Taking risks and finding purpose

Experience on the job and in the classroom inspired senior Ananya Singh to combine her interests in psychology, economics and nonprofit management.

When she arrived as a first-year student at Mount Holyoke, Ananya Singh ’22 thought she would follow her interest in psychology to a doctorate and a career as a therapist. Those early plans evolved as she experienced academic classes, internships and jobs, all of which revealed her interest in business.

“I wanted to help people, but I also realized I loved to work with teams and think about finance and strategy. I tried some computer science classes but came back to economics.” Combining psychology and economics felt right to Ananya. “In psychology I think about teams and the way we interact and how our environment affects us. Economics helped with understanding finance, business and analytical thinking.”

Her Nexus in nonprofit organizations also honed her leadership and critical thinking skills. Active in nonprofits since childhood, Ananya serves on two Delaware-based organizations’ boards and holds several campus leadership posts.

Discussions with a professor and alums who encouraged her to explore her interests were also critical as Ananya refined her career goals. Curious about marketing careers, Ananya sought advice from alums over social media. “Within minutes I had so many alums who wanted to help.” She was struck by their kindness in sharing their time. “I’m so excited to have access to that community,” she said.

Ananya identified her next opportunity while interning for a company that specializes in talent development and diversity recruitment. After almost two years at that company, Ananya will join Capital One after graduation and is considering eventually earning an MBA. For Ananya, it’s a path that perfectly melds her academic background with experiences gained on the job and in campus leadership.

She secured the internship by fearlessly typing a direct response to a CEO’s social media post that announced the company was hiring interns. The post was live for only an hour, and Ananya replied immediately, explaining that she was a Mount Holyoke student with internship funding. “If you take a chance on me, I promise I won’t disappoint you,” she said in her message.

Ananya credits The Lynk initiative for her boldness and is grateful for the unique opportunities it opens for sophomores and juniors.

“I’m very calculated in the decisions I make; I would not have otherwise taken the risk of sending a message to somebody saying take a chance on me. The Lynk gave me that push because I knew that there was a cushion behind me. It pushes us as students to think critically about what we want to do with our lives, but it also pushes you to take risks and find the things that you’re truly passionate about.”

As a residential fellow in MacGregor Hall, Ananya encourages the first-year students to leverage the alum network. “So much of what I’ve learned at Mount Holyoke is that people will give you an opportunity if you just ask for it. And I think that that was the biggest lesson I learned from the pandemic — just asking for help.”

“I’m sad to be leaving the Mount Holyoke community come May, but I’m so excited for what comes next and to join the alum network. I always knew it was there.”