Kanchan Rairikar


Kanchan Rairikar

Construction Management

Hometown: Pune, India

Tell us a bit about yourself. What is your background and what brought you to NYU Tandon?

I did my undergrad in Pune, at KJ College of Engineering. When I graduated in 2013, I jumped right into industry, and worked in a public health engineering consultancy, where I was a plumbing engineer. I worked there for one and a half years, then I shifted to project management because I started visualizing where I could see myself in the next few years.

I took a job as an assistant project manager which was the best experience ever. I worked [at that position] for over one and a half years, then decided to opt for a master’s degree. I applied to so many schools and got admitted to many, but I chose NYU since its name is huge. Plus, NYC has huge possibilities for construction. My experience at NYU has been really amazing.


What did you want to be when you were younger? Did you ever think you’d wind up here?

My background is a little bit artistic and [includes] a little bit of work with architectural models and miniatures. I love to do that. I have an older sister who is an architect. She inspired me, but I chose civil engineering because I thought, let me do business when I graduate, and maybe even get a master’s degree.  [I plan to] go back to India, and then my sister and I will have a business together.


You had not been to the States before coming to Tandon. Can you talk a bit about what your life in NYC has been like so far?

My first semester, since I don’t have family here, I decided to engage myself in a number of clubs and get to know people from all over, so I joined the Graduate Student Association. I was treasurer there.

Being in New York has been exciting for me. I think NYC is really cool. Being a civil engineer, I really love the bridges. Manhattan, Brooklyn — I could look at the bridges for days.


What kind of hobbies are you involved in?

I love to draw, I love to paint. I work in the graduate admissions department. I volunteered for the Graduate Indian Student Association. There are so many events, like gaming and art gallery events. And we had a huge Diwali party. We had around 150 students. It usually feels like a family.


You are a recipient of the Winsche Scholarship. How has the scholarship impacted you, and do you have any words to share with donor Martha Winsche?

Financially, you have to prepare yourself for coming to the USA. When I found out that I got the Winsche Scholarship, I felt really proud. It felt like . . . you can do this, girl!

Thank you so much, Martha, for allowing me to receive this scholarship. Financial aid is so important, especially to us as international students. You are an inspiration to me, and I hope to be able to do what you’ve done and help other women in the future.