Sneha Jayaraj graduated from UConn in 2018 with a B.A. in both Psychological Sciences and Economics. She also was part of the fast-track program for public policy, receiving her Master’s in Public Policy in 2019.
What are you doing now? Why did you choose to go into this field?
I’m currently at City University of New York Law School. I’m very interested in transforming the profession of lawyering into a profession of healing and deconstructing the violence that law actively plays in people’s lives today. Growing up, I saw how destructive law was to my loved ones and as a result me, which is why I am always a #1 supporter to all my underrepresented folks to imagine and recreate a new system. I am also a contact tracer for the State of CT, member of Rocky Hill’s Town Committee, and a podcast producer for a local podcast called “Inside Out/Outside In” which focuses on community and Universities. The podcast started by Dr. Christiana Best, a professor at St. Joseph’s, brings in people to speak on a multitude of community conversations including fatherhood, being an immigrant, COVID-19 and its impact on prisons, queerness, Blackness, and more.
How has your UConn degree helped prepare you for what you are doing now?
I decided to choose Economics and Psychology because a lot of people equate economics to money. However, economics means distribution of resources and we, society, can collectively go back towards bartering and equating success to having a peace of mind, instead of $$ currency. Today’s “economics” is being controlled and by a handful of corporations thriving off of greed & racism, not allowing the majority to have the basic foundations of health, housing, food, and peace. I’m hoping more compassionate folks can get involved in and reimagine economics, replacing the materialistic ones we have today. Unfortunately, with a capitalism culture, a lot of people are trained to think and equate more money with more happiness when in reality happiness comes from within and a community filled with loved ones – which I appreciate from my psychology major side.
Do you have any advice for students with similar career goals?
For folks who want to go into law, do it! Take your LSAT, get recommendations, do your cover letters, and go to law school. Law school is a gatekeeping institution that makes people think that law school is difficult to achieve and succeed in. As a current student in it let me tell you – all it is, are LOTS of readings. A whole lot of reading that is very possible and very do-able for you to accomplish. Do not be intimidated by any of it. Law is nothing but old White men telling us their opinions on what is good and bad. If they can do that, you can too… and you can change it!
What was one of your favorite things about UConn?
I’m so very grateful to have met my UConn community! I still keep in touch with a whole lot of my UConn friends and I see them as family now, in fact I talk to a ‘Husky’ at least once every day. The people whom I met at UConn is definitely what shaped and formed me to be who I am today. I was part of UNESCO, Oxfam, Women & Minorities in Economics, and a whole bunch of other groups that I appreciated too. I encourage student activists to keep protesting and petitioning, because UConn isn’t equitable or inclusive to everyone and change can always happen when our voices get heard!
What was your favorite psych course you took?
I loved Health Psychology with Professor Rebecca Acabchuk. We meditated every 5 minutes in the beginning of class. I loved how she taught, and we talked about how health is interconnected with everything. I highly recommend taking any class with her!
What is a piece of advice you would give to current students in our program?
PLEASE be your most authentic self! I’m an Indian (Malayalee) queer woman who loves painting, dancing to music, and seeking knowledge. Lean into yourself! And, reach out to your loved ones, they’re there to support you. Reach out to professors and join organizations/groups that interest you! You’re never alone in anything. Focus on your passions, community, and welcome change because everything is temporary (and I mean that in the most calming way)!!
If you would like to reach out to Sneha for more information about her experiences, please contact Sneha.email@example.com.