Wellness Student Spotlight: Divina Chandiramani, MS24

"Learning and connecting with people who share my interests has helped me grow both personally and professionally, proving that I can thrive in this new field despite the initial challenges."
Divina Chandiramani, MS24

My name is Divina Chandiramani, and I am graduating from the Friedman School of Nutrition with a MS in Nutrition Intervention, Communication & Behavior Change. I was born and raised in Paraguay, South America. With a background in business, I decided in 2022 to follow my passion for nutrition and pursue a master’s degree. My goal is to spread awareness and educate people about the profound connection between our lifestyle choices and our physical and mental health. This includes aspects such as sleep, social connections, nutrition, stress management, and exercise. In my free time, I enjoy visiting coffee shops, spending time with friends, running, and practicing yoga.

Who is someone who has had an impact on you during your professional degree program?

I can't name just one person, as many individuals have had a profound impact on me during my time in the program. From faculty members to classmates, I have encountered inspirational people who have each brought their unique journeys, backgrounds, and stories. It has been a wonderful experience getting to know them, and they have all pushed me to be the best version of myself. Sharing experiences and learning from each other has been incredibly valuable and has helped shape my professional and personal growth.

What is one activity you have done that contributed to your physical, mental, or emotional well-being over the course of your time at Tufts?

During my time at Tufts, running, yoga, and spending time with friends have been essential activities for my physical, mental, and emotional well-being. I began running actively while I was here, and running along the Charles River has been particularly therapeutic. It helps me release emotions, boost my endorphins, and feel more connected with myself. Recognizing that running can be physically demanding, I balance it with yoga to maintain overall wellness and ensure my body recovers properly. Additionally, meeting and spending quality time with friends has provided me a lot of emotional support and joy, further enhancing my overall health and happiness.

What is something you have done in your professional degree program that you are proud of?

I am most proud of being the Co-Founder of the En-tice Apprentice Program at Friedman, which I established with my classmate Regina Peralta and my mentor Jimmy Edgerton. This program allows interns to identify a challenge or opportunity at the company they are working for and develop a solution, essentially taking on a consulting role. By the end of the program, interns can demonstrate their value and potentially secure full-time positions by showcasing their problem-solving skills. This initiative has proven to me that I can be a leader, manage projects independently, and successfully bring an idea to reality. 

What is a challenging situation that you did not think you would overcome, but you did?

For me, it was living through the winter. I was born and raised in Paraguay, a humid and warm place, and even during my undergraduate years, I chose to study in Miami to avoid the cold. When I came to Tufts, I was worried about feeling lonely and struggling in the harsh winter conditions. My first winter was indeed difficult, but having friends who supported and encouraged me, and provided a space to express my emotions, made all the difference. 

What is the biggest challenge you have faced in pursuing this career?

The biggest challenge I faced was switching fields from business to science. Transitioning to a new discipline meant tackling scientific subjects and sometimes feeling out of place in a room full of people with different backgrounds. However, the past two years have been incredibly rewarding. Learning and connecting with people who share my interests has helped me grow both personally and professionally, proving that I can thrive in this new field despite the initial challenges.

What is something you wish you knew at the start of your journey and what is a piece of advice you would give your past self?

Looking back, I wish I had known to be kinder to myself and that it's okay not to have all the answers right from the start. From the beginning, I was clear about my purpose—to spread awareness of how our lifestyle impacts our physical and mental health. However, I often found myself debating various paths, such as pursuing a PhD or becoming a registered dietitian. I've come to realize that it's perfectly normal to explore different ideas and career paths. I would advise my past self to embrace this uncertainty and trust the journey, knowing that it's okay not to have everything figured out at the beginning.

What will you miss most about being at Tufts and/or living in Boston?

I will miss the family I created—the community that became my second family away from home.

What is one thing you are looking forward to most in your life post-grad?

One thing I am looking forward to most in my life post-graduation is the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills I acquired during my studies and start earning. I am excited about the prospect of finding a job that aligns with my passions and interests, where I can make a meaningful impact and, of course, begin to build financial independence.