Second year student Tanvi Pritmani (Class of 2019, second from right in above photo) serves as the lead student ambassador for the Center for Global Initiatives (CGI). CGI student ambassadors support the promotion, development and improvement of all global academic offerings, including Darden Worldwide Courses (DWCs), the Exchange Program and Global Consulting Projects. Tanvi took time to share a little more about herself, her global experiences and her role as CGI lead student ambassador. In her own words:
I am, what some Singaporeans may call, a “rojak”, a sweet and spicy dish made up of a variety of fruits and vegetables and a chili dressing. Having grown up and lived in the Middle East, India, Singapore, Hong Kong and now the U.S., my global experiences have been exactly that – a rojak! Being a “rojak”, I have realized that I enjoy putting myself in different surroundings, as only when you put yourself in new surroundings with new people can you truly learn about others and where they come from.
My time at Darden has been no different – I have intentionally tried to vary my experiences to have as much exposure to Darden and to the world as possible. When the time came to choose to enroll in a Darden Worldwide Course, the decision was straightforward: to go to a country that I had little or no experience with, which, for me, was Uganda. The Uganda DWC did not disappoint! In my second year, I will participate in the leadership course to Patagonia in the spring (although I have quite a bit of exercising to do for that!). Similarly, I’ve also chosen to join both academic and non-academic clubs, like the Consulting Club and the Wine & Cuisine Club to allow me to meet people of different interests.
I decided to become a CGI student ambassador as I truly believe that global experiences enrich one’s view and understanding of the world. Before I went to Uganda, I assumed that the U.S. and Uganda would be very different. However, while interacting with children and locals in Uganda, I realized that people around the world are more similar than we think. Children will always be children and will laugh at the same jokes as children elsewhere would, for instance; but also, the struggles that societies face are oftentimes quite similar. These nuggets of learning can only be understood through travel and exposure. By being a CGI student ambassador, I believe I can make a tangible impact on the Darden community with the opportunity to encourage my peers – first years and second years alike – that travel is necessary. I started my time with CGI not knowing what CGI even stands for, but now I am eager to play a part in bringing Darden to the world!
As a CGI student ambassador, I see my role as to primarily serve as a point of liaison between the student community and the CGI team. This includes raising awareness about the different programs that CGI offers to students and providing feedback to the CGI team on the student interests to better tailor future programming. This year at Darden’s annual Global Food Festival, the CGI student ambassadors prepared food native to three countries in which second year DWCs will run (New Zealand, U.K. and Spain) to encourage students to consider enrolling in these DWCs and to further promote CGI to the student community. As they say, the way to someone’s heart is through their stomach! Concurrently, we are also working to increase Darden’s global course presence on social media platforms to give prospective students an easier glimpse into what the Darden experience offers.
For students deciding which DWC they want to do, my advice is to do what makes you uncomfortable. It is tempting for us to do that with which we are comfortable, but the truth is, being in uncomfortable situations forces you to learn – just like the core at Darden! DWCs provide the perfect opportunity to travel to unique locations with a group of smart, young people – an opportunity we may not have again. So let’s take it while we can!