What is your current occupation and how did you get into this role?
Until April 2017, I was a legal associate with the Mergers and Acquisitions team at a leading full-service law firm in Mumbai, India. As a corporate lawyer, my work essentially involved meeting with clients to understand their business goals, drafting and negotiating various transaction documents, and working with different teams to see how the transaction can be structured to achieve those goals.
Having worked on multiple international transactions over the course of nearly three years, I felt the need to expand my jurisdiction-specific knowledge, especially relating to the United States, and decided to take a year off to pursue the Master of Law program at Columbia Law School, New York. I am currently enrolled in the program and a recipient of the 2017-18 Lawrence A. Wein Corporate Responsibility Fellowship at Columbia.
What do you most enjoy about your job?
I love that no two days are the same. Because the work is so international and spans many different sectors, each client has a different business objective that the law must help achieve. This means that my work requires me to be creative yet law-abiding in giving solutions that are both cost- and time-effective for the client. Alongside the actual work itself, what I also really enjoy is the brainstorming sessions that a project team undertakes with senior partners and colleagues, which can be a tremendous and constant learning experience. This makes each day at work exciting and challenging.
How have your studies at Wolfson helped you in your career?
Doing the Master of Corporate Law (MCL) programme at Cambridge was the best decision I made as it prepared me well for the rigour of a corporate law firm – a terrain I was unfamiliar with, as I did the MCL right after my undergraduate law degree. The small size of the programme, coupled with the practical training I received, also helped me navigate some of the toughest interviews with law firms. I chose to experience Cambridge through Wolfson because of how the College stood out from the rest. While everyone knows that it is one of the modern colleges in Cambridge, it is also the only truly international college there. For someone who had not lived abroad before this, the international setting and the seamless balance of Cambridge traditions and individual contemporary approaches made for the most fantastic collegiate and life experiences. My time at Wolfson made me a gregarious person, capable of interacting with people from different cultures and backgrounds. This has gone a long way in helping me blend in in any social setting, both during my time as a corporate lawyer and now, again, as a student.
What is your fondest memory of your time at Wolfson?
I have very fond memories from the times I spent in the Wolfson Gardens, especially the Sundial Garden, with some of the closest friends I made at Wolfson. I also enjoyed just relaxing in the Club Room (which is also the most culturally active spot in the College, in my opinion) and the Jack King Building where I took salsa classes. I have taken part in several of the WCSA events that are hosted (including the very fun Bollywood night and Scottish folk dance class). I have to mention the Formal Hall dinners where I dined with some of the most interesting Fellows and students at Wolfson.
What is the best piece of advice you've ever been given?
'Challenge the challenge'. This is something my parents always repeat to me and it has helped reinforce my inner strength to overcome any stumbling block.
Which person (living or historical) do you most admire and why?
I admire my sister the most. She has been a friend, mother and sister to me through all these years. She has taught me many things but the one that I find myself practising most often is pushing my limits and being a better version of myself each day. She continues to inspire me to be extraordinary in everything I do.
Which book has had the greatest impact on you?
‘On His Blindness', a poem by John Milton, is one of the most impactful pieces of literature that I have read. An expression of Milton’s personal struggle with blindness, the poem resonates how hard work, faith and patience in the face of adversity can make one stronger and I found this message very inspiring.