Vishal Makhijani ’19
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My Story

Originally from New York, Vishal knew he wanted to enter a career related to policy and public service. Throughout high school he was involved with debate and Model United Nations and this reinforced his interest in policy and public service. Vishal completed a B.S. in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics (PPE) with a concentration in law and justice and a minor in international affairs.

This is Vishal’s Northeastern Pathway…

My Path
Why Politics, Philosophy, and Economics?

Vishal switched to the PPE program after studying in the business school for almost three years in order to engage in a more interdisciplinary academic experience at Northeastern. He finds that the dimensions added by the PPE courses offer a more critical lens of economic and capitalist systems and paint a fuller picture of society. Vishal hopes a degree in PPE can eventually prepare him for a career in urban planning with the importance of inclusive forms of development in cities.

Vishal vists Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Transformative Coursework

WMNS3500 Sexuality, Gender, and the Law – Professor Libby Adler

“This course offered an incredible balance of theoretical ideas about sexuality and gender and the legal framework and casework surrounding these same topics. While I don’t currently see law school in my future, I think Professor Adler’s class will always remain one of my favorites. It was far more progressive than any other course I have ever taken.”

PHIL1160 Introduction to Economic Justice – Professor Serena Parekh

“As the first PPE course I took, Serena Parekh’s class allowed me to explore topics like spatial segregation and gentrification through philosophical lenses that I had not considered before. I will always cite this course as providing foundational knowledge to principles of economic justice and how they really relate to any issue.”

Co-op in Boston

Vishal’s first co-op was in the Spring of 2016 as a constituent advocate for the City of Boston; in other words, he served on the city’s 311 hotline for 6 months. This experience offered not only a deeper understanding of Boston’s politics and the ways in which issues of segregation and inequity manifest across different neighborhoods, but also a general understanding of how a city government functions.

“From my experience, the majority of calls came from lower-resourced neighborhoods of the city, and I was really drawn to further pursuing a career to address these disparities.”

Bostons 311 Hotline Website
International Summer Experiences

Following Vishal’s freshman year in, he participated in the Honors dialogue ‘Rhetoric and Justice in Europe: How Human Rights Transformed a Continent to Germany, France, Belgium, and Netherlands.’ During this dialogue, Vishal had the chance to examine the propaganda strategies behind the Nazi rise to power in Germany and the human rights and international law implications following the Second World War.

The summer of 2016, Vishal participated in the Pembroke-Kings Programme (PKP) at Cambridge University, where he was able to complete his international affairs minor and take courses that solidified his plans to pursue urban planning.

Vishal at the D.C. Innovation Lab
Washington Leadership Program

In the summer of 2017, Vishal participated in the Washington Leadership Program, a fellowship for South-Asian undergraduates pursuing careers in public service. With an internship in the D.C. office of Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, this program offered Vishal the chance to connect with other South-Asian individuals who’ve pursued various public service careers. While this opportunity fell outside the traditional co-op structure, it challenged Vishal to think about the ways in which representation matters in his own community, and the instances in which representation alone may not go far enough in moving our community forward.

Community Engagement through Generation Citizen

Since arriving at Northeastern, Vishal has been involved with a civic advocacy organization called “Generation Citizen.” Generation Citizen sends college volunteers into classrooms across the Boston Area to empower middle and high school students to affect change in their local governments. He has spent most of his semesters involved in classrooms, advocacy roles, and leadership positions, and last year (2017), Vishal had the chance to attend the annual IMPACT Conference in St. Louis, Missouri. He was able to present Generation Citizen’s model of civic engagement to other conference participants.

“Generation Citizen truly taught me that all politics begin at the local level and about the lifelong importance of civic engagement beyond voting.”

Vishal co-presenting at the IMPACT conference
Vishal posing on a NEU campus chair
Next Steps

With plans to graduate in May of 2019, Vishal hopes to really immerse in a space or graduate program that explores what equity and justice look like from an urban planning perspective. Drawing from different philosophical reasoning behind actions with an understanding of the economic and political implications of policies and how they displace and impact populations, Vishal plans to bring the interdisciplinary lens he learned from PPE into whatever setting he enters.

This was Vishal's Northeastern Pathway...Where will yours lead?

Learn more at:

Politics, Philosophy, and Economics Program-Northeastern University

Vishal at the Washingtion Leadership Program with Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.)