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Next Genius Scholarship Winner now a Research Assistant at Columbia

Tanvi Pande, a Next Genius Scholar achieved her dreams of studying at Columbia.

Tanvi Pande graduated from Juniata College, Pennsylvania, in 2020 with a degree in Engineering Physics. Presently, she is studying Electrical Engineering at Columbia University and also working as a Research Assistant there.

In her 12th grade at Bombay International School, Mumbai, Tanvi’s highly ambitious nature made her apply for the Next Genius Scholarship Program. When she first heard of Next Genius, she thought that it was too good to be true. She applied for Next Genius because she believed it was a life-changing opportunity, but she could not let it go. Her experience at Next Genius was amazing from the beginning. She got to learn so much throughout the process. She feels that her essays on Physics and the holistic selection process at Next Genius made her applications stand out.

On being interviewed about her experience at Juniata College as a Next Genius Scholar, Tanvi spoke about her incredible journey. Tanvi shared: “For an outgoing person like me, it was easy to socialize and make new friends in the freshman year itself. Even though Juniata is a small college, there are students from different parts of the world, which really excited me. A “cultural shock” I experienced initially was that there was so much nature and so many farms all around the place. Coming to Juniata from an urban place like Mumbai, it was a completely new environment for me.”

Apart from acing her academics, she got involved in many extracurriculars as well. As a freshman, she played rugby and joined the college rugby team. She even took part in research related to Physics and attended several national and international conferences. She was a member of the TEDx Juniata College Club and the South Eastern Student Association Club. During her time at Juniata, she was also a lab assistant, tutor, campus tour guide, and teaching assistant. She had greatly contributed to the “Women in Physics Club” at Juniata to promote its purpose, initially as a member, but later as treasurer.

Throughout, she made the most of the chances she got in Juniata. She is an excellent multitasker and very motivated to do more. She said that she faced certain challenges while participating in various clubs and activities. She often had to multitask. She needed to find ways to improve her time management so that she could maintain balance. Her friends and the community at the college were her pillars of strength to keep going. It is because of Tanvi’s goal to aim high and achieve more, that she could have a huge impact on Juniata College.

Talking about her plans post-graduation, she shared that at present, she is going to Columbia through a combined degree program to pursue Electrical Engineering. She started at Juniata with Physics but began to develop an interest in Electrical Engineering, which was not offered at Juniata. She is really looking forward to going to Columbia. She also wishes to work in the industry for a while and have a full-time job in the tech industry.

While concluding, she advised all the future Next Genius applicants, “When I first applied to Next Genius, I had no idea what was waiting for me. I encourage you to go all-in for such an opportunity, embrace it because it is a once-in-a-lifetime chance. Make the most out of it, be proactive, and work hard.” To apply for the Next Genius Scholarship Program, visit


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