The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Rocky Senior Spotlight: Shloka Kini '13

Article Type 

My decision to come to Dartmouth was not something I planned. I applied to many schools as a senior in high school and only started choosing after I received admission. When I came to Dimensions at Dartmouth, I was struck by the picturesque campus, the focus on undergraduate education, and the programs at the Rockefeller Center. I knew from reading and hearing about Rocky programs that I wanted to be involved with the Rockefeller Center during my time at Dartmouth. 
I began my journey with the First Year Fellows (FYF) program. At the time, I knew that participating in such a program and receiving Civic Skills Training would be incredible for me to experience as a freshman. Most freshmen do not have the opportunities to hold summer internships. FYF would give me not only training but practice in the public policy workplace. Therefore, I pursued this program by taking Public Policy 5. And I was surprisingly accepted. At the time, I was very involved with the Computer Science department at Dartmouth and already planned to major in the subject. Although I was interested in technology and immigration policy when I applied for FYF, I wasn’t sure if I would be accepted. After working at Conservation International for that summer, living in Washington DC with so many wonderful Dartmouth students, and making new friends along the way, I can definitely say that FYF was a transformative experience for me and allowed me to experience an internship in a field outside of my own. It changed the way I thought about my career and public policy work.

Although I pursued a Computer Science major, I continued to be very involved in Rockefeller programs. The Management and Leadership Development program helped me to develop skills such as public speaking and presenting.  I continued in the Management and Leadership Development Program by serving as a student group facilitator. I learned many skills in the various workshops related to networking, professional development, and communication. After completing MLDP, I had a toolbox full of skills I could use in the workplace. Later, I participated in the pilot Create Your Path program which helped me to chart a course for myself at Dartmouth.

My experience with computers also gave me some unique Rocky opportunities in my sophomore spring. I worked as a Rockefeller Student Program Assistant by developing a database connecting students, alumni, and faculty. I also worked as a graphic designer for the Policy Research Shop (PRS), designing the layout for a Statistics Summary Homelessness Report. It was the first time I could use my computer skills, apart from programming, for an organization outside of computer science; it was very rewarding to see my work utilized by so many people. Never before did I have  the experience of being contracted to do graphic design work.  Being able to do this for the PRS and seeing my work published as formal report was incredible.

My senior year gave me the opportunity to finally use my toolbox of skills. With job interviews in technology and business, these skills proved invaluable in presenting myself to potential employers. On campus, I founded and served as president of the Women in Computer Science club, which allowed me to manage members and coordinate incredible events within the Computer Science department to attract more students.

For the future, my interests remain varied and interdisciplinary and so I have not plotted a definite career path. But Rockefeller Center programs have played a huge part in the successes of my Dartmouth career, giving me the exposure and experience in human relations and professional development that I needed to move forward as a leader in this world.

The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences