For the last three years, Alizeh Zaman has been trying on possible careers for size. The Mount Holyoke College senior from Rawalpindi, Pakistan, now aims for a career in public policy. But she didn’t start out that way.
Zaman came to MHC already interested in her eventual major fields, economics and mathematics. But one book assigned in an introductory anthropology course—The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down—drew her also to anthropology and to an interest in the book’s topic, Vietnam’s ethnic minority Hmong people.
“I could never have imagined then that, through Mount Holyoke, I would have the opportunity to learn more about the Hmong tribe in Vietnam,” she said.
Olivia is spending her summer in India working with Under the Mango Tree, a non-profit organization (founded by MHC alum Vijaya Pastala '89) that supports rural farmers by supplementing their livelihoods with beekeeping. Bees benefit farmers by pollinating their crops, which increases the quality and the quantity of their agricultural yield, also allowing farmers to augment their income through the sale of honey. In addition, Under the Mango Tree has also helped 3,000 people in six states to gain market access to their products.
Olivia is an international relations major at MHC. She's having an amazing experience so far and is grateful for funding through The Lynk that made this internship possible. She recently blogged about visiting farmers in Hoshangabad:
The road to Hoshangabad began at the break of dawn, yet the crowded streets suggested a later time of day. Our cab darted and weaved through seas of people though there was seemingly nowhere to go, as most shops had yet to open. I was glad to leave the bustle of the city for the wider, and comparatively bare streets of the highway...
What an incredible year it's been! Over 10,000 in the MHC community have joined our movement, strengthening the global impact of an MHC education. Throughout the year, we've celebrated those who are making change in their communities and beyond, sharing stories of the power of women (and one chicken) here on campus and around the world.
In the centennial annual meeting of the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), President Carol Geary Schneider '67 called on colleges and universities to engage students in "signature work" that prepares them to integrate and apply their learning to real-world issues. A recent article in the AAC&U's Liberal Education highlights MHC's signature work with programs such as The Lynk, the College's curriculum-to-careers initiative. Students are required to participate in an applied learning experience outside of the classroom after their sophomore or junior year.
So far this year, during our most ambitious campaign ever, almost 7,000 have joined the movement bringing us closer to our goal of 10,000 alumnae for Mount Holyoke. Thank you to all who have donated your time, energy, and resources to help our students!
A daylong event at the Massachusetts State House brought current students with an interest in public service together with alumnae working in the field to strengthen their connections and help launch them into careers that will make a difference in the world.
Distinguished speakers, Judith Kurland '67 and Senator Kathleen Connor Ives '99 (pictured above near center, in green) inspired students with their keynote speeches. In her welcome, President Pasquerella noted the "staggering achievements" of Frances Perkins, class of 1902, saying that "Today, we continue the experience that so galvanized Frances Perkins. We are taking Mount Holyoke students out of the classroom and into the world of work."
“We see the power of alumnae encouraging the next generation of women leaders in the public sector,” said Becky Wai-Ling Packard, director of the Weissman Center for Leadership and professor of psychology and education. “The world needs women at the table, from running for a local town office, to shaping the policies of our nation, to representing nations across the globe. We see Mount Holyoke's Lynk initiative and the Weissman Center's Leadership and Public Service (LAPS) program contributing to this sea change.”
This summer, Aderike Ajao ’16—a double major in economics and politics—will spend ten weeks in sales and trading as an intern at Barclays in New York.