Episode 17: Christian Tanja
Common Room Conversations · 53 minutes ·

Episode 17: Christian Tanja

Christian Tanja, who played an instrumental role in building the Schwarzman Scholars community as an Admissions Outreach and Selection Officer, sits with Mandy and Willie as he prepares to return to California as the Assistant Director of the Knight-Hennessy program. He begins by discussing his leadership compass, his upbringing in Southern California, his experience building a personal board of directors, and what his return to California might unlock for him. (2:06). Next, Christian details his personal mission to build escalators to help those typically excluded, reflects on his belief in “what’s meant for you will not miss you,” as well as the importance of authenticity and staying grounded, and nerds out with Mandy and Willie about personality assessment tools (19:54). Afterward, Christian shares the questions he uses to understand candidates beyond their applications (34:08) and reflects on his "3-year triangulation" that anchors on learning, growth, and building legacy (38:08). Finally, Christian reflects on his next steps, how his family has changed, expresses surprise at his yearning to be home, and shares his experience in acapella (40:35). 

TONEWALL performances: 

Song(s) mentioned:

  • Catwalk (feat. Skeletal Ki) - RuPaul

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