Meet Our Alumni
Since graduating from the Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs in 2017, Brinda Gupta has been busy making her mark in her new role at Washington University. Besides her role as project coordinator for the Envolve Center of Health Behavior Change, she is the youngest member on the Brown School’s social policy curriculum, communications and student affairs committees. She has also been elected to the Connecting at Brown committee, an HR initiative to networking and collaboration among research centers and departments. “I’ve used my Coro skills from my very first day on the job at Washington University,” she says.
What drew you to the Coro Fellows program?
Upon graduation from Saint Louis University, I knew I was interested in public health but was unsure which career path I wanted to pursue. I applied to the Coro Fellowship to help me find out what I am most interested in and gain valuable communication and project management skills that will be applicable to any career I choose.
With the fellowship’s unique project placements in diverse sectors, weeklong studies in specific topics, and a lot of self-designed seminars, I knew Coro was a great fit for me to be challenged.
Through the process, Coro reinforced my interest in public health, and I also realized how much more there is to continue learning!
What did you gain from your program experience?
My biggest take-away is that you “don’t know what you don’t know.” Now, when I am presented with an assignment or situation where I do not have all the details, I am not worried about how I will complete the task at hand. Coro experiences have taught me how to ask the right questions, ask for help when it is needed, and work efficiently to submit deliverables on short timelines.
One of the biggest benefits is the large network I now have! All my project placement supervisors are close mentors of mine, and I am in regular contact with each of them. When I was exploring job options, I went to my placement supervisors to ask for advice and support through the process. At FOCUS’ What’s Right with the Region award ceremony last May, I left with three job offers from the networking reception alone.
Of course, my cohort is one of my strongest professional and personal networks. They remain the people I talk to after a great or rough day, when I need advice, or just a friend to talk to.
What do you wish others knew about St. Louis?
People are truly kind and extremely helpful here. For example, in our Coro program, we were tasked to design a full day of learning on a topic of our choice with 2-3 other fellows as part of our weekly seminars. I remember how enthusiastic St. Louis community members were when we cold-called asking for an interview, leads for an experience, or simply for a coffee meeting to discuss our program more. That meant, and still means, a lot. I wish people knew that about St. Louis. Whether you move here for the first time or are a long-time resident, there is always a helping hand.
At work, people say that I can walk on campus and know nearly everyone in my path. That comfort level I have to introduce myself to new people and make connections is because of Coro.