Written by Mia Miller and Sofia Vuong ’26
Where do our international students find themselves after graduation? That’s what we will
explore in our series of International Student Alumni interviews!
International student alumni work all over the world and offer a unique insight into the impact of being part of the Denison community. One such alumni is Rohin Daswani. He was born and raised in India and now works as an Engineering Manager at Carta in San Francisco, California. Together, Rohin and his twin brother came to Denison back in 2011. What brought him to Denison initially was the financial aid package and the 3 + 2 engineering program. This program offers students to study for 3-4 years at Denison and then do an additional two years at an affiliated engineering school, resulting in two bachelor’s degrees. With both of these things in mind, he chose Denison and began majoring in economics and minoring in computer science.
When he first came to Denison, Rohin was struck by the beauty of campus and the warmth of the people. However, he realized that the campus was more secluded than he expected. It was a challenge at first, but he says that being in a more rural area, “forced me to make the most out of my social life on campus and build a strong community of friends and professors.” Part of this community is also the host family he was matched with, which he still sees twice a year. To him, this community is one of the greatest benefits of his time at Denison.
As Rohin continued at Denison, there were many memorable moments of cultural exchange with other students, especially when he served as the Denison International Student Association President (DISA). With DISA, he got to share his own experiences and have new ones, whether it was celebrating Diwali or the Lunar New Year. He says being part of this organization and the friendships he made from it is something he still thinks about. For him, cultural exchange extends past college and into the workplace, where he gets opportunities like sharing a home cooked Indian meal with his coworkers from South Korea or Vietnam.
As for his professors and mentors, Rohin recalls how helpful his advisor was. She helped him to think critically and step out of his comfort zone. His favorite professor, though, was Theodore Burczak. To Rohin, Dr. Burczak was “hilarious and truly amazing.” He highly recommends taking a class with him. While at Denison, Rohin learned how to build relationships with professors, which he describes as a two way street. In his opinion, it takes spending time in their office hours, finding areas of common interest, getting coffee with them, or going to them for advice. Professors can’t be expected to try to foster that relationship without the students investing time and effort.
Looking back on his time, he advises current students to make the most out of the organizations Denison has, rely on the alumni network, and not be discouraged by the immigration process. “I think for international students their career tends to be their top concern because we have to worry about visas, work authorizations, and other immigration procedures, but all immigration issues have solutions so don’t let it get you down too much.” As a first step, he recommends getting OPT and having an internship in the city you’d like to work in. Rohin wanted to work in policy after graduating, so he got OPT and moved to D.C. for an internship.
After the internship, a Denison alumnus helped him get his next job. International alumni have been in the position current students are in and have a lot of empathy for what they are doing through. Because of this, Rohin suggests reaching out to them for support. Networking with these alumni, and other professionals, is an important tool, but focus on the relationship and not just the initial connection.Building strong relationships with them can lead to new opportunities and growth, like how Rohin got his job. If someone does not respond, Rohin has found that it is often because they are busy and not because they don’t want to, so be bold and reach out multiple times.
Even though he is no longer living there and some of his friendships have faded, Rohin still finds that he has strong ties to the community. He still has a number of friends from his time here that he is close with and even officiated one of their weddings. As we think back on the experiences of alumni like Rohin Daswani, we recognize that Denison’s impact extends far beyond the academic years, shaping individuals into global citizens with a shared sense of community that lasts a lifetime.