Brandywine Student Spotlight: Tarini Burman

Tarini Burman

Tarini Burman

Credit: Penn State

Year: Second

Major: Biology

Involvement: Food pantry coordinator, Center for Social Impact; student-athlete on the Brandywine women’s tennis team; member, Blue and White Society; member, National Society for Leadership and Success; peer mentor, Lion Guidez; Lion Ambassador

Brandywine: Why did you choose to attend Penn State Brandywine?

Tarini Burman: I initially just made my decision based on my interests. I knew Penn State had a really good biology program. I also love just the aspects of Penn State. It has a really good alumni network and good resources for students to utilize throughout their time here. I chose Penn State because of those reasons, but I chose Brandywine because I wanted to be a little bit closer to home. I wanted to get involved on campus and in my academics while having the support of my family close by.

Brandywine: How did you choose your major?

Burman: In high school, I was very inclined to anything related to science, and I did very well in my biology class. I enjoyed learning about everything my introductory class had to offer. My teacher and I would have conversations about genetics, research, stem cell therapies and all things related to biology. I thought majoring in biology would allow me to develop intellectually. Also, I want to go to medical school after college, so studying biology would be a good stepping-stone.

Brandywine: What challenges have you faced at Brandywine, if any?

Burman: I think being so involved on campus requires me to manage my time well and prioritize tasks that are most important for me to complete throughout the day. Most days, I'm here all day, but that means most of the stuff that I need to do, I complete while I'm here, because when I go home, I want to just relax and keep that work/life balance. I think that’s been a pretty big challenge.

Brandywine: Who at Brandywine has supported you, and how?

Burman: Everyone I've interacted with – faculty, staff and students – has been so helpful and impacted me in a very positive way. I would like to shout out Christine Brown, who is the Rosenberg director of the Center for Social Impact, and she was one of my professors last semester. She's someone I can count on and can talk to about anything. She’s become a great mentor for me, helping me understand what my values are and what I want to accomplish, especially when it comes to my work at the Center. I can bounce ideas off of her, and I like that we're able to collaborate well.

Brandywine: What made you interested in joining the Center for Social Impact? What do you enjoy most about it?

Burman: I think one of the Center for Social Impact’s events was the very first event I attended at Brandywine. It was a volunteering event at Tyler Arboretum the day before classes started. I went because I wanted to make friends. I knew I wanted to see familiar faces on campus my first day.

The event turned out well. Most of the friends I made there are still my friends today, and it was awesome. Because of my experience there, I learned more about what the Center for Social Impact was, and I knew I wanted to make a difference in our campus community. I liked how the entire organization was dedicated to creating change.

Brandywine: What’s your favorite initiative you’ve worked on at the Center for Social Impact?

Burman: Throughout my three semesters with the center, I've done so much, and I've seen it evolve. I’ve enjoyed working with the food pantry. I think it’s quite simple, but one of my favorite things I like to do there is keeping track of the inventory. It was one of the first skills I learned when I joined.

With changes to our inventory system, it was up to the food pantry coordinators and the center staff to come up with a new solution as to how we're going to do our inventory. It's been an ongoing project, but we've just been kind of playing around with what works best. Now, we're developing a system. It's just been cool to build something from the ground up and develop a system, so that's been a pretty cool project.

Brandywine: With your involvement at Brandywine, how has your time on campus been impacted?

Burman: As I mentioned, it comes down to time management. While I'm here on campus, I want to make the most of my time. I feel like I've been able to manage it well so far, and I’ve been prioritizing the tasks I need to do. Overall, it's been pretty positive because a lot of the activities I'm involved with have benefited me and helped me grow as a person, so I feel like all the time I spend here on campus is helpful.

Learning the importance of networking and how it's gotten me so many opportunities has been one of my most valuable lessons.

—Tarini Burman , second-year biology major, Penn State Brandywine

Brandywine: What’s been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned at Brandywine?

Burman: As college students, we learn many skills throughout our time here. We have to learn to be independent. We have to learn to manage our time. We have to problem-solve. We have to learn who we are, what our passions are and what our values are. I think one of the biggest things I’ve learned is how to network. Coming out of high school, I was a pretty shy and reserved person. Learning the importance of networking and how it's gotten me so many opportunities has been one of my most valuable lessons. I know it's something that’s going to carry me throughout my life. I know how to make the most of my connections and my relationships with staff, faculty and students. I know it's just going to propel me further in life.