August 2018 Student Spotlight
August Student Spotlight with Mamta Melwani, BSPA ‘18
In this month’s student spotlight, we speak to undergraduate Mamta Melwani, who tells us about her Marxe experience including her favorite class, degree focus on public policy analysis which provides her “with a strong platform to make a difference in communities.”
Tell us about your internships throughout your time at the Marxe School. How have you leveraged those experiences for your career?
I transferred to Baruch College as a junior in Spring 2017. I began interning at the Institute of International Education (IIE) that summer, a global non-for-profit that designs and manages scholarships and study abroad programs. I interned during the period that IIE chose to undergo a complete reorganization and brand redesign. As an intern, I assisted with planning the designing floor layouts for the new teams, communicating with team chiefs, as well as administrative work pertaining to the moving process. I was fortunate to have been offered an extension for the fall, where the focus of my internship shifted towards finance-related duties. It was a good exposure to the working dynamics of a large not-for-profit and to individuals who were passionate about the work they did, especially from teams such as Foreign Fulbright, Scholar Rescue Fund and Academic and Experiential Learning!
Professor Feller encouraged me to apply for the New York State Assembly program in Albany for this spring, where I have had the opportunity to observe the legislative process and the dynamics of our political system first hand. The internship included both an educational and professional development component, which has broadened my understanding of the legislative process and given me the opportunity to network and learn from the individuals that make important decisions for our State every day.
I also believe that all my professional experiences, coupled with my strong educational experiences at Baruch, played a significant role in my acceptance into the Neighborhood 360 Fellows Program with the New York City Department of Small Business Services!
Can you recall a memorable in-class or general Marxe experience that struck you as particularly meaningful?
Building Cities and Markets class with Professor Rob Walsh! It has been my favorite to date. A class that is engaging is great, but not many classes allow you to apply your lessons and skills in the field within the duration of the course itself. We studied and debated real-life case studies, interacted with guest speakers before we were encouraged to apply our lessons in the field. What made this class particularly memorable was our final project for which we visited Westchester Square. We interacted with key community stakeholders to develop our very own SWOT [Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats] analysis and a community outreach plan to address the existing societal implications. It was challenging initially, but when I reflect back on it now, it was such great experience! This was also especially helpful for my Neighborhood 360 Fellows Program application.
One of two other classes that struck me as particularly meaningful was Professor Kafka’s class on school reform and education policy. The readings were intellectually stimulating and Professor Kafka encourages discussions! The other would be Professor Feller’s internship classes. He has been so hands-on and involved with our internship and fellowship applications, as well as ensuring that our classes equipped us with the skills and knowledge we need in a professional environment.
What interests you about your degree focus, public policy analysis?
Making a difference! This degree provides me with a strong platform to make a difference in communities. My classes throughout my time at Baruch have expanded my understanding of policies and its impact on society, both positive and negative. Through my internships at IIE and the New York State Assembly, I was able to apply the knowledge I have gained and witness this impact first hand – it has been extremely fulfilling. This degree and my professional experiences collectively have paved the possibility of a career doing just that! Three issues that I am extremely passionate about are Education, Women’s Rights and Community Development.
Assemblywoman Simotas, whom is a strong advocate for women’s rights, introduced the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights this year to strengthen the rights of survivors before, during and after their forensic examination, as well as to increase the rape kits retention period to twenty years. I was fortunate to be given the opportunity to conduct research on the provisions of this bill throughout my time at the Assembly and chose to do my policy analysis paper on this legislation to address its unintended consequences, bill language ambiguity, possible backlash and fiscal implications.