Syona Arora '15 was a anthropology major with a minor in history and a concentration in gender and sexuality studies at Bryn Mawr. Syona now works as the Manager of Operations at the Global Interdependence Center and is the founder of South Philadelphia Community Fridge.
Syona is returning to campus along with Caroline (Wright) Larsen-Bircher '10, and Alexis McDonald '17 as part of the Career & Civic Engagement Center’s Listen, Learn, and Connect program on April 7, at 7 p.m. via Zoom.
Panelists will talk with students about career paths in the nonprofit sector. Students can learn more and register via Handshake.
In the below Q&A, Syona talks about finding her career passion, the value of attending a women's college, and more.
How did you get involved in your current field?
I have had a roundabout career path - I graduated and worked at McMaster-Carr, in supply chain and logistics. I left to work at the Franklin Institute, following a path I was interested in for a career in museums. I was laid off in March 2020 and spent a year job-hunting before joining my current employer, the Global Interdependence Center. My path hasn't been straightforward, but now I'm doing what I have come to love - organizing events for the global community and running the operations of a small non-profit.
What part of your Bryn Mawr experience has been most important to your professional development?
I have a few answers. 1) The network. As an alum, I have fallen back onto the Bryn Mawr community for my personal and professional life more times than I can count. 2) The staff. I knew that I didn't want to follow an academic path, so while I cherished my relationships with my professors, I wasn't always looking to them for post-grad advice. Bryn Mawr is small enough that you can get to know all of the staff, from the housekeepers to the CFO and everyone in between. 3) The environment. I never felt shy or less-than in my academics or extracurriculars at Bryn Mawr, so I graduated with the confidence that I gained over four years.
What career advice do you have for current Bryn Mawr students?
I had absolutely no clue what I wanted to do when I graduated...and I had to be ok with that. I've tried out a lot of different things over the past seven years before I landed on something that feels right.
What made you choose to attend Bryn Mawr?
The traditions! To me, that represented a community that I knew would last a lifetime.