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Tarini Ramesh will join Microsoft as a software engineer after she graduates from UNC-Chapel Hill this December. Giving back to the campus community has been an important focus throughout her undergraduate career.

Tarini Ramesh stands next to a piece of equipment.
Ramesh says that it’s fulfilling for her to be able to offer support to other students as both the computer science and economic departments have done for her. (photo by Donn Young)

An introductory course in economics opened up a new way of seeing the world for Tarini Ramesh of Cary, North Carolina.

The December graduate was originally pursuing a computer science major with a business minor. After she enrolled in Econ 101 with professor Rita Balaban as a prerequisite for the minor, she discovered a new passion.

“I was like, ‘Whoa, this is math, but I get to apply it,’” Ramesh said. “And so I got to see the meaning behind it and knowing how that applies to my day-to-day life.”

Ramesh also fostered a relationship with Balaban, learning more about her previous research, and explored an area of study she had not previously considered.

“It opened up a whole new world that I didn’t really know existed at the time,” Ramesh said.

Her studies led Ramesh to an internship with Microsoft over the last two summers, most recently as a software engineering intern. When she graduates, Ramesh will move to Seattle to work full time as a software engineer at Microsoft.

During her time as a student, Ramesh has also contributed significantly to Carolina’s community. After taking Econ 101, Ramesh became an undergraduate learning assistant in that class, an opportunity that she says reminded her how much she enjoyed teaching. Ramesh also used to tutor high-schoolers for the SAT and ACT.

She has also taken on leadership roles in the UNC Women in Economics club, which is dedicated to promoting gender equality by providing support for undergraduate students to develop the skills necessary to succeed as economists in the workforce. Since her sophomore year, Ramesh has served as director of membership, director of communications and outreach and, this semester, as director of finance.

For over three years, she has also served on the Holi Moli committee, which organizes the Hindu festival Holi, a celebration of love, community and the arrival of spring and a popular tradition at Carolina.

Ramesh says that she finds it incredibly important to give back to the community, a piece of advice she got from older students during her first year.

That advice “really changed the course of my life even if for them it was just a 10-minute conversation, and it’s crazy to think that I can be one of those people now.”

Ramesh hopes to continue to impact her new West Coast community when she moves to Seattle.

She said she is excited to have the opportunity for a blank slate and to “figure out new things about myself that I wouldn’t get the chance to do here.”

While she anticipates the next chapter of her life, Ramesh said she will miss all the people who have made a mark on her time at Carolina.

“It feels like a small world,” she said. “That’s definitely what I’m going to miss.”

As seniors did for her when she was a new Tar Heel, Ramesh leaves this parting advice for future graduates.

“Remember that going to your classes is really such a fun privilege to have, and don’t worry too much about your grades but actually take [a class] as a fun learning opportunity,” she said. “Bond with your professors because you’ll get so much more out of a class when you do so.”

“Don’t take yourself too seriously and make sure you make time for friends and to really explore who you are.”

By Andy Little ’24

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