Living Green to the Concrete Jungle in New York

Meet Diahndra Burman, BIS Valedictorian Class of 2008, sharing her story from living green to the concrete jungle in New York.


– Please tell me a little about yourself, what is your current career, what do you do?

I grew up in Bali — my mother is Balinese and my father is American. I started at BIS in 1994 when I was in Kindergarten. After graduating BIS in 2008, I studied International Relations at Brown University and then received a law degree at Northwestern University. I am currently an associate in the Capital Markets group of the law firm, Sidley Austin LLP in their New York office. My practice focuses on corporate and securities law matters. I represent issuers and underwriters in public or private securities transactions of debt and equity securities, including initial public offerings. 


– In your opinion, what are the major problems/opportunities being faced in the legal industry?

One that frequently comes to mind is gender equality. It’s frustrating that women still face so many barriers and implicit bias in the workplace. We’ve made many strides but there’s still a lot of work to be done.


– Does international-mindedness benefit your profession as a lawyer in some way?

Definitely — I believe that being cross-cultural gives you a unique ability to connect with and understand people from diverse backgrounds and perspectives. 


– What do you miss the most about Bali and Indonesia?

Being in a beautiful, natural environment and being with my family!

– Recall your school day at BIS and what are the BIS values that you still carry until today,

The BIS community spirit. When you grow up having the same friends from Kindergarten all the way up to graduation, you feel like one big family!