Name: Vishu Nair
Hometown: Amherst, New Hampshire
Major: Dual degree in BioChemistry and Molecular Biology, and Legal studies
Occupation: Peer Advisor in the BioChemistry Department, Peer Advisor in the Legal Studies Department, Teaching Assistant, Tutor, Former NSO Leader, Law Intern
HC UMass: What are you involved in on and off campus?
VN: “I play the trumpet in the Marching band, and I have been in the Marching Band since 2011. I am a member of Kappa Kappa Psi, the Band Service Fraternity. We greatly contribute to the upkeep of the band’s resources, and hold fundraisers for certain band necessities. I am also the current Vice President of the Theta Chi Fraternity. During the summer, I was a Head Counselor for the NSO (New Student Orientation) Program.”
HC UMass: With everything in your schedule, what does a typical day look like for you?
VN: *Laughs* “Okay, well, here we go. So, I wake up, go to class, grab food, eat the food in class, and then I go to my BioChem lab. After lab, I go to Marching Band practice, and then after marching band practice, well, I try to get dinner somewhere in there! After dinner- if I have random things going on at night between band stuff or fraternity stuff- I would do them then. Oh yeah, and then homework! Homework, studying, and hanging out are all night activities, and then I head to bed. I am definitely a night owl. But, I do try to go to bed before 1 am, and then I generally wake up around 9 am, so I do actually get a full night’s sleep!”
HC UMass: It is a miracle that you sleep at night. What would you say are the pros of your jobs?
VN: “It’s cool because within a lot of my jobs I get to work with people, which is actually fun. *Laughs* I didn’t realize I liked people until I started working my first NSO (New Student Orientation). New students are really great, and always comical. I also enjoy advising, and because much of the Orientation job was advising, it made sense to continue that further. I always get to work with new people in advising, which is something that I really look forward to.”
Vishu with his best friends and fellow NSO Leaders, Adam and Emily.
HC UMass: And you obviously love being apart of Marching Band, do you get to travel a lot with them?
VN: “Yes, it is absolutely incredible. One of the first things I learned about Marching Band at my own Freshman Orientation was that the band gets to travel for free, and immediately I was like ‘For free?! That’s for me!’ My freshman year we traveled to Indianapolis, then my Sophomore and Junior year, we traveled to Gillette for all of the football games, which was fun. But it was Junior year that we went to New York City for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and that was definitely one of my most memorable experiences.”
HC UMass: What are some other pros of being in the Marching Band?
VN: “So many more incredible things have come out of joining [Marching Band]. I get to be apart of one of the greatest Marching Bands, in my opinion, of all time, and play with some of my best friends. Band has been a really important part of my college experience, and has largely impacted my life in general.”
Vishu with his best friends, and fellow bandmates, Adam and Ryan.
HC UMass: And how do you enjoy being apart of a brotherhood such as Theta Chi?
VN: “It is really nice to have a group of people to come home to at the end of the day. I love walking through the door to some 70 guys yelling just to greet me. Living in the house is awesome because there is always someone there to talk to, and there is always someone there to help you. It is funny because I am there to be a role model, but I also lean on my brothers a lot too. It’s a give and take. When I was the chapter librarian, I had to make sure that the overall house GPA was up to par, and I created my own little tutor system so that brothers can help brothers out. With VP, now, I just pretty much help with everything, so I try to be there for my brothers as much as I can.”
Vishu with some of his brothers of Theta Chi.
HC UMass: How did you first decide to pledge to a fraternity? Was Theta Chi your first choice?
VN: “My Sophomore year I pledged Theta Chi. I had a whole freshman year under my belt, so I had already made some important connections with people. But, I met my big brother through a connection with the Marching Band, so I got to know him pretty well beforehand. I knew that I wanted to be more involved and branch out, so when he suggested that I check out Theta Chi, I knew that it was something I wanted to be a part of.”
HC UMass: And how did you start with the Marching Band? Was it a tough decision?
VN: “It was, my parents really didn’t want me to join at first, because they saw how much time it took out of my highschool years. They really wanted me to focus on my academics, and so they didn’t want me to join band… and they definitely didn’t want me to join a fraternity! *Laughs* But, I just looked at them and told them honestly that I was going to do it, and they understood. I have been playing trumpet since 5th grade, and I am really glad I chose to stick with it throughout my life. The band is like a family, we all take care of eachother.”
HC UMass: Now to switch gears, where do you hope to be in 5 to 10 years?
VN: “I’ll let you know when I know! Just kidding. So right now I am in the process of applying to medical schools. I have submitted my application, so I am just doing the supplemental applications as they come around, and then I just wait to hear back. Hopefully, fingers crossed, I can schedule some interviews with some medical schools as well. I am also applying to graduate schools as well, including UMass Amherst’s, so that is another thing I have looked into, mainly so that I have options. Also, I have been seriously looking into the field of law… My future is kind of up in the air at the moment!”
HC UMass: Wow, it seems like you know what you are doing! Best of luck to you!
VN: “Does it? *Laughs* I say best of luck to myself every night before bed.”
HC UMass: Who would you say is your biggest supporter?
VN: “I would definitely have to say my little brother Rishi. He’s a freshman here at UMass.”
Vishu with his brother Rishi.
HC UMass: What is your proudest moment thus far?
VN: “I would have to say representing UMass in New York City for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. That was… wow. I mean, it was so incredible to be marching through the streets of Manhattan, and we were all just thrown into this amazing experience together. I just remember turning around and seeing a massive Pikachu balloon thing, and then in front of us were the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It was nuts. I have been watching this parade with my family for as long as I can remember, and it was one of those things we did every year. To be a part of the parade in real life was just surreal.”
Photos courtesy of Patty Camerota