By Ariana Albarella
After spending her childhood dreaming of becoming a dentist, Kritika Aswani, a senior at Rider, never imagined how drastically her future would change after having the opportunity to work with the South Asian media television station, T.V. Asia.
After moving from India to America with her family five years ago, Aswani began to work toward a career in dentistry by becoming a biology major. That is where she met Rider alumna, Radhika Vasudeva ’11, through a mutual friend. It was Vasudeva who told Aswani about a job opportunity at T.V. Asia, which she pursued.
“I joined T.V. Asia, and after that, I decided to change my career path,” Aswani said.
Aswani has been working at T.V. Asia for two years. The station is a national entertainment and news network based out of Edison, N.J., where the South Asian community can tune into a wide range of original programming and content.
With a career switch from dentistry to television, Aswani is taking her future professional path by storm with the opportunities she has at the network.
“She really has a love for the entertainment side of the field and has grown a lot,” Vasudeva said. “When she first started working at the company, she had no past media experience, but picked things up and learned very quickly. That was one thing about her that impressed everyone.”
Aswani’s desire to advance within her field was reflected in how she took advantage of the learning experience T.V. Asia had to offer.
“At T.V. Asia, they give you a chance to do every single thing,” she said. “It’s not that you’re specified as an editor, you just edit. If you’re an anchor and you want to learn editing, you can learn editing. They give you the opportunity to try anything and everything.”
Aswani considers entertainment her main focus and has created and hosted her own show that concentrates on fashion, styles and trends entitled “Fashion Ville.” Vasudeva helped develop the program, which had the primary intention of drawing in a new audience.
“Kritika and I started ‘Fashion Ville’ with a goal to add a young, new show to the network,” Vasudeva said. “We had a concept which we both felt strongly about and, from that point, made a production layout of how we would want the show to go.”
On “Fashion Ville” Aswani and Vasudeva interview South Asian designers and models. In order to attract a younger demographic, they use social media to their advantage, and strongly encourage audience participation through Facebook and Twitter. Some of their earlier online episodes can be viewed at yourstylemantra.wordpress.com.
Aside from her show, Aswani also has had the opportunity to report on and interview major Bollywood stars like Akshay Kumar.
Taking advantage of the experience and platform that she has gained from T.V. Asia, Aswani has created a new goal for herself: expanding South Asian culture within United States media.
“It’s all about uniting South Asians here in the United States,” Aswani said. “It’s about spreading awareness about our culture, our heritage and our traditions. Mainly the channel focuses on older people, but now, we are trying to gather a younger audience for the channel.”
With this new passion in TV, Aswani feels that the experience has given her more confidence. She has already surpassed many of her aspirations in the short time since switching majors.
“I feel like I have a sense of responsibility now because I earn my own living, I pay my own bills, I do everything myself,” she said. “I feel like I’m moving forward toward achieving my goals that I’ve set for myself rather than just sitting and thinking about what I’m going to do 10 years from now.”
Printed in the 9/4/13 edition.