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Scripps College, Claremont Colleges Alum & Ex-Google (Nelson Staffing) on Liberal Arts #StudyInUSA

Updated: Sep 17, 2020

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Jahnavi Kothari

UndergradScripps College, Claremont Consortium, USA Liberal Arts

Role Former Recruiting Coordinator at Google, NYC (via Nelson Staffing)

Be yourself, talk about what you like and what you are excited about. If you don’t know something, show that you want to learn about it.

1. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Your Educational and Professional Background? Which college, company, and role did you work in to get you where you are today?

I studied the International Baccalaureate(IB) program at École Mondiale World School, Mumbai. I then did my undergrad in Liberal Arts at Scripps College which is part of the Claremont Consortium in California.

It was during my time at Scripps that I found myself exploring different industries and finding my interests within those through summer internships, through support from alumni network, and unpaid internship opportunities supported by grants.

During that time, I realized that my passions lay somewhere in-between education and arts and cultural world as well as pure cultural organizations. When it was time to look for a full-time opportunity, I tried to find an intersection within the three, and that led to my former role in People Operations at Google.

2. What was your undergraduate Major? What prompted you towards it?

For most Liberal Art programs in American College, you get 2 years to pick a major. The best part is that you are required to take a variety of 8 classes over these years and you realize your true interests. This helps you make an informed decision about your major. I loved the Humanities and I dual-majored in Humanities: Interdisciplinary Studies in Culture and Religious Studies.

I think that our history and culture shape the way we as human beings function wherever we are. This prompted me. I was interested to see how these theoretical studies manifest and now I am interested in how it plays out in day-to-day interactions.

3. When and why did you decide to study abroad?

Interdisciplinary education has always been something I valued. I was interested in the amalgamation and application of different subject areas. I wasn’t just interested in one subject and I wanted a curriculum that channelized my diverse interests so I decided to study abroad.

4. Did you receive a scholarship?

Scripps does provide financial aid for international students. I did not receive and scholarship but I received funding for Summer Internships and Thesis Research. I was able to do a full-time summer internship at New York City and pay rent and fund for my living even though it was an unpaid internship because of the generous grant from Scripps. I also worked as a French tutor and a consultant on campus.

6. Why did you choose that particular course in this particular university/college for your studies abroad? What was the process you went through while choosing the university/college?

I was very keen on going to a Liberal Arts Education System, one that values interdisciplinary education. But the most exciting prospect for me was that several top liberal arts colleges in the US were historically women's colleges and that was a big deal for me. I also chose Scripps because it was part of the Claremont Consortium and it was historically a women's college. I also got resources and access to all the other 5 colleges in the consortium which made it so great.

Being a part of such an inclusive and empowering community is something I cherish and that is what gave me the drive and ambition.

7. Any particular advice you would like to give for the application process from SOP Writing to Academic GPA to other things which you thought were important that helped you get into that course at that university?

The application process is truly a holistic judgment of you as an individual and as a student. The GPA and SoP are important but Scripps is testing optional now. So, you don’t necessarily have to report your SAT or ACT score if you want to apply to Scripps. My advice when it comes to essays is that be yourself, talk about what you like and what you are excited about. If you don’t know something, show that you want to learn about it. You should show that you are excited about the values of the college and know about these values. I would encourage students to reach out to people about colleges they are interested in and speak to them to see if they would be a good fit and also attend the campus webinars.

Scripps or the 5Cs doesn't have a SOP at all. Most undergrad liberal art schools have a Common Application Essay, which is like a SOP but different since they look for ways you stand apart through your creativity. Additionally, they have supplementary essays with a topic that differs each year and then a recurring "Why Scripps" prompt.

8. Were you satisfied with your choice of university? What is your most favorite thing about the university experience?

I couldn't be more grateful that I chose Scripps and the Claremont Colleges for my undergraduate studies. From the interdisciplinary academic experience to learning through hands-on leadership opportunities in student government, I was able to make the most of my time on campus.

However, the best part of my college experience was the nurturing community that I found at Scripps and the 5Cs. I learned so much from my peers and faculty not just in an academic context but understanding the importance of diversity in perspective.

9. How was the Indian fraternity over there? How was the overall campus diversity?

I definitely noticed a rise in the number of Indian students over my four years. We had students from India, Indian students who grew up abroad, and in the United Students. Our South Asian community also included students from other South Asian countries. There was a lot that I learned from my South Asian peers who grew up in other parts of India, South Asia, or the US about our shared yet diverse identities.

10. What were the career opportunities available to you on campus?

There is a lot of places to work for on-campus like working in offices and centers, tutoring and even working as a barista.

I set up regular appointments with the career center and they encouraged me to put myself out there and connect with alumni. It is through their mentorship and connections that I found my junior year internship and previous role at Google.


We hope that you have found this interview insightful. Do let us know how in the comments section below!

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