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Ashwin Kushwaha talking with a Hamline professor in Bush Library

Connecting a passion for nature to a fruitful career

Ashwin Kushwaha '22 has been an avid birder for years, and he's learned many lessons from his hobby. Just like waiting for a bird to reveal itself from a forest, Kushwaha learned patience and determination on his journey as a transfer student at Hamline.

Kushwaha, a communications major, started his college career at Knox College in Illinois with the intent of going into the medical field. He'd been surrounded by doctors and healthcare experts growing up near the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and like many of his peers, he assumed that's what he wanted to do with his career.

However, the passionate outdoorsman found it difficult to focus on his pre-med classes. He decided to take a break from college for a few years, pursuing his interest in cars at a BMW dealership and working his way up from detail work to become a brand consultant.

"It taught me how to be more diligent and consistent. I think that job lent me a good work ethic that I brought to Hamline," Kushwara reflected.

I'm really glad I made the decision to come here. I was able to be myself at Hamline. My professors encouraged me to express myself, and it's an environment that really fosters that."

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Ashwin Kushwara headshot

When he felt the time was right to turn back toward education, Hamline's seamless transfer process and hands-on learning experiences made it the right choice for him. He reconnected with his interest in the outdoors and realized that he could pursue his interest in nature without working boot-deep in dirt. 

"I've always been into wildlife and geology. I used to come home with pockets full of rocks," Kushwaha said with a laugh. "I reconnected with that here." 

That spark, paired with encouragement and guidance from his professors, led Kushwara to a career in environmental law. He'll be attending law school in Oregon in fall 2022, inspired to be an advocate for the natural world by organizations like the Audubon Society and figures like David Attenborough.

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