We Are CC’23!

Our newest alumni celebrated Commencement under brilliant blue skies on May 17. We asked a few of them what life lessons they are taking away from their time at the College.

Bhoomika Kumar

MAJOR: Biology
FUTURE PLANS: “I’ll be working on my carbon capture startup!”
THE CC TAKEAWAY: “Working with people of different backgrounds brings in really cool perspectives for solving problems. It allows you to think of creative solutions for the biggest challenges the world is facing.”

Jae Joon Lee

MAJOR: History and Economics
FUTURE PLANS: “I’ll be working at RAIN Group.”
THE CC TAKEAWAY: “All work is meaningless unless you do it with others. Your most important memories will be of the time you spent with other people.”

Adar Tulloch

MAJOR: Computer Science
FUTURE PLANS: “I’m doing software engineering at Walmart Labs in Arkansas.”
THE CC TAKEAWAY: “As a transfer student, for me it’s about being open to trying new things. I was apprehensive about the courses and meeting new people, but once I immersed myself in the community I felt so at ease. Being open to new things and new experiences is a life lesson that will stick with me.”

Fidel Martinez

MAJOR: Neuroscience and Behavior
FUTURE PLANS: “I’m going to medical school in either Pennsylvania or Virginia.”
THE CC TAKEAWAY: “Your time at Columbia is the perfect opportunity to grow and explore. Living in New York City, you can find where your people are and you can connect with your interests.”

Aryana Swanson

MAJOR: Political Science
FUTURE PLANS: “I’m going to law school at Northwestern.”
THE CC TAKEAWAY: “You should pursue what you are passionate about rather than what you think you should do. During my time at Columbia I had the most fun taking the classes I was passionate about, even if they weren’t directly geared toward my career.”

Aaron Baez

MAJOR: Financial Economics with a concentration in Business Management
FUTURE PLANS: “I’ll be in banking at J.P. Morgan.”
THE CC TAKEAWAY: “The greatest learning experience that an institution like this can provide is diversity of thought, and I think Columbia does a good job giving students the opportunity to encounter a variety of world perspectives.”

Nathalie Rodriguez

MAJOR: Sociology and Business Management
FUTURE PLANS: “I’m working at Goldman Sachs.”
THE CC TAKEAWAY: “As a born-and-raised New Yorker, my biggest takeaway is that to be transformed you don’t need to go to exotic locales or even change your neighborhood; the people you are with can transform you anywhere you are.

Marie-Josée “Josie” Bourelly

MAJOR: Anthropology
FUTURE PLANS: “I’m going to travel in East Asia with friends, then work as an actor at a theater in Ithaca.”
THE CC TAKEAWAY: “At Class Day, speaker Katori Hall ’03 said, ‘You have to nourish your tree, even if it’s with your own spit,’ which was so great. You need to make sure that you are your biggest champion, that you’re always advocating for yourself and that you allow your curiosity for life and your passions to take the lead.”

Elia Longyu Zhang

MAJOR: History and Philosophy
FUTURE PLANS: “I’m doing a two-year art history fellowship at Williams College.”
THE CC TAKEAWAY: “Always be open to the unexpected! People, opportunities, perspectives, activities — they can all open your world and shape how you view your life.”

Adam Alvarado

MAJOR: Sociology with a concentration in Public Health
FUTURE PLANS: “I’m staying in New York City to explore my interests.”
THE CC TAKEAWAY: “It’s OK to not be certain about things! There is so much to explore; things will work out in the end and you’ll have great experiences along the way.”