As a six-year veteran of the US Navy, I wasn’t sure what to make of my UW Bothell experience initially. However, I soon came to realize that the key to an enriching experience would be to immerse myself as much as possible in the UWB family. Joining and then volunteering for a leadership role with the Student Veteran’s Association on campus, actively supporting other organizations I believed in like the human rights student group, and utilizing the various resources on campus such as the Career Center really set me up for success post-graduation. Through the Career Center, I was able to develop an internship in Leogane, Haiti, and ultimately earned an on-campus position as an Assistant Career Advisor. All of these experiences plus the very challenging IAS coursework from the Global Studies program allowed me to build a competitive portfolio.
Regrettably, the one thing that I did let slide through my time as an undergrad was my career search. I was so busy being involved on campus (I think “balance” is the idea to strive for), that I neglected to really engage in any sort of concerted job exploration. Due to networking with my mentor in the Career Center, I did find employment as a Product Support Specialist with a software firm, and although it did pay the bills and I was grateful for that, my heart wasn’t in it. Because of this disconnect, I maintained my relationships with non-profits like All Hands Volunteers that I had worked with in the past in Haiti and domestically. Eventually, after working with Natalia Dyba in Merit Scholarships over eight months, I followed my passion and applied to a master’s program at the University of Cambridge in England, and was accepted. So I went from graduating with really no plan at all to being accepted into the program of my dreams. For me, the key was to stay engaged in the things I care about, keep relationships open with professors and the UWB family, and don’t lose hope. As long as you keep improving and challenging yourself, doors will open for you.