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Puja Seam

What is your UVA story?

I came to UVA in large part thanks to the Echols Scholars Program. I was deciding between UVA and Duke, and the opportunity to have the academic flexibility that came as part of that program was very appealing. My parents also told me if I went in-state they would pay for grad school so that was also a consideration.

What did you do when you were a student at UVA?

I was a Resident Advisor, a member of University Democrats, a member of The Jefferson Literary & Debating Society, and through Class Trustees chaired the Graduation Committee.

Is there something you learned at UVA that you apply to your life now?

That there is always a lot of opportunity and you have to find your place/make things happen. UVA is a big school with lots to explore — academic, extracurricular and social. Try different things, find the things that are interesting and meaningful to you, and pursue those.

What does the UVA alumnae community mean to you? How have fellow alumnae affected your life/career/journey?

Well, besides meeting my husband at UVA, which has obviously been very impactful, I have been lucky to keep in touch with my close circle of college friends even 20 years later. Having a set of friends who go through life with you is an amazing support. My career has also been very positively influenced by fellow alums. I have a lot to be thankful for in life that comes back to UVA.

If you could impart a piece of advice to a female student on Grounds today, what would you tell her?

Besides study and do whatever genuinely interests you the most, I would tell her that if she is interested in having a spouse/partner one day, to be thoughtful about whether that person will truly support her goals — career, family, and otherwise. Not just in the next 5-10 years but beyond that. I have been fortunate that my husband is one my biggest advocates and has been since I met him third year.  He has always supported my goals — whether heading to law school, different jobs in different cities, and around our family life. Having someone who not only believes in you but then actually acts to support you each day is important.