Alumna Spotlight - Michelle Bajwa DC’98
While it has been over 20 years since she graduated, Michelle Bajwa DC’98 carries Douglass with her every day. As the Co-Founder of Domain Computing Services, Managing Partner of ApprenticeIT, and Director of Human Resources at Bizratings, Bajwa leads a full and busy life. Yet, Bajwa’s memories of her time on campus remain deeply rich and vivid, easily withstanding the test of time.
“Douglass represents a poignant ‘coming-of-age’ period in my life. Memories of my 4 years are thick with discovery, growth, wonder, and independence,” Bajwa said. “Even though I grew up in a very diverse community in West Windsor, NJ, my experience and education at Douglass really opened my eyes to a greater universe in all senses.”
Compiled of enlightening moments in her young adulthood, some of Bajwa’s memories are simple: the sense of sisterhood she found in the New Gibbons residence hall, the leadership skills she built as a Red Pine Ambassador, and all the pivotal lessons she learned in the classroom. However, some of her memories are more complex, revealing just how Douglass functions as a space to foster personal, creative, and intellectual growth. In one memory, Bajwa breaks down a specific moment in time, reflecting on seemingly small details that came to have a lasting impact.
“I remember reading Sula by Toni Morrison on the weathered steps of Antillies field,” Bajwa recalls, “I was looking out at the horizon and appreciating it as a blank canvas for my visual imagination to fill with the scenes unfolding in my text.”
Another detail that sticks out in Bajwa’s mind is an element of the campus itself—the pathways.
“I remember walking paths to visit friends at Cook campus or get to classes, and the path I would take behind the library to see my mentors in College Hall—those quiet moments of travel with light flickering through the trees,” Bajwa said. “I learned during this time how to use the time traveling between places as a kind of walking meditation to cultivate my appreciation of the present, self-ownership, independence, and purpose.”
Ultimately, Bajwa’s memories—whether defined by an intellectual awakening, significant life-lessons, or meaningful connections—are guided by the unique environment Douglass offers every student, the space to create, the resources to experiment, and the freedom to grow.
“What I came to appreciate the most,” Bajwa said, “is how the intimate culture of Douglass created a ‘safe haven’ to which I could return and process everything I was learning and exposed to.”
Bajwa has returned to campus to speak to Douglass students and offer words of wisdom. To current Douglass students, she says:
“Be compassionate and open to the stories and experiences of others—it’ll help you gain perspective on their behavior and opens up space for you to react and make decisions based on reason versus rash, emotional reactions. Be mindful and dive in with your passion and conviction to achieve everything from your daily tasks to your long-term goals. Resist rumination and focus your thoughts and energy on positivity and progress.”