Member of the Week - Kavya Bodapati

October 28, 2015

Andrea Begleiter

When did you join the IAA and why?

I joined Academic Affairs first semester freshman year. I was family friends with the President of the IAA at the time, he was my older brother essentially, and he basically forced me into the IAA against my will. I ended up loving it even though I never thought I would and it’s been a really great experience.

Have you always been on COE?

I was an assistant for AA freshman year and then I was a deputy for AA my sophomore year. Then I was also a deputy for COE my sophomore year and junior year I was the Director [of COE].

Which of those did you like the most?

I loved being on exec board as Director of COE. I felt like that gave me really good insight into how the rest of the IAA works. Instead of just being on COE and AA (which are kind of similar) I got to see how UPMUNC and ILMUNC function and learn about the international conferences and what the President and Vice President do.

What’s one of your favorite memories during your time in IAA?

I loved getting to go to China last year. THat was amazing and a really big deal before, I had never been before. It was my first time chairing and I was chairing for an international conference and that was really big for me.

What’s the craziest thing that happened in China?

One night we went to a really nice dinner and then we went to a bar for some drinks and when we came back we wanted to go to the rooftop pool and hottub. But it was closed so we climbed the fence and jumped in. We ended up getting kicked out but we got to stay there for an hour.

Any advice for freshmen in the IAA?

Don’t take the club too seriously! You can get caught up in a lot of stuff but don’t expect too much and you can get a lot from it. If you go in saying “I want to go to x amount of trips” and “I want to have x amount of positions” it’s going to be really hard. You should concentrate on making friends you really like in the club and going to the talks you want to go to and those kinds of things. IAA can offer you a lot of things.

Do you remember your first UPMUNC?

It was terrifying! I didn’t do Model UN in high school because I didn’t like it at all and then I came to the IAA and they were like “you have to go to UPMUNC.” I ended up meeting some really cool senior girls who were my chairs and they took me out to dim sum in Chinatown and it turned out to be a really good experience.

When did you realize you liked being in the IAA?

Probably end of freshman year. By the time Spring Fling came around, the IAA does a lot of fling brunches, I had made a lot of friends and I could go out with a lot of people from the IAA. I’m pre-med so it can be hard to get out of the science bubble and I got to meet a whole group of people I never would have otherwise.