Thanks and goodbye, Olin! Hello, future!

Meena Vembusubramanian

Hi all,

Somehow, while I wasn't paying attention, I've apparently run out of my four years at Olin College! My 66 classmates and I graduated almost a month ago now, on May 18th, during Olin's *first ever* sunny commencement ceremony! I think I can speak for not only a lot of my classmates, but a lot of college seniors in general in describing the weeks preceding graduation as among the most intense periods of my life. Things running across our minds included more typical finals-period pressures of wrapping up schoolwork, winding SCOPE up, turning in that infamous OSS final paper, etc. -- only this time exacerbated by the stresses associated with finding and negotiating jobs, graduate school offers, finding permanent housing and transportation where we're headed, etc etc. Phew!

All that said, those weeks definitely also qualify as the perhaps the one unit of time in which I have had the most fun in college. A group of us planned and executed a wonderful, Olin-ized version of Senior Week, which consisted of numerous receptions, a trip to an amusement park, a picnic, a night of bowling, more cheese, crackers and champagne than most of us will ever want to consume again.

Connor Riley, also '08, cooks a lot of bacon at our class picnic, also blessed with lovely weather -- we really lucked out!

Photo courtesy Anthony Roldan, '08.

Some of my classmates on the Ultimate Frisbee ride at Canobie Lake Park. We really lucked out on the weather this day too, and got to get on rides with virtually no lines, and even stay on multiple times if we asked nicely. Whee!

Photo courtesy Anthony Roldan, '08.


Inspired by our theme park trip, Olin's tight community, and the fact that this was probably one of the last times that something like this would be socially acceptable, one of senior suites threw a Kindergarten-themed party -- complete with gold-stars! Tiana, '08, approves!

Photo courtesy Anthony Roldan, '08.

We elected these two clowns to be our class' Alumni Reps. Well, they're certainly excited!

Anthony and Tiana in another photo courtesy Anthony Roldan, '08.

Looking back, my memories of the time are marked by a mish-mash of sheer excitement and nervousness about graduating and what the future holds for us, and the beginnings of the bittersweet realisations of "hey, this is my last week/5 days/ weekend brunch/ Thursday dinner/ time I am going to sit in the hallway talking to my roommates at 3AM/ etc. at Olin." I don't think it's really going to hit me 100% until September rolls around, and I am not driving back to Olin and worrying about getting my stuff out of storage (because it is all still in my parents garage -- *groan*). What is already beginning to set in though, is how much I already am, and am going to continue missing people in the future -- this includes all the great friends I have made in my classmates, as well as our amazingly friendly and approachable faculty and staff. Thank you, thank you, and THANK YOU all for a great four years, and helping me learn and grow so much as a person (I didn't notice that I had, but hey, ask my mommy :) ).

And of course, for me, no post reflecting back on my time at Olin could ever be complete without specific mention of all the fantastic women I've met along the way. If you're thinking this sounds cliche, stop. Go visit a couple large engineering firms, some EE/CS heavy graduate programs and come back and talk to me. If you'd told me about this four years ago, I wouldn't have bought in to how much of a positive difference having strong female classmates around you can make -- but by god, it's been great. What I'm looking forward to even more is, for anyone that has seen episodes of the show Cashmere Mafia, having a group of really powerful friends 10, or hey, even 5 years out. Watch out, engineering world!

Helen, Tiana, Nancy and Anne are just a few of the awesome women that graduated with me.

Photo courtesy Anne Itsuno, '08.

And of course, the one last thing to wrap up a post about graduating from Olin: what the future holds for me. My plan as of February/ March was to enter a phd program right after Olin. However, the more I thought about it closer to graduation, I was beginning to have second thoughts about this, and applied to a couple full-time positions. I ended up getting accepted into the Leadership Development Program, which is a rotational engineering program with Rockwell Automation, who was actually my SCOPE sponsor! Our team's actually got 3 out of 5 members signed on to work for our sponsor full-time, which is apparently a new record for the SCOPE program!

I was pretty excited by the breadth of experience and opportunities this program was going to offer me, and decided to just accept the offer and go with it for a while, in the hope that some work experience will better position me to be more certain about the exact direction I would like to pursue with future study. The decision to back out of a grad. school offer and fellowship to work with a great lab to do this though, was perhaps one of the hardest and grueling decisions of my life! I am, however, finally content with my decision, and really excited about starting the program in late August! Hopefully it will work out!But first, in other VERY EXCITING news, I am off to India for almost two months starting THIS FRIDAY!!! I am going to be traveling, visiting family, eating a lot, and just relaxing and enjoying being home after so long for almost two months until ~mid-August.That's it from me! Thanks for reading, and thanks for a great four years, Olin! :)- Meena

Posted in: Commencement Blogs