News | Student Life

Senior profile: Tanay Jaipuria, SEAS

  • Alex Chang for Spectator
    TEA with TANAY | “I think one thing I’ve realized is that basically everyone is interesting,” Tanay Jaipuria said.

This senior profile is part of Spectator’s 2014 commencement special issue. Check out the 17 other senior profiles, the class day ceremony recaps, and a timeline of the biggest events of the last four years.

Tanay Jaipuria, SEAS ’14, wants to meet you—all of you.

This spring, Jaipuria started Tea With Tanay, a website where friends and strangers can sign up for 30 minutes of tea-fueled conversation with Jaipuria. The goal, according to Jaipuria’s statement on the website, is to meet “ten times as many awesome people whom I haven’t met yet.”

“I made a commitment to myself before doing it that I would grab tea with everyone,” said Jaipuria, a computer science major from Mumbai, India.

For the first week, it was mostly friends who signed up to participate. With a week to go until graduation, he had gotten tea or an alternate Joe beverage with roughly 100 people, he said.

Because so many people signed up—and with limited days before Commencement—Jaipuria has only managed to keep his word by sometimes having tea with multiple people at once.

Tea With Tanay—which was inspired by a friend at the University of Pennsylvania who did a similar project last year—started out as an item on his bucket list.

Unfortunately, Jaipuria hasn’t been quite as successful with the other items on that list. He said the biggest tragedy by far of his senior year was when he broke his commitment to attend every Senior Night this year.

“The rain was just too bad, and I got lazy. I just stayed in and watched ‘Mean Girls’ instead,” Jaipuria said.

Other than “Mean Girls,” Jaipuria said he’s also a big fan of “21”—a movie that, he said, taught him to count cards—another item on his bucket list.

Jaipuria put that skill to use when, at the ripe age of 18, he headed to a casino in Manchester, England.

“It was all going well, I was up like 300, 400 pounds … and then I got caught,” he said.

After casino security established that he wasn’t a U.K. citizen and wouldn’t be able to bother the casino regularly, he was allowed to leave with the cash and an excellent story.

After graduating, Jaipuria will be heading to San Francisco for the summer before returning to New York to work for a consulting firm. He hopes to eventually have his own tech startup.

For now, Jaipuria said that it’s the everyday moments that he treasures most at Columbia.

“A lot of people have asked me this, and I always tell them looking back it’s those random nights I remember the most,” he said. “It’s all those nothing moments I spent with friends that I’m going to remember the most and miss the most.”

He said that part of the motivation behind Tea With Tanay was to make those moments a little more frequent in Columbia students’ lives.

“I think one thing I’ve realized is that basically everyone really is interesting. It’s more about whether you can bring what they have that’s interesting out of them,” Jaipuria said. “The people here are the best thing about Columbia.”

maia.bix@columbiaspectator.com  |  @MaiaClay4

This senior profile is part of Spectator’s 2014 commencement special issue. Check out the 17 other senior profiles, the class day ceremony recaps, and a timeline of the biggest events of the last four years.

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Anonymous posted on

what's going on with his neck?

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