Pay It Northward Links Talented Colby Graduate with Career Pathway in Data Analytics

In the search for a job that would utilize her math and computer science skills, Trisha Ramdhoni ’21 turned to DavisConnects and landed her ideal job at a start-up founded by Colby alums.

Just after graduation in June, Trisha Ramdhoni ’21 started her new job as a junior data analyst at MealPal, a company co-founded and led by Mary Biggins ’05 and Katie Ghelli ’05. Based in New York City, MealPal offers subscription meal services for individual and corporate clients through local restaurants. DavisConnects, and its Pay It Northward campaign, supports new graduates like Ramdhoni in finding post-graduate success and helps businesses led by Colby alums, like MealPal, find employees with an instinct for collaboration and an entrepreneurial spirit. 

“The team is the most important thing in a startup,” Biggins said. “Colby is the perfect place to find great team members. They train problem solvers, and its learn-by-doing ethos makes it a great training ground for start-up environments like ours.” As Ramdhoni searched for her first professional-level job, she knew she wanted a role that would utilize her math and computer science skills while giving her opportunities to grow. The data analyst position at MealPal—a tech company founded by women from Colby—caught her eye. “I immediately thought, I need to apply here.”

Ramdhoni stood out among the more than 2,000 applicants MealPal received. “She clearly had that hunger and determination,” Biggins said, but even more impressive was Ramdhoni’s performance on the case-study exercise presented to their top 50 candidates. “When I asked my colleague how the candidates did, he said, ‘You’re not going to believe this. Trisha’s work is the best we’ve ever had. She nailed it.’ To get an applicant of that caliber, and to know that she’s a Colby alumna, made me really proud.” 

As a data analyst, Ramdhoni is primarily focused on utilizing large amounts of data on MealPal’s sales, client base, and growth patterns to inform company decisions—but her work is larger than just the numbers. “I come from a computer science background,” she said, “but at Colby you learn so much more.” Her education prepared her to reach out of her comfort zone, offer ideas, and approach new settings with an open mind. Though taking on big responsibilities can be intimidating at times, Ramdhoni said “it’s exciting to see that things I’m working on are really having an impact.”

“We are a data-driven company, which makes Trisha’s work central to our growth,” said Ghelli. “It’s exciting to have a new hire with so much expertise at the start, who’s also learning quickly and whose work we’re implementing every day.”

Like Ramdhoni, Biggins and Ghelli also found Colby to be an optimal learning ground for the trial-and-error world of start-ups. Colby showed Ghelli, a German and government double major and member of women’s track and field, the value of testing your own limits. “Colby taught me that it can be really fun to do hard things. The expectations that your professors and coaches hold you to are high but also attainable,” she said. “It taught me to trust myself and the learning process.”

“I didn’t think that I was an entrepreneur when I was at Colby studying religion and government,” Biggins said, “but when I reflect on it now, I can see that I very much was. I’ve started two tech companies, and I learned a lot along the way, but my liberal arts education is what helped me become an independent thinker and a problem solver. That foundation can set you up for any path.”

The generosity and strength of the Colby College alumni network have been essential to alums like Biggins and Ghelli as they build fulfilling and challenging careers. “I got my first job after graduation by reaching out to alumni,” said Ghelli. She hopes that all Colby graduates will tap into the power of the alumni network. “It could lead to something really great.”

Top Image: Trisha Ramdhoni ’21, junior data analyst at MealPal, outside their office in New York City.
Bottom Image: Mary Biggins ’05, Trisha Ramdhoni ’21, and Katie Ghelli ’05 in MealPal’s office in New York City.