Behind the Leader: Arjun Chawla

Arjun Chawla
Monday, November 30, 2015

Arjun Chawla '16, Academic Leadership Fellow and Communication major, transferred to UMass as a junior. The Academic Leadership Fellows Program (ALFP) allowed him to meet and build lasting friendships with other students.

“So far, I have been greatly impacted by the ALFP,” says Chawla. “Being a member of this group of future world leaders has enhanced my leadership skills substantially.”

Last year, Chawla worked as Associate Director of Marketing for TEDxAmherst. He, with a group of dedicated students, designed and implemented marketing strategies for the independently organized TED talk. Additionally, they held the TEDxAmherst 2015 Conference in April. In addition to working the event, Chawla also hosted the College to Corporate Panel with Boston Scientific.

Most recently, Chawla interned with the American Red Cross in Washington DC in the Consumer Fundraising department. “I created and assisted in executing integrated marketing and fundraising efforts,” he explains. “As the Nepal earthquake hit prior to my arrival to the internship, much of the marketing efforts I assisted with went to address the crisis there. Additionally, as an avid Snapchatter, I pushed the idea of a Geo-Filter for the American Red Cross on the Snapchat application to increase marketing exposure to the demographic of Millennials.”

While Chawla hasn’t studied abroad, he has lived and traveled to five of the seven continents. He hopes to visit Africa and Antarctica. “Antarctica may be a bit of a reach, but I really do hope to visit Africa soon!”

Chawla concedes that being a transfer student was hard, but he says his experience at UMass has been phenomenal.  “From speaking on the topic of happiness at the TEDxAmherst Project X Student Showcase, to the great teachings in the classroom that helped me thrive in my internship, UMass has really shaped me into the person I am today,” says Chawla.

For his final year at UMass, Chawla hopes to take advantage of all of the opportunities UMass still has to offer. After graduation, he hopes to secure a job with a multinational corporation with a Human Resource/Client Services focus. He has found the UMass Career Connect Database an extremely helpful resource for his job hunt.

“For me, my UMass experience acts as a humble reminder that life is full of new experiences, and while you might get intimidated by the thought of it, it could be the best experience of your life.”

SBS creates leaders, and the Academic Leadership Fellows Program is an excellent venue for learning how to develop leadership qualities and opportunities. If you’d like to learn more, visit the ALFP webpage.

If you’re a member of ALFP and would like to be featured in our new Behind the Leader series, or would like to nominate someone to be profiled, please email Emilie Ferreira at