A theater enthusiast, who is also a budding business woman and sportsperson, Anjali Kanthan (BBA Year 3) is fast making a name for herself at HKUST. The double major in Economics & Marketing grew up in Hong Kong and is a true third culture kid with an international family rooted in Tamil culture. She took the lead principal role of Ruth Sherwood in HKUST's Broadway Musical “Wonderful Town!” in September 2021, all while juggling major sporting commitments in both tennis and hockey. She might be rather busy, but Anjali still found time to talk to us.

So why did you choose a double major in Economics & Marketing?

I like seeing the world through an economic lens, and I enjoy the psychology behind marketing a lot. So I can apply things I learnt about behavior and do something practical with it. What a cool combination! I've been interested in these areas since studying for my International Baccalaureate at West Island School in Hong Kong.

Everyone wants to know more about your experience taking the role of Ruth Sherwood in HKUST's Broadway Musical “Wonderful Town!”...

We have a very musical family, everyone sings or plays an instrument, I grew up around music, English, Hindi, Tamil, Spanish and more! When I saw the announcement, I was like OK, I 100% have to do this. I had met Isaac Droscha and Mandy Petty in my first semester, having taken the course Music Theater and Dance. I fell in love with them, and promised myself I would work with them. So as soon as I got the email, I knew what to do. Going on stage felt so natural, what an amazing experience. We rehearsed every day for months and it was one of the most challenging things I have ever done. And I was interning too, so my day was running from 7am to midnight every day. It never felt like work, just pure passion. The reaction from the community was beautiful. I will be on exchange in Barcelona so I'm not sure I will be able to make it to the next show, and that makes me pretty sad.

You are very sporty as well...

My two main sports are field hockey and tennis, and I play tennis for the University too, and last year became president of the Tennis Society. There are so many people with amazing attitudes who just want to learn, it is so encouraging to see that and it inspires me. So it was really crazy with the theater project, and I ended up taking a break from sport for a bit.

And on top of that, how about your business endeavors?

I am part of the HKUST Women in Business Society, that has guest speakers giving talks, networking sessions, and workshops, along with practical elements such as CV building workshops. These things really bring us together as women, and breakthroughs in male dominated fields. It's powerful and it's part of the reason I love HKUST. I'm not going to lie, this place is not easy academically, when you come to HKUST, you will focus on your academics – it teaches you the value of putting in time and effort. At the same time, I’m sure you can see that I balance work and play – make sure you always have space to enjoy yourself!