When Divya Thadani ’99 returned to campus for her 10th class reunion, she stopped to see one of her Independent Study advisers, marched in the class parade, partied with a first-year roommate, caught up with her former host family, and took a run through one of Wooster’s homey neighborhoods. As she wandered through Taylor Hall, where she had spent so many hours as a math and international relations major, she remembered how she felt when she arrived in Wooster from Bombay, India, 14 years before.
“It was the first time I had been to the United States. I had decided on Wooster because of the personal letter the College sent me, but really everything I knew about it came from a glossy brochure,” she remembered. “I have a vivid memory of feeling that the bus from Wooster that picked me up at the airport was driving down the wrong side of the road.”
By the end of her four years at Wooster, Thadani had accumulated experiences that laid the foundation for a successful professional career. She was a resident assistant, participated in the international student association, student government, student judicial board, and summer Applied Math Research Experience (AMRE). For her Independent Study, she researched why economic growth in third world countries often doesn’t translate into better public health and education opportunities.
After graduation, Thadani worked in New York as a strategy consultant and then received her MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. Today she is a consultant at a privately held manufacturing company specializing in engineered materials and natural resources. Thadani’s ability to develop mathematical and financial models to analyze problems and her awareness of the world’s diverse cultures make her a natural for her job.
For example, she helped a business identify the variables that would influence a decision to build a low-cost site in China. Using computer modeling, Thadani quantifies such diverse influences as the political stability of an area, health costs, talent management and retention, and a culture’s track record in protecting company trade secrets.
Since she began her current job in 2004, Thadani has applied her curiosity, analytical mind, and sense of adventure to consult with companies with operations in the United States, China, Finland, the Netherlands, and other European countries.
“One of the most important things I took from Wooster was a sense of confidence,” says Thadani. “You begin your senior year thinking everything is so daunting and unmanageable. And then you do it.”
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