New Student Series Part 9: Ruchita Brajabasi

Today marks our final installment of the New Student Series. We’ve been introduced to some extraordinarily talented people, and everyone here in the Admissions Office knows they’ll accomplish great things at SIPA. I’ve truly enjoyed getting to know some of our incoming students, and I hope you have too! After you’ve read about Ruchita Brajabasi, who’s a Teach for India fellow, take a look back at the eight other students featured on the blog this summer. I’m sure you’ll be just as inspired as we were!

Full Name: Ruchita Brajabasi
Program: Master of Public Administration
Concentration: Urban and Social Policy
Specialization: International Organization & UN Studies
Anticipated Graduation Year:  2017
Hometown: Kolkata, India

Undergraduate university, major and graduation year:
Manipal University, Biomedical Engineering, 2011

What’s your professional background?
I started my career with Accenture, where I worked on designing project management tools. It was a great learning experience because I had to understand the methodologies of product development and management to design tools for it! So I learned best practices of the entire process—from gathering stakeholder expectations till deployment. My next career stint changed my life in more ways than I can express. I worked as the class teacher for 90 sixth-grade students in an affordable private school in the slums of Mumbai as a Teach For India Fellow. I started with the audacious dream of transforming lives; I think I came out more transformed myself!

Did you apply to SIPA to change careers or to gain experience in a career path you already have experience in?
While working in the community, I developed empathy for the grassroots perspective. I applied to SIPA to further my understanding of development problems and the means to solve them.

What was your reaction when you found out you were accepted to SIPA?
I cried.

Why did you say “yes” to SIPA?
A number of reasons:

  1. I truly believe we learn the most from our peers, and SIPA has the most eclectic mix of students!
  2. SIPA’s courses and opportunities cover almost everything under the (development) sun. One can come out with the precise skills, knowledge and networks one needs to meet his/her vision.
  3. NYC.

What do you most look forward to as a graduate student at SIPA?
Engaging with the 3 Ps (Peers, Professionals and Professors)!

Do you have any apprehensions about starting graduate school?
It’s a mix of apprehension and excitement: I’ll be leaving behind all that is familiar, and head on to the crazy unknown! But being a math lover, I work best with variables and unknowns, so it should be fun!

What are your goals after SIPA?
My vision is to create an equitable society through collaborative educational policy making. After SIPA I would like to work with Governments and International Organizations to develop, implement, and monitor schemes that lead to equity in society.

If you could change one small thing about your community, country or the world, what would it be?
I would make everyone a better listener.

Tell us something interesting about yourself:
I have studied in seven different schools and have lived in 14 cities all across India!