Undergraduate Student Spotlights

Kashish Jain

Hometown: Shakopee, MN

Year in School: Junior (almost done!)

Interests/Hobbies: Dance, Traveling, Activism & Human Rights Advocacy, Politics

Employment/Involvements/Activities: I am involved in Alpha Phi Omega, Wisconsin Consulting Club, and the president of Amnesty International on campus. I have a technology consulting internship this summer at Baker Tilly in Chicago. 

What is your most memorable (PG-13 rated) UW-Madison experience so far?

One of the most memorable experiences I have had at UW-Madison was staying up until 5 in the morning with my best friend at college library; we even ordered pizza to the library around 2 a.m. and basically completely goofed off instead of doing our work. I don’t recommend this if you have an exam or a paper due the next day, but you just need to have one of those insane nights with your friends because it just makes you remember that you’re never going to have a time in your life like this again! I’ve been at home because of covid-19 for a year almost and I really miss those nights in the library.

If you have any other majors or certificates in addition to Econ, how did you decide to add Econ or add the other major/cert?

I am currently working towards a certificate in Public Policy. I have always been really passionate about human rights, politics, and policy work. I know one day I’m going to want to have a career in politics whether that’s running for Congress or Senate or something else. I already felt like a degree in economics was a great major to have for politics and government, but I knew that policy would be the epitome of my work in government, so I wanted to make sure I was prepared in that regard. I don’t know when that part of my life will come about but I just wanted to be ready for it and want to keep studying something I’m passionate about!

How do you manage your course load?

Every semester, I make a giant Excel spreadsheet (usually on Google Sheets) and I take a couple days before classes start to fill it up with every single assignment, exam, project, or anything else I can see on the syllabi for my classes with their respective due dates. I even add a column with checkboxes so I can check things off as the semester progresses and keep myself accountable.  I also make another page that has all the office hours for my professors laid out for easy access instead of digging through syllabi. This has helped me make sure I never miss an assignment when I have 5 classes going on at same time and helps me stay organized. However, in a less technical way, I also go to therapy to handle stress and anxiety. One of the most important things I have learned is that you don’t need mental illness to go to therapy, you can just have normal life problems and learn how to constructively deal with them through therapy – I highly recommend it!

What advice do you have for students seeking an internship/research experience?

My advice is to use LinkedIn and Badger Bridge a ton. Networking is literally how I got my current internship for this summer and I am still continuing to network and build up a community of people that want to help me. It is going to be instrumental in getting me a good full-time job after graduation as well. It’s really cliche but cold reaching out on LinkedIn can never go wrong, and alumni are always there to help you, so Badger Bridge is one of the greatest resources out there for you that, in my opinion, is not all that advertised. Take advantage of it, know exactly what kind of internship you’re looking for, find people at that company, get a referral from them, prep for interviews and really get your resume critiqued (use the SuccessWorks appointments!), and then do mock interviews with the Econ Career Development Office. That’s my formula for success!

Do you know what you want to do after graduation? If yes, what? If not, what advice would you give to another student who may not know either?

As of right now, I am looking for a full-time job in consulting after graduation, but that depends on my experience this summer. It has been a difficult but rewarding journey to get to this point. I entered college as a biomedical engineering student only to fail at life a bunch of times and be completely confused by the end of freshman year. I tried as hard as I could and really took advantage of my support system to change my major to economics and get back on track. When I graduate next year in May, it will be because of my determination, of course, but also because of the help and support from so many people.

If you don’t know what you want to do with your life, just talk to people. I only found out what consulting was by talking to recent graduates from UW and UMN. Talk to alumni and friends and family, and really dig deep on what skills you find valuable. Fit a career to your interests instead of the other way around. Consulting is a great way to gain exposure to a bunch of different industries and careers through problem-solving; I don’t know exactly what I want to end up doing, but I know consulting is a good place to start. I can’t wait to graduate and start my career – it’s exciting not knowing where or what I will end up doing! Relish in the unpredictability and go with the flow. We’re only in our 20s anyway!