MINERVA VOICES

A Conversation with Minerva Graduate Student Rayyan Chanda

Introducing Rayyan, a Certificate in Decision Analysis student.

November 21, 2023

​​This is part of a series of profiles introducing graduate students at Minerva University. If you would like to learn more about our programs, please visit our website.

In the realm of higher education, a student’s journey toward a higher purpose often intertwines with a desire for interdisciplinary learning and a commitment to effecting positive change. Rayyan Chanda, a first-year student in the Minerva’s Certificate in Decision Analysis (CDA) program at Minerva University, exemplifies this narrative through his multifaceted academic and professional pursuits.

Rayyan embarked on his academic journey at Quest University’s Bachelor’s program with a distinct focus on sustainability and environmental sciences. His undergraduate years were marked by interdisciplinary coursework, which spanned a diverse array of subjects, ranging from chemistry and data science to behavioral economics—reflecting his passion for holistic learning.

Rayyan's interest in environmental concerns and inventive economic models manifested in his university projects. Recognizing the profound influence of economics on today's world, he focused his efforts on addressing the pivotal question, "How can we reshape economics in the 21st century?"

Rayyan's exploration extended to areas such as circular economies and automotive industries, leading to his publication of several papers and an upcoming release on supply chain management. Further delving into mathematical modeling, he also showcased one of his projects at a U.S. mathematics conference. The convergence of economics, life sciences, data science, anthropology, math, and history influenced his viewpoint, establishing the foundation for a comprehensive problem-solving approach.

Post-graduation, Rayyan ventured into the professional realm, joining Tetropath, where he worked on projects aimed at enhancing circularity in the company's economy.

In the pursuit of advanced education, Rayyan sought a program that would offer valuable and applicable skills. Researching the most innovative institutions in the world, Rayyan discovered Minerva and learned more about the Habits of Mind and Foundational Concepts (HCs), a core of Minerva’s pedagogy.

“HCs are what I feel like was lacking the most in my other educational experiences. All those concepts were applied in various contexts, yet never defined. The system at Minerva allows for not only navigating, but also intentionally applying those concepts.”

The interdisciplinary nature of Minerva courses, together with small seminars and passionate professors, is what encouraged Rayyan to apply. 

“I knew Minerva had what I was looking for in higher education. The whole structure of the program and teaching seemed like something that would benefit me not only in the present, but also in the future.“

Rayyan envisions applying the skills gained at Minerva to his future pursuit of a Ph.D., combining anthropology with environmental sciences—an intersection often overlooked but crucial for sustainable business.

In Rayyan's perspective, decision-making skills are paramount for today's leaders. Understanding the intricacies of decision-making and problem-solving, breaking them down to look for feasible solutions, and acknowledging their potential flaws are crucial aspects of effective leadership.

According to Rayyan, Minerva distinguishes itself not just through academic rigor but also through deliberate instructional design. Engaging with individuals from diverse backgrounds offers perspectives on distinct value systems, biases, heuristics, and decision-making approaches. Additionally, it provides insights into various professional approaches, considering the diverse career backgrounds of students.

“It is one thing being an interdisciplinary student and another thing having exposure to interdisciplinary professional lives in the real world. The world is increasingly interconnected and having a chance to look at things from different perspectives is extremely important.”

Rayyan acknowledges the value of Minerva’s Coaching and Talent Development (CTD) in guiding his professional journey and shaping his Minerva experience so far in the program. Working closely with a personal mentor, he has been learning to seize emerging opportunities, maximize their potential, and create actionable plans to achieve his goals, fostering connections with like-minded individuals.

"For those seeking a challenge—both in content and thinking—and are ready to take risks, Minerva is an amazing program. Embrace challenges, be willing to put in the work, and step out of your comfort zone. This might be exactly what you're looking for."

Quick Facts

Name
Country
Class
Major

Social Sciences & Business

Business & Computational Sciences

Business and Social Sciences

Social Sciences and Business

Computational Sciences & Social Sciences

Computer Science & Arts and Humanities

Business and Computational Sciences

Business and Social Sciences

Natural Sciences

Arts and Humanities

Business, Social Sciences

Business & Arts and Humanities

Computational Sciences

Natural Sciences, Computer Science

Computational Sciences

Arts & Humanities

Computational Sciences, Social Sciences

Computational Sciences

Computational Sciences

Natural Sciences, Social Sciences

Social Sciences, Natural Sciences

Data Science, Statistics

Computational Sciences

Business

Computational Sciences, Data Science

Social Sciences

Natural Sciences

Business, Natural Sciences

Business, Social Sciences

Computational Sciences

Arts & Humanities, Social Sciences

Social Sciences

Computational Sciences, Natural Sciences

Natural Sciences

Computational Sciences, Social Sciences

Business, Social Sciences

Computational Sciences

Natural Sciences, Social Sciences

Social Sciences

Arts & Humanities, Social Sciences

Arts & Humanities, Social Science

Social Sciences, Business

Arts & Humanities

Computational Sciences, Social Science

Natural Sciences, Computer Science

Computational Science, Statistic Natural Sciences

Business & Social Sciences

Computational Science, Social Sciences

Social Sciences and Business

Business

Arts and Humanities

Computational Sciences

Social Sciences

Social Sciences and Computational Sciences

Social Sciences & Computational Sciences

Social Sciences & Arts and Humanities

Computational Science

Minor

Computational Science & Business

Economics

Social Sciences

Concentration

Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence & Cognition, Brain, and Behavior

