Graduation date: May 2022
Major: International Studies, with a focus on Africa and the Middle East
Hometown: Buffalo, NY
Why did you choose the Social Sciences Interdisciplinary (IDP) - International Studies major?
I was first attracted to IDP because of its interdisciplinary nature. I believe that today’s world is moving towards this direction because problems and events are far too complex to only assess them through a narrow lens. The IDP major allowed me to study not only African and Middle Eastern politics but also language, culture, economics, and history. This comprehensive curriculum made me a well-rounded student, leaving UB confident in the challenges that lie ahead.
Did you pursue any Experiential Learning Activities while at UB?
In the Fall of 2021, I participated in the SUNY Brockport Washington Internship Program that allowed me to gain real life work experience and networking opportunities in D.C. Throughout my internship I was fortunate enough to learn about all the different aspects of a think-tank (event planning, grant writing, research and writing, and social media). During your time in D.C. you will take a research class and have lunch or drinks each week with an important person (judge, State Department employee, NASA representative, etc.). In addition, more than one-third of interns accepted into the program receive a job offer. My close friend and I were fortunate enough to be part of this statistic. My only negative experience while participating was working remotely due to the Covid-19 pandemic. (The program has now resumed in person.) I would highly recommend this program for all students regardless of their major.
What advice would you give an incoming UB student?
I recommend to all students reading this to take full advantage of the extracurricular opportunities and resources offered by the university (e.g. study abroad, SUNY internship programs, scholarships, clubs, sports, etc.). I was accepted to study abroad but Covid-19 struck shortly before my semester was scheduled to begin. Unfortunately, I was unable to reschedule it due to my expected graduation date quickly approaching.
What are you hoping to do in the future?
After my graduation this spring (2022) I plan on taking a gap year(s) before applying to master’s programs. I’ve applied to the Peace Corps and signed up for a teaching opportunity in Tanzania through Plan My Gap Year. My goal is to gain experience studying languages and living abroad before continuing my formal education. My career aspirations include working for the Department of State’s Bureau of African Affairs, becoming a Foreign Service Officer, or working for a prestigious think-tank.