Divya Mathur ’03
Name: Divya Mathur ’03
Current Title/Profession: Economic consultant, vice president, Analysis Group
City: Chicago, Illinois
Major: Economics and mathematics
Additional/Advanced Degrees: MA and PhD in economics, University of Chicago
What was your first job after MHC?: I joined a PhD program in economics at the University of Chicago directly after MHC. My first job after MHC was as a teaching assistant and involved running a math boot camp for MBA students with nontechnical backgrounds. It wasn’t nearly as much fun as working as a teaching assistant in the math department at MHC. Fortunately, it paid a little better, and allowed a broke graduate student to make ends meet.
Favorite class/professor and why: An independent study (which culminated with an honors thesis) with Professor Jim Hartley (economics). It was the most challenging yet rewarding academic experience I had at Mount Holyoke and it convinced me to get a PhD in economics. Every hour that I spent in Jim’s office discussing yet another paper, model, or assumption led to many, many hours in the library (everything was not yet virtual) reading, writing, thinking, and rethinking. It was an incredible experience!
Talents and/or passions discovered at MHC: Ah, so many … I discovered I had a passion for reading while sitting by lakes surrounded by trees; for detecting the whiff of freshly baked cookies while pulling all-nighters; and of course, arguing about every imaginable topic with talented women from around the globe while curled up on old sofas in front of even older fireplaces.
What do you value most about your liberal arts education?: Every class I took at Mount Holyoke—be it on mathematical proofs, macro economic policy, or even Zen and Japanese culture—taught me at a fundamental level how to craft an articulate, well-reasoned, and compelling argument. That, for me, is the essence of a liberal arts education and what I value (and use) in virtually every element of my professional and personal life.
Why is a women’s education still relevant today?: Today more than ever, women balance countless roles, juggle countless demands. Excelling in every dimension is certainly exhausting and probably impossible. Education in a women’s college setting is empowering because it provides the tools we need to succeed in all these dimensions. But it is also liberating because it exposes us to a range of choices and allows us to define for ourselves the roles and demands we want to undertake.
What do you want the world to know about MHC?: That Mount Holyoke offers a world-class education that can be tailored to be as rigorous and challenging as you want.
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