Aastha Tyagi

Country: India
Sector: Non-profit - Other
Job title: Founder
Subject of study: International Relations with Study Abroad
Year of graduation: 2017
Type/Level of study: Undergraduate

Current Employer/Organisation Name

Adopted Dogs of India

What have you been doing since leaving Exeter, and what are you doing now?

I have worked with the UK Government as a Private Secretary to the Education Minister. I have worked with one of the top Indian politicians in India and managed his communications. I got admitted to University of Oxford and graduated with a first-class thesis on Indian Political Communications. Currently, I have founded my own animal welfare organisation called Adopted Dogs of India and I also work as a freelancer in PR and comms.

Why did you choose this career? And what do you enjoy most about your work?

I love being in politics and making a difference in the community. I had always wanted to help street dogs in India and now with my education background and experience, I feel like I can truly make the difference I had always wanted to make.

Please tell us if you were a member of any societies, groups or sports clubs?

I was a member of several societies. I was most active at Model UN where I chaired several conferences and went to different universities as a delegate, but most importantly, I made friends for life there who think like me. I was also active at poetry, writing and filmmaking societies as I am quite creative as a person. I was part of the Asian Society too where I performed on stage for Diwali and again, made some excellent friends from the south Asian community.

What did you enjoy most about your programme and what was the biggest highlight?

I loved how much freedom I was given by my professors to explore my areas of interest. Even though I studied IR, my essays and research primarily focused on Indian politics as that was my area of interest and I thrived there. Highlight was doing my dissertation on Bollywood movies and the influence they have in shaping society which could have only happened because of my professor and supervisor Bice Maiguashca who supported me so much to pursue my passion.

What did you enjoy most about studying here?

I loved all the friends I made at Exeter. When I first went there, I was a young Indian girl leaving my home country to study without much clue about the rest of the world. By the time I had graduated from Exeter, I had experienced the world, I had travelled around, made friends from across the globe, learnt from world class professors, explored my passions, interests and career choices. It was more than what I could ever ask for!

Why did you choose to study at Exeter?

It was one of the top universities that showed up when I was doing my research on going to the UK for undergrad.

What skills and experiences have been most useful for your career?

My year abroad was a real game-changer. As clich̩ as it sounds, I learned so much about myself, my interests and my passion. I got involved in their local political society, I started making films for the first time and debating in various conferences for the first time Рall of which led me to my first internship with the UK Government.

What advice would you give to a current student who wishes to pursue your career?

I would say take calculated risks and network as much as you can. I am so glad that I went above and beyond to seek out opportunities that I wanted to pursue. I spoke to several people during my time in Uni to understand what they were doing and how they were getting internships. I took calculated risks by working on my own brad and skillset that would put me a step ahead in the job market – whether it was with filmmaking, writing, debating, social media – I went full out to learn as much as I could.

What are your plans for the future?

I plan to soon start my own political communications consulting firm where I can work with clients whose vision I believe in to make a positive difference in this world.


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