As part of the Division of Student Affairs’ initiative for Diversity and Inclusion, we at I Am Rutgers have started the #RUIDProject to highlight the many diverse identities, experiences, and reflections of the Rutgers student body. Students featured in this project share how they choose to identify themselves and how Rutgers either helps them express their identity or has helped shape their identity. If you would like to be featured in this project, share a picture of yourself and how you choose to identify using the hashtag #RUIDProject on Instagram or contact us via email.
Back in high school, most people expected me to pursue a career in healthcare, engineering, or computer science. I excelled in AP math and science courses, so people encouraged me to do ‘what I was good at’ and enter a field where I could make a lot of money.
The more I thought about a career in science or medicine, though, the more I realized that it wasn’t for me. Scoring high on exams means you’re good at something, but being good at something doesn’t mean you’re passionate about it.
When I committed to Rutgers as an undeclared business major, I didn’t have much of a set plan as to what type of a career I wanted, and that intimidated me. However, I knew that I was hardworking and ambitious, so I decided to focus on what interested me and I hoped that things would work themselves out.
I started my search in the classroom. I took introductory business classes and quickly decided that accounting and finance were not for me. I took a few courses in human resources, but also decided against it.
It wasn’t until I decided to apply for an internship with the Student Affairs Media Team the second semester of my freshman year that things started to fall into place. I started as a Social Content Intern and quickly realized that marketing and engagement interested me. I got to know the rest of the interns and a graduating senior who was also majoring in marketing told me about how she was double majoring in supply chain management, one of the newest majors at the Rutgers Business School.
Fast forward two years later and I’m a junior double majoring in, you guessed it, marketing and supply chain management. I’ve found a way to combine a creative field with a process-oriented one, resulting in a mixed curriculum that allows me to leverage my academic strengths. I also found a way to make my curriculum more math and data intensive by adding a degree concentration in business analytics.
Since freshman year, I’ve worked hard to secure opportunities that would allow me to gain experience in my majors, and I’ve landed internships at Wegmans and Verizon as a result. Next summer, I’ll be interning at L’Oreal within their supply chain department and I’m excited to learn more about the operations of such a large global company.
Had I chosen to attend a different school, or spent my college career pursuing a field that I wasn’t truly passionate about, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I’m grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to explore all that Rutgers has to offer and that I’ve found a way to combine all of my interests into a dynamic career path that I genuinely enjoy.
I wish I could stay in college forever, but with that said, I’m not nearly as intimidated by the idea of the real world as I once was. Rutgers has taught me to be comfortable with uncertainty, to work hard, and to believe in myself. There isn’t always going to be a clear path ahead, but figuring it out as you go along is half the fun, isn’t it?
Photography by Bhavna Bhatia