“At the end of the day, giving back to GW in some way and form was important to me.”
Vishal Aswani, BS ‘10
City: Alexandria, VA
Most Recent Volunteer Role: Coffee with Alumni Mentor, Former Luther Rice Society Advisory Council
How long have you been volunteering for GW? What made you want to volunteer?
It's been on and off; however, most recently I've been working Coffee with Alumni efforts since August 2020. I always knew how significant of a role GW has had in making me into the person I am today. Between dealing with the pandemic and two job changes since the last year though, I was looking back and realized just how big of a role the University and Staff played after all. Volunteering became the "least I could do" in return!
What has been the most rewarding part of volunteering?
The enthusiasm from the Students, especially during pandemic times, has blown my mind. During the sessions, the questions and conversations have been non-stop. I especially enjoy those students who initially are a bit timid as they try to understand more about me and the format of the session. 100% of the time, it’s those Students who end up being the most engaged during the session and even after through e-mail and phone.
Do you have a favorite #OnlyatGW story?
It's really too hard to pick one. I spent so much of my time between the Marvin Center, Tompkins Hall, & Corcoran Hall that I could write a book about those three buildings alone. That being said, the #OnlyatGW story that makes me laugh the most was March 2006 when I was in Philly for the Women’s A-10 Basketball Tournament as a radio broadcaster for WRGW. I remember watching the end of the Men’s game on ESPN at the Hotel bar with GW staff and students around me, seeing and celebrating Carl Elliot's shot making it in before the buzzer for the win. While I wish I could be there, storming the court, that was the next best thing.
Why is it important for you to volunteer? Do you have any advice for new volunteers?
At the end of the day, giving back to GW in some way and form was important to me. By volunteering, I feel like it’s my way not just to say “thank you” but to strategically help the University in being a resource to the next generation. For the new volunteers, I’d say that my biggest piece of advice would be not to be afraid to ask questions to the Office of Alumni Relations team. They’re just as excited, if not more, to have us. As such, they want us to be ready and prepared so take advantage of that!