Live from New York ... It’s Graduation!

The excitement was palpable as the College’s newest alumni lined up for (in-person!) Commencement on May 18. We asked a few of them what’s next and what they are taking away from their College experience.

Jordan Kinard

MAJOR: Anthropology

WHAT’S NEXT: I’ll work in journalism and human rights.

THE CC TAKEAWAY: Anything is possible if you just go for it!

JiHoon Ko

MAJOR: Political Science and History

WHAT’S NEXT: I will attend the Law School next year!

THE CC TAKEAWAY: I think Columbia has a lot of resources — both academically and professionally — but you have to go out and get them, so self-advocacy is really important.

Lauren Apollaro

MAJOR: Sustainable Development

WHAT’S NEXT: I’m moving to San Francisco to work at an environmental consulting firm.

THE CC TAKEAWAY: Life is about balance — you have to work hard, play hard. You have time for everything — say yes to everything!

Nader Babar

MAJOR: Financial Economics

WHAT’S NEXT: I liked it here so much, I’m coming back for a master’s in electrical engineering.

THE CC TAKEAWAY: Enjoy every moment, and don’t stress too much about the far future.

Emily Kaanelamakamae Stone

MAJOR: Environmental Biology

WHAT’S NEXT: I plan to move home to Hawaii; I’m going to live on Maui and work at a bird conservation center.

THE CC TAKEAWAY: I love Deantini! But my big takeaway is to keep an open mind to the opportunities around me and to the people I meet — I’ve met a lot of great people here!

Asiyah Rajab

MAJOR: Political Science and Film

WHAT’S NEXT: I plan to stay in the city on a gap year, work a little bit and then head to the West Coast for law school.

THE CC TAKEAWAY: No matter what hardships and trials and obstacles there are, it’s the people that get you through. It’s the people that make your experience, and I’m grateful for the people here.

Samantha Figueredo Botello

MAJOR: Information Science and Public Health

WHAT’S NEXT: I’m going to intern in the epidemiology department at Harvard this summer and then I’m starting a job as a software engineer.

THE CC TAKEAWAY: Resilience. Perseverance. Every day it gets a little easier!

Sam Choi

MAJOR: Visual Arts with a concentration in History

WHAT’S NEXT: I’m hoping to be a photographer’s assistant.

THE CC TAKEAWAY: I’ve taken seven years to graduate, so my biggest takeaway is Be Patient. Everything you do will be rewarding at the end — it’s OK to not know what you want to do when you first come to Columbia, because you will find something here.

Dylan Roston

MAJOR: Financial Economics with a concentration in East Asian Studies

WHAT’S NEXT: I’ll be an investment banking analyst in New York City.

THE CC TAKEAWAY: I think you get what you give at Columbia. Saying yes to a lot of the opportunities here and leaning into the community is one of the most rewarding things you can do.

Tolulope Akinyede

MAJOR: Financial Economics with a concentration in Sustainable Development

WHAT’S NEXT: I’m staying in New York to do consulting at Oliver Wyman.

THE CC TAKEAWAY: Be open minded; you never know who you’ll meet or what path you’ll end up on!