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Meet Bekhruz

Bekhruz (Reality Changers Class of 2019, SDSU Class of 2023) is the first in his family to graduate from an American college and obtain a higher finance job straight out of school. He attributes these successes to his experiences at Reality Changers.

Bekhruz moved to the United States from Uzbekistan at age 7. He initially struggled with learning English and understanding American culture, but, in middle school, things got a bit easier and he made good friends. In high school, Bekhruz knew he wanted to go to college, but he wasn’t sure exactly why college was important or how to apply. He heard about Reality Changers from a family friend and joined during his junior year.

“They help show you exactly what college is for and how to best prepare yourself to get into college.’”

At Reality Changers, Bekhruz participated in mentorship, tutoring, community service activities, leadership camp, test prep, and public speaking activities. He met other students who were facing difficult challenges in their lives, which “taught [him] to be empathetic to others’ experiences and to be appreciative of the resources available to him.”  To Bekhruz, the most helpful thing at Reality Changers was working with Achievement Coaches who were there to guide him through the college application process..

“In Reality Changers, you get access to exactly the ‘whats’ and the ‘how-to’s of getting into college. We had achievement coaches who had already done the college process. You could ask them ‘how can I best position myself to get into this college or to do this type of career?’ and then they would guide you through the process by saying ‘you could try x, y, and z.’”

Bekhruz applied to six colleges and was accepted into four. He ended up choosing San Diego State University, which was initially his ‘back-up’ choice.But, looking backwards,” he says, “SDSU was a hidden jewel, since it was low cost and allowed me to reach my goal of studying business.” He also applied for and won a couple of scholarships, which helped him pay for his first year of college.

At SDSU, Bekhruz initially focused all of his energy on classes. Starting in second year, however, he added additional commitments, including clubs, investment competitions, leadership positions, internships, and part-time work at a fast food restaurant. He commuted to school and frequently spent 12 hours on campus multiple times per week, sometimes coming in on the weekends. He also often drove his younger sister, a high school student, to Reality Changers programs.

Bekhruz made friends through his extracurriculars and connected with on-campus guest speakers. He found that spending time at school helped him to expand his network and identify opportunities. “Successful networking is about being in the right place at the right time. What I essentially ended up doing was being in the right place all the time.”

His team did well in the investment competitions, receiving 4th place in one national contest. This, he explains, helped raise the profile of SDSU business students, especially in the eyes of more high profile finance companies on the East Coast.

During his 3rd year, Bekhruz worked independently to secure a summer finance internship with an investment bank, taking online courses and reading books. He successfully landed the position, which led to a full-time offer for post-graduation.

As he explains, “The way it works with a lot of these finance jobs is you do an internship junior year, which then allows you to get evaluated for a full time offer after graduating. That is called ‘on cycle’ recruiting for these firms. And so I was essentially one of the first SDSU undergraduates to get into one of these high profile firms ‘on cycle’.” 

It was important to Bekhruz to help others follow in his footsteps. As a mentor in his finance club, he helped guide his mentees, who were first-gen students themselves, through the on-cycle recruitment process. One of those mentees has secured an internship. “So,” Bekhruz says, “we now have a pipeline of students at SDSU going into some of these firms, and these firms are actually now targeting SDSU kids in business.”

Bekhruz graduated in 2023 with a BS in Business Administration and Finance. He is currently working at Eaton Partners as an Analyst, where he helps raise money for private equity deals. His younger sister, Mokhinabonu, just graduated from high school and started at UC San Diego.

Looking back, Bekhruz feels proud of his journey, especially getting SDSU on the news (for the competition wins) and graduating without debt. “The root of all this,” he says, “is literally Reality Changers.” He believes that the program was an essential piece of his academic and career success. He felt like the program gave him the foundation he needed to be tenacious after high school. He remembers gathering with his Reality Changers peers and singing together; ‘I won’t give up on us… even if the skies get rough.’ and “tearing up the dance floor at Forest Home.”

He is very grateful for the staff and volunteers who played a role in his success.

“I would like to say another thank you to my Reality Changers mentors during my senior year in high school, Christian, Jen, and Becca.”

One day, Bekhruz looks forward to being able to donate to Reality Changer himself, so that he can support youth who are working to become first-generation college graduates like him.

“Coming from a business background, I believe that Reality Changers is truly an investment. It pays dividends. You actually see impact. [For donors], their goal is to drive as much impact as possible. And Reality Changers is probably the epitome of what you can invest in, because you literally see where your funding gets put to work. You are changing realities after all.”


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