NGOs), as well as the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), serving in such leadership roles as the co-chair for its Indian Women Network’s Western Region for 2022-2023.
For Maitra, it’s critical that student support continues well past a student’s decision to become a Charger. She offers information and support on everything from housing to scholarships, and she’s constantly working with deans and faculty to ensure they continue to offer students the best education possible.
“I love my job, and I love interacting with students,” said Maitra. “I love the University of New Haven. Being back here brings back memories of being a student, and I’m always looking for new opportunities to connect and engage.”