Mini-Grants

Students' Reflections on Ivy Policy Conference

The triumph of the Ivy Conference is not the keynote speakers, not the carefully planned tracks, not even the beauty of Columbia's New York campus: it is the minute interactions between students from different colleges. For this I am intensely grateful. Few other events or organizations could make these interactions possible not just possible, but easy. It could be an intense as a heated debate about the appropriate response to administrative inaction or as sublime as a conversation struck up in an elevator that leads to a lasting friendship--these are the heart of the ivy conference and the reason I'm drawn to eat it each year. The effect of these interactions in aggregate is to get a better perspective on our common problems and to come up with common solutions.

Empowering Young Women in the Upper Valley

We learned so much through planning Sister to Sister 2017 and it was an invaluable experience for all involved. First, we learned about the various logistics involved with planning a conference of this size and magnitude. The key to the success of the conference was starting to prepare very early on by noting what was and was not successful from Sister to Sister 2016. Link Up has already began to talk about Sister to Sister 2018, which will be essential to making next year's conference even more successful than this year’s.

Further, it was so important that we were able to receive input from so many different people involved with the conference. We sent out surveys to the facilitators asking for feedback and we used the 2016 feedback to improve this year’s conference. Additionally, all of the Link Up executives edited the schedule for the conference. All of this collaboration ensured the program was reviewed from a variety of perspectives and therefore we could do our best to cover all important topics for middle school girls.

Financial Investments for Justice

Having been elected as the Chief Executive Officer of Smart Woman Securities’ Dartmouth Chapter for the academic year 2017-2018, I was given the opportunity to embark on a field trip to meet with and learn directly from Mr. Warren Buffett in Omaha, NE hosted by Smart Woman Securities National. Ever since my sophomore fall, I have been an active Research Analyst, and then Investment Board Member in Smart Woman Securities – a national organization that exclusively educates women on evaluating businesses and pitching stocks. Although I had participated in panels talks such as the “100 Women in Hedge Fund” hosted by Morgan Stanley and went on Corporate Treks to meet with asset managers like Fidelity and Eaton Vance, my excitement about this coming trip to meet Mr. Warren Buffett was unequaled.

The Next Generation of Global Health

GlobeMed’s 5th Annual Benefit Dinner was a great opportunity for me to get more involved and learn all the details that go into planning a large event. I learned a lot about collaboration, the importance of goal-setting, and the ability to see the bigger picture even when it can seem a distant and daunting task. Funding from the Rockefeller Center was absolutely critical in allowing us to put on an event that both looked and felt like it was high quality. Without funding, it would have been difficult to secure enough food for everyone, and we would not have been able to decorate the space so that it felt like a legitimate and exciting event to students who walked by -- they were intrigued and interested in learning about our organization and global health because we made it such a welcoming space.

Students Discuss Impact of Vietnam War with Professor Miller

On February 2nd, 2017, Professor Edward Miller joined the Thought Project Living Learning Community for dinner to discuss the Vietnam War. Professor Miller spoke about his recent trip to Vietnam with former Secretary of State John Kerry. A Vietnam War veteran, Kerry was decorated with a silver star for his service. In the fall of 2016, Kerry visited Vietnam, and he relied on Professor Miller to guide him through the territory with World War II-era maps. It was fascinating to hear Professor Miller discuss his interactions with John Kerry, which were never one-on-one. “The Secretary of State doesn’t go anywhere alone,” Miller explained. While in Vietnam, Kerry happened to meet one of the Viet Cong soldiers who was on the opposing side of the ambush. “The meeting,” Miller explained, “was the perfect symbol of reconciliation between the US and Vietnam.” The two governments now have now become closely aligned: the ideology of communism has died out in Vietnam completely. Vietnam sends the sixth largest proportion of all foreign university students in the United States.

Lessons for Future Advocacy

The lessons that the 2017 UN Winter Youth Assembly offered me were truly remarkable. Never before have I been in the presence of so many passionate, motivated peers from around the world who have already begun to impact tangible change in their communities.

Intersection of Public Policy and Investor Immigration

This past January, I attended the 2017 EB-5 & Investment Immigration Conference as part of my ongoing thesis research regarding investor immigration in the United States. My particular research focus centers on the intersection of the migration decision, public policy, and economic development—three central components of the EB-5 Program. At the conference, I was able to learn from different EB-5 stakeholders through conducting ethnographic work, which combined participant observation with semi-structured interviews. I was also able to participate in five workshops and attend twelve panels, which ranged from how to organize an EB-5 venture to future immigration policy in the current political climate. The qualitative data collected during the conference will be central to my investigation of stakeholder motivations, the impacts of EB-5 immigration on job creation and local development, and the role of public policy in mediating these two agendas.

A New Perspective on Finance Careers

I’d like to thank Rockefeller Mini Grants for providing me with the opportunity to attend the 2017 Venture Capital and Private Equity Conference at Harvard Business School. It was an amazing experience and I am so grateful to have had the privilege of attending this event.

The Venture Capital and Private Equity Conference at Harvard Business School is an annual conference that brings together students, professors, and venture capital/private equity professionals from around the world. The conference features four keynote speakers, each bringing a unique perspective on the venture capital and private equity industry. In addition, the conference features various panel discussions covering topics such as growth equity, cross-border investing, and healthcare investing.

A Female Dominated Space in Mathematics

Thanks to the support from the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences at Dartmouth College, I was able to attend the Nebraska Conference for Undergraduate Women in Mathematics from February 3-5 at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. At the conference, I presented the results of my research project in applied mathematics, connected with experts in the field, and made friends with fellow female mathematicians. The experienced was both rewarding and eye opening.

The Future of Investment and Entrepreneurship

The Harvard Business School Venture Capital and Private Equity Conference on Saturday, January 28th, 2017 was attended by students, entrepreneurs, and investment professionals. The event kicked off with a morning keynote address by Seth Klarman, author of the famous value investing tome, Margin of Safety, and founder of the Baupost Group. Mr. Klarman is still CEO and President Baupost, the now 35 year old hedge fund that has made one of the highest returns of any fund in history. One dollar invested at the inception of the Baupost Group would now be worth over $700. Mr. Klarman talked about how his investment strategy is intensely focused on the microeconomics of companies, in the context of the macroeconomics. He discussed how you can correctly predict macroeconomic and geopolitical events and outcomes, but you cannot predict how the market will react to them.

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