Slesha Patel

Slesha Patel is a First-Generation American Who Has Become a Leader

Biology major with minors in Chemistry and Spanish | School of Biological Sciences
Graduation Year: 2015

Why did you choose UMKC?

Because of the six-year med program and because it was close by.

Where is UMKC taking you?

I started as a six-year med student and discovered I didn’t want to be a practicing physician. I got involved on campus and decided I wanted to be a health administrator. UMKC really helped me find myself. I have learned I can be confident and successful. High school was rough for me socially, as I came from a fancy private school and I don’t necessarily fit that stereotype. I have blossomed at UMKC, where I study but I also model and dance.



“My greatest fear is losing the bravery I have gained at UMKC.”

Are you a first-generation college student?

I am not a first-generation college student, but I am a first-generation American in my family. My parents worked really hard to get our family here so my brother and I could have everything they didn’t have growing up.

What motto do you live by?

Be the change you wish to see in the world. – Gandhi

I didn’t pick that quote because he’s brown. I’m ethnically Indian and culturally you’re not supposed to be a model. I think it’s important to break the mold and do what you want to do.

Slesha Patel with her hands on her lap

How has college inspired you?

UMKC has inspired me to challenge myself professionally in terms of running campus organizations. UMKC forced me to come out of my comfort zone.

What’s the best piece of advice you have ever received from a professor?

Prove everyone wrong, and show them how amazing you can really be.

Who do you admire most at UMKC and why?

I admire my peers — especially my sisters in Alpha Delta Pi sorority, my brothers in Alpha Phi Omega and my friends in INDUS. They are all so driven and they are definitely going places.

Slesha Patel close up

What’s your greatest fear?

My greatest fear is losing the bravery I have gained at UMKC.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I see myself working in administration for a hospital, insurance company or corporate company that runs several hospitals.

What is one word that best describes you?

Over-achieving. I want to be the best that I can possibly be. UMKC has pushed me to become more confident and brave. Every semester, I have pushed myself to a limit that I think I won’t be able to reach, and that allows me to push myself harder and grow more.