Apoorv Bhargava '12

Why I Volunteer

Apoorv Bhargava

In what roles have you volunteered for Rice?

I'm currently on the Rice Engineering Alumni's Board of Directors and am the incoming Co-Chair for the Rice Bay Area Alumni Chapter. I try to actively come back (or virtually come back) to speak at Rice for various events involving entrepreneurship, clean energy, engineering, etc.

When I lived in Houston, I volunteered ad-hoc to come back and speak to graduating chemical engineers on senior design and career options after Rice. And while living in DC, I served as an ARA Young Ambassador and helped organize various Rice Alumni events, including our first ever holiday party with other incredible Rice alumni.

Why do you volunteer for Rice?

I love volunteering for Rice because it's given me so much in my life. Rice was the launching point for all my adventures and accomplishments to date. It gave me an incredible foundation in both engineering and economics, and an appreciation of how to look for the problems AND solutions at the intersection of different fields. Richard Smalley's list of "Ten Problems of Humanity" was one of the inspirations behind my passion for clean energy, and Rice gave me so many opportunities to explore that interest. My professors and peers were incredible and curious, and I learned so much from them all. Rice instilled a sense of leadership and a desire to do work that had a high impact - something I've carried forward in every job and experience I've had after Rice. And of course, Rice provided a reminder to keep having fun whilst trying to take over the world! 🙂 I continue to be one of Rice's biggest champions!

What do you enjoy most about volunteering at Rice?

Volunteering at Rice is a great way to give back (obviously!) and to deepen my relationships and build community with other incredible volunteers. Rice alumni can be found doing such cool things around the country, and it's a real joy to connect and work with them on projects for Rice students and alumni. And it goes without saying, one of the best parts of volunteering at Rice is seeing how much value students can get out of the various events and activities I participate in.

What's a fun Rice fact about you?

I was the Jacks (pranks) coordinator at Hanszen College, and we got up to some really hilarious stuff during my time. One year, in response to Rice selling KTRU, we decided to retaliate by selling Willy's Statue to the Museum of Fine Arts. We wrapped it up, printed receipts from the Museum of Fine Arts for the sale, and left some not-so nice-things in Latin scribbled on the plastic. In the Centennial edition, The Thresher called it one of the top 3 best Jacks of all time!

Why should others volunteer for Rice?

There are so many ways to get involved, and you can give as little time or as much time as you want in various ways. Every experience and journey you've had is a really valuable data point that a prospective student, current student, or alum could benefit from!