Penn State Smeal summer student marshal starts businesses, earns two degrees

Manaswini Rajaram took full advantage of Penn State's entrepreneurial resources in her nine semesters on campus. She also found time to earn two degrees. Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — In nine semesters at Penn State, Manaswini Rajaram earned two bachelor’s degrees, piloted a lunchtime yoga service, built a posture-sensing chair, and founded a business with two partners. Clearly, she sacrificed much of the typical free time many college students enjoy. To her, though, it was her parents’ sacrifice that made all of that possible.

The Penn State Smeal College of Business named Rajaram as the student marshal for summer 2016. She led the college’s procession during the summer 2016 University-wide commencement ceremony on Saturday, Aug. 13, in the Bryce Jordan Center.

Rajaram graduated with a 3.90 GPA after earning dual bachelor’s degrees in marketing and information sciences and technology.

“I’m grateful and honored to have been selected as summer student marshal. I feel that my parents (mother Chaya and father Rajaram) deserve a lot of credit for this because they raised me to believe that nothing in this world is more important than learning and knowledge,” Manaswini said.

“I’m so grateful to both of them for encouraging me, and for making sacrifices in their lives so they could provide me with opportunities I could never have received elsewhere.”

Rajaram has accepted a position with Deloitte LLP in its technology consultancy in New York City.

“As a marketing and IST dual major, I am hoping to dig into work that relates to digital marketing, front-end web development, customer relationship management, and user experience design,” Rajaram said. “I’m really interested in those areas, and I’m fortunate to work for a company with a growing digital practice.”

Rajaram was a Schreyer Scholar and was deeply involved in entrepreneurial activities. She was marketing lead and vice president of InnoBlue, an organization where members share ideas and promote and support entrepreneurial aspirations.

This summer she and two other co-founders worked on founding a company, The Enigma Club, which is a mystery and puzzle delivery service. The three co-founders were chosen as one of six teams to participate in the selective Penn State Summer Founders Program, winning $10,000 to build their business from the ground up.

“For the past two years, I’ve been living at the home for changemakers, which has been a wonderful community to be a part of,” Rajaram said. “Many of the students and young professionals I’ve met there have been instrumental in supporting me and helping me grow as a person.”

Last Updated August 22, 2016