Oct 112012
 

Well, unlike many of the other posts on here, my junior fall at Dartmouth is not actually at Dartmouth! I’m taking the Fall off, courtesy of the D-Plan, and working in Washington, DC. I’m interning at both the Department of State and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, for a total of at least 60 hours a week.

Overseas Private Investment Corporation

Overseas Private Investment Corporation

I’m a DC area native so I’m living at home with my parents and taking the metro every day to commute.

I know, I’m absolutely crazy. I go to State at 8 AM and leave at 4 PM for OPIC and work until at least 8 PM there! Thankfully, all of my friends are at school or the ones in DC are also working weekdays so I get to just come home and eat a home cooked meal before crashing into bed.

So far though, it’s been an awesome experience! Both of the internships are really interesting and I’m learning a lot every day. Most days I’m so busy doing work that I look up and its 7:30 already and I didn’t even notice. I know that if the jobs weren’t as interesting the 12 hour days would be dreadful so I’m thankful they are.

U.S. Department of State

U.S. Department of State

I’ve already been able to meet with the Ambassador of Panama, help with a North African entrepreneurship program, assist with multilateral agreements like the TPP and learn about development projects around the world.

The Assistant Secretary of the Bureau I work in is actually a Dartmouth grad and was really excited to have a Dartmouth intern, so it’s just another example of the Big Green network that extends across the world. It’s crazy that I get to take things I learned about in government and economics classes at school and actually see them in action here at State and OPIC, and it helps me realize how lucky I am to be a Dartmouth student and the opportunties off-terms give me. So far, it’s all been so rewarding!

Jul 312012
 

It’s always fascinating to take a breather and look back at just how far we’ve come.  Even more compelling though is to see how much we’ve learned. Indeed, time flies. Looking forward, I believe there’s plenty of growth and development ahead of us. And personally, I believe it’s valuable to dig deep into the minds of those who have already ventured the beaten path for gems of insight. Luckily, Dartmouth’s tightly knit alumni community is perfect for this.

To that end, a week ago, I began reaching out to the Dartmouth Entrepreneurial Network, asking for advice from Dartmouth entrepreneurs more experienced than me. Most were eager to help out our startup, Memeja. After a few phone calls and email exchanges, I met up with Dartmouth alumni, Nader Aknoukh, who graciously agreed to meet up at Dirt Cowboy for a cup of coffee. My objective was to dig his brain as much as possible. Questions  like “What do you wish you had known while founding your startup” and “What was your biggest mistake” yielded insightful answers about the nature of venture capital and communicating with the market. We walk away thirty minutes later with pearls of wisdom rolling around in my mind.

What I’ve realized is that the Dartmouth alums really want to help you — especially when it’s obvious that you’re funneling tons of time and effort into something you love. They’re friendly, responsive, extend invaluable insights and love to reminisce about their adventures in the startup world. And hey, I don’t mind hearing what Dartmouth was like way back when, either! (apparently there were many more public computer terminals back then).

Nov 022011
 

A few weeks ago, the much awaited homecoming weekend finally arrived. Homecoming was a very special occasion for me. Being an international student, I was unfamiliar with the idea of homecoming and I had been excited about it ever since I first read about it before coming to Dartmouth.  Homecoming, at Dartmouth, is filled with interesting traditions and spirit.

The event starts off by the construction of a huge structure for the bonfire. The best thing was that this construction was done solely by freshmen. The huge wooden structure had ’15 at the top to represent the class year of the freshmen class. It was right on the middle of the green. I remember how I was pumped with excitement for my first homecoming as I went back to my floor after a busy day.

Before the bonfire, we all dressed up in our Dartmouth gear, with glowsticks, and had awesome floor parties. We partied till the parade came to pick us up. I remember standing with my floor when the parade finally came with roars and cheers. Homecoming, for the incoming class at Dartmouth, is supposed to be about proving that we are “The Best Class Ever”, hence everyone cheered the loudest they could. We joined the parade and continued cheering as we picked up freshmen from other clusters and then marched through Hanover right up to the green. A ring of Upperclassmen and Alumni surrounded us as we started circling the huge wooden structure. Pretty soon, the huge structure was set on fire and we took part in one of Dartmouth’s best tradition ever.

Technically, as members of the class of 2015 we were supposed to run 115 laps around the fire. 15 laps were enough for most of us (I ran somewhere between 20-30), but there were many who ran the complete 115 laps showing the world that we are the Best Class Ever! As we ran, lap after lap, the heat got more intense. Many upperclassmen encouraged us from the surroundings, others were not so encouraging. But there was one thing we all felt as we ran around that bonfire. As we set our eyes on that huge structure with our class year ’15 on fire, we were all filled with a sense of pride and happiness at being part of this amazing place. We felt part of the community, we felt joy and excitement of the years to come that we’ll spend at Dartmouth, and indeed, we felt that we had come home.

The rest of the homecoming weekend was filled with all kinds of parties and activities. There was also the homecoming football game on Saturday against Columbia, which we won 37-0! The weekend was one of the best weekends I have ever had! It’s when I think about this, and so many other memories at Dartmouth, that I feel overwhelmed with joy. This place is amazing and I feel thrilled to be a part of Dartmouth’s BEST CLASS EVER!!