Originally from Saskatoon, Divya Pahwa (Loran Scholar ’09) graduated from Walter Murray Collegiate Institute, where she served as co-editor of the school paper, head of the environmental club and chaired the student ambassador council for Kids Help Phone.
After being selected as a Loran Scholar, Divya decided to move to Montreal to study at McGill University. As a student in sociology and marketing, she served as treasurer of a campus political club and was a delegate to the G8/G20 youth summit in Paris, France. In the wider Montreal community, she volunteered with a literacy initiative for at-risk youth. She also wrote for the McGill career services blog about career advice and issues facing young women in the workplace.
Divya’s summer experiences complemented and broadened her academic studies. During the summer after her first year at McGill, Divya volunteered with SIDART, an NGO in Jaipur, India. She helped to lead focus group discussions with politically involved women and researched de-centralized governments, education and women’s empowerment in politics. “My summer working with SIDART taught me the most about people, exercising patience, and how people define value in their lives,” says Divya. “It was fascinating to understand and learn why my co-workers value kinship and loyalty so much and how family influences the decisions a young person makes.”
For her second summer, she interned at the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy in Saskatoon. Building on her experience the previous summer, she researched and wrote a paper on federalism, social policy, the welfare state and health care in India.
For her third summer, Divya worked at Loblaw Companies in Brampton. She interned in product development, project management and marketing, with a focus on new gluten-free products. “Working for such a large company I was expected to learn a lot on my own. From a business perspective, it was quite possibly the best learning experience I’ve had in the past four years,” she says.