Double Major: Political Science and Latin American Studies
Grad Year: 2016
Why did you choose Latin American Studies as a major?: I chose to major in Latin American Studies because as a first generation immigrant, I wanted to learn more about my birth country Colombia, the commonalities between Latin American countries, and to understand the issues that push so many of us to migrate North.
What did you like most about it? What impressed me the most about this major is how it encourages students to take a multifaceted approach to understanding the complexities of Latin America. The major allows students to design their own degree program. Students can concentrate on a particular interest and supplement their understanding by exploring themes they would have considered unrelated.
What is your current position, what do you, and what do you enjoy most about it? I am currently interning for the Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (BMS) as a veteran community outreach program coordinator. The most rewarding aspect of this internship is at the conclusion of an event when I see the impact it has made on veterans’ lives.
What was your first job after Rutgers and how did you get it? My internship with BMS is my first job after Rutgers. The Rutgers Office of Veterans Services recommended me to a BMS representative who was looking for a military veteran to fill this position. I was interviewed and subsequently hired right after graduation.
How did you move from that first job to your current position? I am still interning for BMS, but I will be going to graduate school in the Fall 2017.
Looking back, what classes or experiences at Rutgers would you point to as contributing to your successes? The most significant experience at Rutgers I attribute my successes to were the daily interactions I had with the CLAS faculty. Every professor I interacted with demonstrated a deep passion for their work and a genuine interest in the success of their students. Professors like Dr. Ulla Berg, Dr. Geisa Rocha, and Dr. Eduardo Herrera all pushed me to reach new heights when I felt I had reached my limits. They are great advisors and mentors whose lessons I have been able to apply inside and outside of Rutgers.
What advice do you have for our current Arts and Sciences students? I would advise students to take full advantage of this robust program and its exceptional faculty. I encourage students to ask questions and engage with professors to fully reap the benefits of being a part of such a fine institution like Rutgers.