TFC Alumni

Dia Chakraborty

M.A. International Education Policy and Management '18

Bio

Dia Chakraborty

Position: Analyst at Skoll Foundation, Portfolio, and Investments

Which TFC Programs did you participate in?

Hult case Competition; Treks; Project Pyramid; TFC Board Member

Why would encourage others to get involved with the TFC?

TFC gives you wide exposure into the world of social entrepreneurships and the power of collective vision and problem solving. I found it a melting pot of thoughtful and passionate individuals from across the world. I doubt any such platform exists within the Vanderbilt community where your experiences have so much real time value addition. I would encourage every single incoming student to engage with the center at some capacity.

P.S: I got the reference for my job through the keynote speaker at the TFC Summit!
from all across the world and schools within Vanderbilt. I doubt any such platform exists within the Vanderbilt community where your experiences and viewpoints are valued so much.

How did the TFC help prepare you for your current position? 

When I joined Vanderbilt, TFC brought me to the world of Social Entrepreneurships and the power of using business to solve some of the worlds most pressing problems. 2 years later, I am working in a philanthropic organization that invests in social entrepreneurs who are driving real changes at the grassroots level. Different projects within TFC prepared me for the role of a generalist who can look at complex problems objectively and work towards a constructive solution.

Fatima Jamil Khan

M.A. International Education Policy and Management '18

Bio

Fatima Jamil Khan

Position: Senior Program Associate – NOWPDP (Network of Organizations Working with Persons with Disabilities Pakistan)

Which TFC Programs did you participate in?

Project Pyramid and TFC Summit

What was the most valuable lesson you learned from the TFC?

There were a couple of things that really stuck with me through my TFC experience.
1. Failure is an opportunity for one to learn.
2. If you feel strongly about something, you should have the confidence make a case and defend it.

How did the TFC help prepare you for your current position?

Currently, I am working at NOWPDP, which is a disability inclusion initiative in Pakistan. I am leading a team that is responsible to promote inclusivity in different angles of education. This experience currently is helping me organize my diverse team of differently-abled persons, figure out their strengths and apply those strengths in different projects that come under my program

Grace Fletcher De Niear

MPH (Global Health) & MA (Latin American Studies) '17

Bio

Grace Fletcher De Niear

Position: One Drop

Which TFC Programs did you participate in?

All of them — I was on the TFC Programming Board and then served as the Graduate Assistant for the TFC.

How did these experiences impact your career path?

In so many ways! I developed new skills, got exposed to how business can have an impact on the topics I care about (social science and global health), and learned from some incredible people.

What was the most valuable lesson you learned from the TFC?

I’m not sure I learned a lesson from the TFC, but I did learn a lot about myself, what I have to offer, and how to put that into practice in the real world.

Maryum Gul

M.A. Graduate Program in Economic Development '18

Bio

Maryum Gul

Position: Data Analyst at Teach for All

Which TFC Programs did you participate in?

Hult Prize, Project Pyramid

What was the most valuable lesson you learned through the TFC?

Bringing together all that I had learnt in graduate school with real world issues – basically connecting the dots.

Would you encourage others to get involved with the TFC?

Definitely – You must. It is an integral part of graduate school especially if you are looking to work in the development/ social entrepreneurship space.

How did the TFC help prepare you for your current position?

Dealing with multiple stakeholders across different timelines with varied expectations: crux of Project pyramid and my current role.

Michael Baker

M.A. International Education Policy and Management '18

Bio

Michael Baker

Position: EAB – Strategic Leader

Which TFC programs did you participate in?

Hult Prize, Project Pyramid, SEc

How did theses experiences shape your career path? 

Project Pyramid helped provide me experience working as a consultant with various teams and groups of people outside of my background and area of expertise. Using hypothesis-based thinking, and gaining experience in the for-profit world, were critical from SEc. Also, Hult Prize helped me work on pitching and presenting in front of larger groups of people.

What was the most valuable lesson you learned from the TFC?

The most valuable lesson I learned was realizing that, regardless of your background, and where you exist in the world, you can find ways to contribute, and also that people around the world share more similarities than differences when it comes to community development.

How did the TFC help prepare you for your current position? 

I currently work with deans, provosts, and other academic leaders on student success initiatives. Given the level of academic leadership that I engage with on a regular basis, TFC helped me nail down my “elevator pitches”– speak confidently and personally to thought leaders of education, and to always ask questions first before jumping to conclusions.

Mike Woodnorth

MBA '18

Bio

Mike Woodnorth

Position: Strategic Growth Director at Project Return

Which TFC programs did you participate in?

Social Enterprise Consulting, Project Pyramid, treks, programming board, Fellows, Hult Prize, Summit. I think everything.

How did these experiences impact your career path?

If you take full advantage of your time with the TFC, you can get exposure to everything you need to decide whether or not you want to work in the impact space. I did a consulting project for a financial services firm trying to get into impact investing, another project for a social enterprise with international operations, had a fellowship with the largest national funder of impact investments and jumped on planes to meet with over 40 other impact investors in 4 different cities. The TFC supported all of those endeavors and it gave me the experience and network needed to have a job that sits at the intersection of social enterprise and impact investing.

Why would you encourage others to get involved with the TFC?

Because if you don’t, you’ll be missing out on an incredible opportunity to be unlike the other people in your program. The way things currently are and the systems currently in place being taught to the rest of the people in your program aren’t really working out for the billions of people living in poverty. The TFC is a place that welcomes challengers to the way things are and offers you opportunities to meet the people trying to figure out a better system that works for the marginalized.