Majors: Political Science, International Studies, French Translation and Interpretation
Other involvements: Writing Center Consultant, Model United Nations, Model Arab League, Political Science Club, Peer Tutoring, Student Ambassador

What career have you landed in post-graduation?

The program I'm in now is called EPIK. It stands for the English Program In Korea. I work in an elementary school in a city called Sejong, and I teach mostly elementary third graders. I’m their English teacher. I see several classes twice a week for 40 minutes and we have a textbook that we follow. English is a special subject, like how we might take art here. It's a super great program. I'm trying to learn more Korean and take lessons twice a week.

That’s awesome! How did Aquinas prepare you for that role?

Very early on in my college experience, Dr. Durham in the political science department said, “When you graduate from college, above all else, you should be able to do three things: you should be able to read well, write well, and work with others.”

I feel like all of my activities, both my studies in political science and international studies and building that global mindset throughout my four years gave me those skills. 

I was constantly challenged in my classes. I left Aquinas feeling like, I’m going to take what I've learned, and I'm gonna apply it and just jump right in. I might not always know exactly what is going on right away, but I'm going to do my best to figure it out. 

I love that you still remember that quote from your professor! It sounds like they made an impact.

Yes, I realize how lucky I was to be able to get to know my professors, and they know me. They recognize me. I can still email them and be like, do you have time for a Zoom meeting? Or do you have time to write this letter of recommendation and they will say, “Of course!”

I found a really good community and it was really supportive. It's a bit harder to find at a bigger school, and it's a bit more difficult to kind of really build those relationships, especially with professors. 

What would you say was the biggest benefit of attending Aquinas?

The biggest benefit in my opinion is that you do get that one-on-one time with your professors and staff. And that can be such a big deal. They know about internships. They know about job opportunities. And they can pass that on to you. 

Brigid Avery from the Advantage Center knew I lived on the east side of the state. At the end of my freshman year, she was like, “Hey, are you looking for an internship?” She sent me this super cool nonprofit that I ended up interning with that summer near my hometown, simply because she knew who I was and she knew where I was from. 

What else did you love about your time at Aquinas?

Campus looks like a little forest, like so cottage-core. When I did my tour, I was shocked. I'm like we are in the middle of Grand Rapids and there are trees just everywhere? 

And I walked East Grand Rapids all the time. It’s close to downtown too. One of my closest friends was from Grand Rapids, so she knew all the fun spots. The city was super exciting for me. 

Even on campus, there's always something going on! It's really if you are a student who wants to get involved. Everyone is super inviting, super welcoming.