Aashaya Rajbhandari '23

Sociology and Justice Studies Majors

Maybe it was because of COVID restrictions. Or maybe she would have come to the same conclusion anyway: Aashaya Rajbhandari ‘23 cites learning to make the most of the time she has as the most valuable lesson she’ll take away from UNH.

It’s a lesson that she’s good at. Here’s proof: Rajbhandari is graduating after only three years. She  chose to study both sociology and justice studies and managed to do a semester in Washington, D.C., where she interned at a political strategy firm and a law firm that provides free legal services to low-income residents who have been exploited by debt collection and consumer practices. She’s also done an internship with a private investigator.

What’s more, Rajbhandari serves in the cabinet of the student body president in the Student Senate, is a representative on the Undergraduate Sociology Committee, a member of the Pre-Law Society, is in the Honors Program and serves as tournament director and team captain for UNH Mock Trial. She calls Mock Trial her favorite UNH experience.

“It’s made me a better critical thinker, public speaker and leader,” she says. “It’s helped me develop team management skills, ways to think on my feet and to work as a team. It’s also incredibly fun to compete against other schools with similar like-minded people.”

Rajbhandari  says she chose her majors “from the jump” — justice studies because of the opportunities to study the intricate workings of the legal field, and sociology because she wanted to study social structures and the differences between them.

“Prominent topics in sociology are race and inequality, which are some of my driving factors in studying law in the future,” she says. “A liberal arts education has prepared me to embrace everyone’s different background, views and beliefs, to appreciate where everyone is coming from and to understand that when someone walks into a room, they are bringing a myriad of experiences with them.”