Ritika Desai

Name: Ritika Desai
Hometown: East Brunswick, NJ
Major: Supply Chain Management & Marketing
Minor: Concentration in Business Analytics and Information Technology
Year: Sophomore

Campus Involvement: TEDxRutgers Social Media & Design Specialist, Rutgers Business School Innovation Committee member, editor of RBS Office of Career Management Newsletter, ASCEND International Student Tutor, member of Omega Phi Alpha - National Service Sorority, Volunteer for RUDM, Her Campus Rutgers Vice President

Favorite thing about Rutgers: The diverse array of campus activities, clubs to get involved in, and contagious school spirit. There’s never a “boring” day at Rutgers - the wealth of ways to busy oneself keeps my days interesting and my perspective fresh. Fans of athletics have Big Ten events to attend, art fanatics have the Zimmerli museum to browse, and foodies have the many off-campus restaurants to peruse. Lovers of all these things, like myself, have found a home in a place that caters to so many different interests.

You dabble in a lot of different things! How do you find the time to manage schoolwork, extracurriculars, and social activities?
I often do not have time to indulge in all of the activities that I am involved in daily, so I make sure to prioritize. My course load this semester is pretty heavy, so I make sure to stay on top of my school work before attending social / extracurricular activities. I’m also a morning person so it helps to get all of my work done in the morning before class, and then have time in the evenings to socialize and go to club meetings. I also carry around a large planner which details every aspect of my life and would be lost without this tool - it contains all of my day-to-day commitments. It’s honestly all about balance, and retaining focus when it’s easy to derail and forget about priorities. I’ve found that I have ample time to socialize, even though my school life is very hectic!

Out of all your activities, which one has shaped you the most?
I proudly became a member of Omega Phi Alpha during this past semester, and in the short time that I’ve been a sister, I’ve learned so much about myself and about my community. Knowing that I wanted to join Greek life, but also wanted to be part of an organization that prioritizes community service, I found my niche in a sorority that contains a great balance of both. Through different community service related projects, I’ve met a variety of pivotal members of our community and have volunteered at events that I’ve been fortunate enough to see changes being made in. Exposure to the world outside of our university is very important to me, whether it be working at an office or interacting with autistic children at a Special Olympics event, and I have found that Omega Phi Alpha has let me do just this.

Who or what do you find inspiring?
I had a professor last year who did some groundbreaking research in Sustainability and Supply Chain - Dr. Kevin Lyons is constantly looking for ways to make the world “greener” and has worked tirelessly with Rutgers to reduce the university’s environmental impact. He even wrote a book titled "A Roadmap to Green Supply Chains, Using Supply Chain Archeology and Big Data Analytics" that explains how to improve supply chains by making them more environmentally-savvy. I hope to work with a fashion or beauty brand someday in their Supply Chain department, “greening” their supply chain, and thus find his research very inspiring.

If a Freshman is looking for some advice about how to get more involved, how would you advise them?
Try everything once. Before coming to Rutgers, I had never been to a high school sporting event, and detested that this school’s reputation was built on athletic achievement. But when I attended my very first football game during my Freshman year, I felt that contagious school spirit and was enthralled by the game (though I had no idea what was going on). Don’t procrastinate getting involved - these four years are moving by so quickly so take advantage of all the cool clubs and activities that Rutgers has to offer!

What are you looking forward to most this year?
I’m really looking forward to learning more! I love all of my classes in the Business School next semester and am really excited to find a new interest in courses like Operations Management or Marketing. It sounds nerdy, but I just love the feeling of studying and really understanding the material that is being taught - I feel so knowledgable after mastering a concept. I’m also really looking forward to *hopefully* running a half marathon in the spring!

In ten years, where do you see yourself?
Universities pride themselves in the percentage of students that are “employed” after graduation. Well, I hope to be more than just “employed” in ten years - I’d like to see myself in a dynamic career where I have room to grow and accel. I want to love what I do and be in an atmosphere that feeds me intellectually, physically, and of course, economically. Honestly, I just want to be a walking personification of Destiny Child’s song, “Independent Woman”. Nothing would make me happier than being a self-sustained individual!