Alumni in Action: Divya Chadda ’13


Photo by Anibal Ortiz

Alumni in Action

For Divya Chadda ’13, CMC was and continues to be a transformative place for her. Although she was at the top of her high school class when she came to CMC, she quickly realized it’s better to learn from others than to strive to always be the smartest person in the room. As a student, she worked in the Office of Alumni and Parent Engagement, seeing firsthand the importance of giving back.

Chadda currently works at Our Place, a mission-driven start-up, managing everything from accounting and compliance. She shared CMC memories and how the College changed her for the better.

How did your time at CMC prepare you for your career?

When I came to CMC as a first-year student, it was my first time being away from home and my country. I felt challenged in my interactions with the student body but also found so many like-minded peers here! The best way to describe how my CMC experience prepared me for my career was that I was surrounded by people smarter than me and that humbled me.

I also learned to have fun! CMC taught me the work hard, play hard life. If you plan and are generally disciplined, you truly can have it all! As a new mom, I’m still learning how to juggle work, baby, life, and happy hour- but CMC taught me to prioritize fun!

Who were your mentors from your time at CMC?

Prof. Marc “Dad” Massoud is someone I constantly think about and remember as a guiding force. Some of my inspirations are my friends. My best friend is a key example - Elise Yoshida ’13 is disciplined, driven, fun, fabulous, and a doctor!

How did your thesis impact you personally and professionally?

I did my thesis on working mothers and child development. My mother stopped her Ph.D. after having kids and I always thought it was the biggest sacrifice and how could she do that! She had to put herself first - why did she stop?! Now, as a new mother, I get it. I would leave everything for my daughter. However, my thesis research taught me that having a working mother does not negatively impact child development and bonding, as long as the time spent with the parents is quality, focused time. I try to do that with my daughter, too. Also, organizations are now treating both parents as equal partners in parenthood and non-birthing parents have similar, if not the same, benefits as birthing parents. My husband is a fantastic dad and I’m grateful for the time his employer gave him to bond with his child and growing family!

Why is it important for you to be involved at CMC and /or give back?

I worked at the alumni office at CMC all four years, so I’ve always given back. It was instilled in me early that participating as an alum can add value to current students and the college brand. Think of it as investing in your degree.

Gilien Silsby


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