On a busy afternoon in the Lillis Business School Café, I walk in and immediately focus in on the happy, smiling young woman sitting at a corner table fiercely typing away on the bright neon blue MacBook sitting in front of her. As I approach her, she looks up still smiling and greets me with a friendly wave.
This sweetly smiling young woman is Neethu Ramchandar. Ramchandar is a senior in the School of Journalism and Communication, pursuing her bachelors degree in journalism with a focus in magazine writing and advertising, and has a minor in anthropology. A bubbly, happy, and driven young woman during our conversation, I was amazed to learn more about Ramchandar and her adventurous life full of stories, culture, and exactly how she ended up at UO pursuing a career in journalism.
Born in Austin, Texas, Ramchandar moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico a short 27 days after making her mark on the world. From Albuquerque, Ramchandar and her family moved to Beaverton, Oregon when she was 15. She graduated from Westview High School, and shortly after made her way to Eugene to attend UO.
Ramchandar’s roots as a journalist started very early in her life and have taken her on quite the journey. In her early years she struggled with writing; “I was a terrible writer,” she says with a laugh. “Then in seventh grade I wrote a story for a K-12 writing competition and I won! That was the moment that I decided I could and wanted to tell stories.” Ramchandar connected storytelling to her family. She recalled spending her childhood listening to her dad and grandfather tell stories during family time, and how they have the amazing ability to capture audiences as soon as they begin to speak.
As she got older Ramchandar continued to pursue perfecting her storytelling skills, all pieces of work that lead her to studying journalism. She was the editor of her high school newspaper, The Prowl, and in her senior year she started the school’s first literary magazine, Wink.