Student Association presidents can dominate campus headlines during their years in office, but little is heard from them after their terms expire. The Hatchet caught up with GW’s past three student body presidents to see how they fared after leaving Marvin Center 424.
Nicole Capp, 2007-2008
Former SA President Nicole Capp said her year helming the Student Association in many ways shaped the ways she interacts with people in her professional life.
Capp, who was SA president during her junior year, graduated in 2009 and now works as an analyst at the management consulting firm Accenture in Minneapolis.
“[Being SA president] gave me experience in leading and managing large teams of people and also projects, which honestly is exactly what I am doing now,” Capp said.
Living in Minnesota is a far cry from the 4 years Capp spent in the District.
“I am a Northeast girl, born and raised,” she said, “I thought I’d shake it up a little.”
Reflecting on her term as president, which she called “the best decision” she made at GW, Capp said it was sometimes difficult to balance her SA responsibilities with her schoolwork.
“You want to have as much influence as possible, but you are also just a student and your primary responsibility is to succeed academically,” Capp said. “You have to keep things in perspective, you are a student first.”
Vishal Aswani, 2008-2009
Since graduating from GW last year, Vishal Aswani hasn’t strayed far from the nation’s capital.
As an IT specialist and engineer at IBM Global Business Services in Arlington, Va., Aswani said he gained valuable experience from his year as SA president, even though he was accused of paranoid and elusive behavior.
“Everybody makes mistakes in everything,” he said. “The biggest thing is taking the lesson learned from it and being able to apply it to future situations.”
Chief among those, Aswani said, is the importance of ensuring everyone on a team knows he or she is appreciated.
Aswani was SA president during the 4th year out of a 5-year program in the School of Engineering and Applied Science. He said he’s enjoying his time at IBM and being in the SA gave him confidence and practice for the working world.
Aswani said he likes knowing he’s part of a legacy of past SA presidents.
“For anybody to say they were president of a student body, especially at an institution like GW, carries weight that even 30 or 40 years down the road, the notion that you gave back to your undergraduate school, it is something that words can’t even describe,” he said.
Julie Bindelglass, 2009-2010
Last year’s SA President Julie Bindelglass is still a fixture on campus. A junior during her term, she is graduating this May.
“[I’m a] second semester senior, considering all of my options after graduation,” Bindelglass said.
A communications major, Bindelglass wrote her thesis, had an internship at the Newseum and otherwise spent the year strictly as an observer of the organization she previously headed.
“I had an opportunity to really enjoy senior year and get to experience a lot of the college experience I didn’t have as part of the SA,” Bindelglass said.
Bindelglass said she has enjoyed the break from SA responsibilities after spending her first 3 years at GW heavily involved with the organization. She was appointed to the SA Senate as a second semester freshman and served as the SA Senate Finance chair her sophomore year.
“Senior year is tough, you have to think about what’s coming after graduation… a lot of that would have also been overwhelming. I got the best of both worlds.”
Madeleine Morgenstern contributed to this report