Growing up in Bangkok, Thailand, Sid Saravat ’15 wanted to go to an American liberal arts college in a global city as diverse as his hometown.
“Los Angeles seemed like the perfect place, and within Los Angeles, Occidental really stood out,” he says of his decision to enroll at the college, sight unseen. “It worked out much better than I could have imagined.”
Now an economist at a global asset manager in Los Angeles, Saravat started as a physics major before switching to economics. He always intended to apply his liberal arts background broadly, and he reveled in the spirit of exploration during his time at the College. At Oxy, he took classes in a dozen different departments, as did many of his friends.
“I loved math, I loved science, and I really enjoyed politics and social science,” Saravat says. “Economics combined a lot of these varied interests that I had. Interdisciplinary learning is very much a buzzword, but it really comes true at a liberal arts school like Occidental, and it prepares you for careers in a world that is constantly in a state of flux.”
During his time in Eagle Rock, he was able to cultivate close relationships with his professors: “Still, to this day, I’ll email my macroeconomics professor when I’ve got a question or when I want to argue about something. We’ve even grabbed coffee and discussed contemporary economic issues.”
As a student, Saravat was so convinced of the value of his Oxy education that he invested time and money to benefit future generations of Occidental students. He was an instrumental member of the Class of 2015 Senior Class Gift Committee, and took part in student philanthropy education events and activities, encouraging his peers to give back to the College that gave him so much.
“It was natural to stay involved with giving at Occidental,” Saravat says. “Without financial aid, I wouldn’t have been able to attend a school like Oxy. The campaign has a very personal connection to me. I’m really happy that Occidental is taking this step forward.
“Opportunities don’t exist without financial resources,” he adds.
The campaign theme – “For Good” – is particularly applicable in a world that demands big solutions for big challenges, Saravat says.
“If you care about income inequality, if you care about divisions in society, if you care about creating people who understand the world around them, places like Oxy are very much needed,” he notes. “As a young alumnus, the smallest thing that I can do is make a small contribution, which goes a long way in helping Occidental achieve that vision.”