Designing Societies & New Ventures

Strategic Finance & Data Science and Statistics

Brand Management and Designing Societies

Data Science & Economics

Machine Learning

Cells, Organisms, Data Science, Statistics

Arts & Literature and Historical Forces

Artificial Intelligence & Computer Science

Cells and Organisms, Mind and Emotion

Economics, Physics

Managing Operational Complexity and Strategic Finance

Global Development Studies and Brain, Cognition, and Behavior

Scalable Growth, Designing Societies

Business

Drug Discovery Research, Designing and Implementing Policies

Historical Forces, Cognition, Brain, and Behavior

Artificial Intelligence, Psychology

Designing Solutions, Data Science and Statistics

Data Science and Statistic, Theoretical Foundations of Natural Science

Strategic Finance, Politics, Government, and Society

Data Analysis, Cognition

Brand Management

Data Science and Statistics & Economics

Cognitive Science & Economics

Data Science and Statistics and Contemporary Knowledge Discovery

Internship
Higia Technologies
Project Development and Marketing Analyst Intern at VIVITA, a Mistletoe company
Business Development Intern, DoSomething.org
Business Analyst, Clean Energy Associates (CEA)

Conversation

​​This is part of a series of profiles introducing graduate students at Minerva University. If you would like to learn more about our programs, please visit our website.

In the realm of higher education, a student’s journey toward a higher purpose often intertwines with a desire for interdisciplinary learning and a commitment to effecting positive change. Rayyan Chanda, a first-year student in the Minerva’s Certificate in Decision Analysis (CDA) program at Minerva University, exemplifies this narrative through his multifaceted academic and professional pursuits.

Rayyan embarked on his academic journey at Quest University’s Bachelor’s program with a distinct focus on sustainability and environmental sciences. His undergraduate years were marked by interdisciplinary coursework, which spanned a diverse array of subjects, ranging from chemistry and data science to behavioral economics—reflecting his passion for holistic learning.

Rayyan's interest in environmental concerns and inventive economic models manifested in his university projects. Recognizing the profound influence of economics on today's world, he focused his efforts on addressing the pivotal question, "How can we reshape economics in the 21st century?"

Rayyan's exploration extended to areas such as circular economies and automotive industries, leading to his publication of several papers and an upcoming release on supply chain management. Further delving into mathematical modeling, he also showcased one of his projects at a U.S. mathematics conference. The convergence of economics, life sciences, data science, anthropology, math, and history influenced his viewpoint, establishing the foundation for a comprehensive problem-solving approach.

Post-graduation, Rayyan ventured into the professional realm, joining Tetropath, where he worked on projects aimed at enhancing circularity in the company's economy.

In the pursuit of advanced education, Rayyan sought a program that would offer valuable and applicable skills. Researching the most innovative institutions in the world, Rayyan discovered Minerva and learned more about the Habits of Mind and Foundational Concepts (HCs), a core of Minerva’s pedagogy.

“HCs are what I feel like was lacking the most in my other educational experiences. All those concepts were applied in various contexts, yet never defined. The system at Minerva allows for not only navigating, but also intentionally applying those concepts.”

The interdisciplinary nature of Minerva courses, together with small seminars and passionate professors, is what encouraged Rayyan to apply. 

“I knew Minerva had what I was looking for in higher education. The whole structure of the program and teaching seemed like something that would benefit me not only in the present, but also in the future.“

Rayyan envisions applying the skills gained at Minerva to his future pursuit of a Ph.D., combining anthropology with environmental sciences—an intersection often overlooked but crucial for sustainable business.

In Rayyan's perspective, decision-making skills are paramount for today's leaders. Understanding the intricacies of decision-making and problem-solving, breaking them down to look for feasible solutions, and acknowledging their potential flaws are crucial aspects of effective leadership.

According to Rayyan, Minerva distinguishes itself not just through academic rigor but also through deliberate instructional design. Engaging with individuals from diverse backgrounds offers perspectives on distinct value systems, biases, heuristics, and decision-making approaches. Additionally, it provides insights into various professional approaches, considering the diverse career backgrounds of students.

“It is one thing being an interdisciplinary student and another thing having exposure to interdisciplinary professional lives in the real world. The world is increasingly interconnected and having a chance to look at things from different perspectives is extremely important.”

Rayyan acknowledges the value of Minerva’s Coaching and Talent Development (CTD) in guiding his professional journey and shaping his Minerva experience so far in the program. Working closely with a personal mentor, he has been learning to seize emerging opportunities, maximize their potential, and create actionable plans to achieve his goals, fostering connections with like-minded individuals.

"For those seeking a challenge—both in content and thinking—and are ready to take risks, Minerva is an amazing program. Embrace challenges, be willing to put in the work, and step out of your comfort zone. This might be exactly what you're looking for."