Meet Our Alumni Officer!
September 24, 2021
NLSIU is happy to introduce its first Alumni Officer Akanksha Sharma, NLS ‘LLB 2013, who joins us this term to handle alumni relations. Previously, she was a principal associate at Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas where she worked with the public mergers and acquisitions team. Her work included advising clients across industry sectors on corporate restructurings, stressed asset acquisitions, domestic and cross-border investments, and corporate governance. She is also a recipient of the Nani A. Palkhivala Memorial Trust Scholarship for Constitutional Law at NLSIU, and the Temasek Foundation Leadership Enrichment and Regional Networking (LEaRN) Scholarship at the Singapore Management University.
We asked her to share more about her work, her interests and her vision as the Alumni Officer of the University.
Can you tell us a little more about yourself and your background?
I grew up in Delhi, and for a few sunny years, in the Maldives. I first visited Bangalore in 2008 for admission into NLSIU, ever since then, the university and city have been intertwined for me. I loved our courses on constitutional law, jurisprudence, sociology and history, but corporate law was the one subject I enjoyed tremendously in both theory and practice. So after graduating, I ended up working with the same corporate law firm for 8 years – not as boring as it sounds, given the sweeping amendments to private laws in India practically every year. I’ve now lived in Bangalore my entire adult life, so my lack of fluency in Kannada is an acute embarrassment which I hope to correct soon. These days, I am looking forward to a post-pandemic world where the specifics of venue ventilation won’t dictate all my decisions on travel, meals and bookstore browsing!
Can you reflect on your transition from being a student at NLS to now being appointed as Alumni Officer of NLSIU.
Accepting the offer to set up the Alumni Office was a no-brainer. To be back at NLS with no exams or project submission deadlines? Sign me up!
But in all seriousness, the university I enter now is significantly different from when I was a student, and the thrill of embarking on this new endeavour in Nagarbhavi is both familiar and brand new. As students, we soaked up all the opportunities that come our way, but this time I deliberated a fair bit on how to use this opportunity to contribute meaningfully. The role entails responsibilities to an institution that has been integral in shaping who I am. Equally, I continue to be buoyed by the generosity of time, spirit and affection that I receive from various alumni in professional life and otherwise. I feel privileged to be here using skills honed in problem-solving for clients in now getting this Office up and running.
Could you share any experiences or fond memories at NLS?
Despite the importance I then accorded to journals, CGPA and other worthy academic pursuits, in hindsight I can safely say my brightest college memories were made elsewhere. Three of my friends and I set up the ‘Informals‘ stall for the inter-college fests almost every year, and had the time of our lives conjuring up grandiose themes for the decor and games. At least half of my learning happened in the girls’ hostels, terraces and yes, the Old Mess (for food and talk) and New Mess (for exam prep and Univ Week prep). I recently observed there are changes in the mess menu now – if the Sunday tea-time cake had been removed during our time, they would have had a mutiny on their hands!
What are your next steps as Alumni Officer of the University?
With the establishment of the Alumni Office, the university aims to systematise its continuous engagement with alumni, deepen the relationship and broaden access to include all our on-campus and off-campus programmes, in line with the other initiatives under NLSIU’s Inclusion and Expansion Plan.
The first step is to comprehensively track down what our alumni have been up to, given that we have a mix of people pursuing traditional legal careers and less conventional paths. We are both collating existing information and corralling updates through the alumni community platform, which is already live – the fact that the platform pre-dates my joining bears testament to how the Office is truly “digital first”. Outreach through events (both on- and off-campus) is also a top priority, though given the prevailing safety considerations, we might be looking at hybrid online/offline events for now. We are re-looking at the university’s existing resources to evaluate which could be relevant to alumni and how to bring them into play. Most importantly, we look forward to your suggestions on how the Alumni Office can be best leveraged, so please do reach out to us!