Prabakar Adithya was too young to understand what was happening during the financial crisis of 2008. But the Great Recession spurred an interest in finance — one that was nurtured by his accountant father.
“I didn’t really grasp the gravity of the situation at the time, but reading articles as I grew older about the financial crisis and seeing how fragile the economy is, how people’s livelihoods were hanging in the balance, was a really big influence for me,” Adithya says.
“When I look at how businesses are struggling to get back on their feet, having a finance and accounting background gives me a unique perspective,” the Chelmsford, Massachusetts, native says. “I have a better understanding of how fragile everything is when it comes to our money.”
Adithya decided to share his perspective during the early days of the pandemic by co-hosting a podcast with fellow business major Raj Aurora called “Questioning Dogma.” Over six episodes (available on all the major streaming services), they discussed current events such as the social justice movement, the dangers of misinformation and the 2020 election — all through the lens of business students.
“We’re both so passionate about the economic and political spheres of the world today — the nitty-gritty details that can sway opinions — and we had time to talk about it during the pandemic,” Adithya says.
In addition to podcast host, Adithya is president of Manning Collegiate DECA and was a member of the Salesforce Leaders Group and the Manning Consulting Group. He also enjoys helping his fellow students as a Bloomberg finance lab assistant in the Pulichino Tong Business Center’s trading room and as a Career Peer with the Career & Co-op Center.
“Being able to help people who have different life experiences, who might be on a Green Card visa or temporary work visa, is humbling,” Adithya says of the Career Peer work. “Identifying my own privilege — I grew up a (U.S.) citizen — and seeing there’s a different path to things makes me realize how lucky I am.”
Adithya got his first glimpse of UML as a high school student, when the university hosted regional competitions for Model United Nations and DECA. He’s liked what he’s seen ever since.
“Being at UMass Lowell, you meet so many kids who have different perspectives; they come from big cities, from suburban schools, from other countries. Having conversations with them really broadens your horizons,” he says.
Adithya plans to take the CPA exam and go into public accounting after graduating. He credits a course he took with Assoc. Prof. Ravi Jain, Introduction to Financial Statement Analysis, with crystalizing his interests in accounting.
“One of the things I like about accounting is how it gives you a top-down view of organizations, whether they’re businesses, nonprofits or governmental organizations,” he says. “That’s really interesting to me.”