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Student Transformed by LEAD Wins Prestigious Leadership Award

Karishma Pinto ’17

Before starting her studies at the University of Hartford, Karishma Pinto ’17 was shy and did not focus on her future career goals. But then she was accepted into The Women’s Advancement’s Initiative LEAD program, which taught her to find her strengths, overcome challenges, and seize opportunities.

“LEAD helped me come out of my shell and succeed when it comes to communication and networking,” says Karishma.

Attending biweekly LEAD sessions focused on public speaking, networking, leadership, and goal setting helped Karishma develop a blueprint for her future and introduced her to people who are now some of her closest friends. After being undecided for almost two years, LEAD, in partnership with Career Services and Alumni Relations, helped her find a direction for her career.

LEAD also helped Karishma become more confident. She ran for the Student Government Association three times and instead of giving up when she lost, she persevered and ended up earning a position as the student representative on the University’s Board of Regents. 

Due to her involvement in numerous clubs and organizations and her many executive board roles, she received the Robert Hanley Award, the most prestigious leadership award the University of Hartford offers.

“I definitely attribute winning this award to the confidence I gained through the LEAD program,” Karishma says. She highly appreciates Hartford College for Women alumnae and other people who generously donate their time and money to support The Women’s Advancement Initiative, which makes the LEAD program available to students like her. 

Karishma graduated in May 2017 with a degree in Communication from the University’s College of Arts and Sciences focusing on advertising and public relations. She also earned a double minor in marketing and visual communication.

Karishma is now enrolled in the accelerated graduate communication program at the University of Hartford. She will earn her master’s degree in May 2018.

“My goal is to become the director of communication at a large company in the beauty, lifestyle, or entertainment industry,” said Karishma. 

She looks forward to combining her passion for communication with the leadership skills she learned as a result of the LEAD program. “I know that if it wasn’t for all the skills and support I gained through LEAD, I would not be where I am today,” Karishma adds.

Parents Perspective

Dr. Arathi Rao-Pinto and Colin Pinto

Dr. Arathi Rao-Pinto and Colin Pinto

Karishma Pinto’s parents were very excited when she was accepted into LEAD, thinking it would be a perfect fit to further enhance and fine-tune her leadership and team-building skills. Her parents,  Dr. Arathi Rao-Pinto and Colin Pinto, hoped it would help Karishma build her confidence and develop strong relationships with other like-minded students. And it really did. It helped build her confidence tremendously and encouraged her to get involved in on-campus organizations, her parents explain. LEAD also helped Karishma secure an internship at Renbrook. Her parents believe the connections Karishma forged, thanks to LEAD, will be very valuable for all of her future endeavors.