Rocky and Me: Soham Basu '20 Senior Reflection

In the Rocky & Me series, Seniors reflect on their experiences during their time at Dartmouth.

My time at Dartmouth has flown by, and it is surreal to be approaching my last few weeks as a Dartmouth undergraduate (albeit via zoom!). A constant throughout my journey these past four years has been the programs, staff, and professors of Rocky. Stepping onto campus in the fall of 2016, my most vivid memory is being greeted by the smiling faces of Rocky staff at the events booth for freshman during orientation. I immediately felt welcomed and part of the Dartmouth community. My family was also set at ease seeing me interact with the Rocky staff. 

Fast-forward to sophomore year, I was working as a student assistant for the Rockefeller Global Leadership Program. The program to me represents the promise and potential of what can happen on Dartmouth’s campus. RGLP brought together people from every corner of campus to have challenging conversations on class, race, equity, and, most importantly, ourselves. I cannot count the number of times I have been in RGLP and thought to myself that moments like these are why I chose to come to Dartmouth. 

Throughout my time at Dartmouth, RGLP was continually evolving. I had the pleasure of working with Vincent, Sadhana, Tatyana, and Ariel, who currently leads the program. These leaders did not just serve as professional colleagues, but also friends and mentors whose advice and counsel I often sought. Similarly, some of my closest friends at Dartmouth have been cohort members or fellow student assistants of RGLP.

Through RGLP, I learned to think critically about myself and my place in different institutions. I rooted my ideas on race and class in a methodological framework and learned to effectively speak about difficult issues with confidence. I also got to experience the wondrous city of Montreal through our immersion weekend, using the city as a canvas to apply the skills that RGLP equips its students with. 

Rocky has instilled within me a passion to work difficult and vexing issues that require urgent solutions. With Rocky funding, I completed an internship at the US Department of State on the Pakistan Desk that sparked my interest to go to India my senior year on a US national security scholarship to learn Urdu. I credit my myriad conversations with Rocky staff, Rocky lectures, and Rocky programs for cementing my interest in international affairs and public policy. Just as importantly, Rocky equipped me to pursue these opportunities without fear and full confidence. 

Rocky has been a cornerstone of my time at Dartmouth: academically, professionally, and emotionally. I’m thankful for the relationships I’ve forged and the doors that were opened to me by virtue of the Rockefeller Center. Thank you.