I received a bachelor’s degree in international political economy from the University of Texas at Dallas. While at UT Dallas, I studied abroad in both Cuba and Spain, two experiences which strengthened my desire to pursue international affairs as a graduate student. Throughout my undergraduate program I took several internships at think tanks, nonprofits, and in government in Washington, D.C., and back home in Colorado. Following my graduation, I worked full time at the U.S. Department of State on responsible business conduct issues.
When I applied to graduate schools, I was looking for a university with great name recognition and a flexible program that would allow me to pursue my varied interests which range from development and security in Latin America and the Middle East to corporate social responsibility and business. I get to study not only within the School of International Affairs, but also across the Penn State campus; this provides an immense opportunity to learn from experts in countless other disciplines. Besides all the information I was able to gather about SIA online, the deciding factor for me to attend Penn State was my campus visit. I was blown away by the individual attention I received from staff and other SIA students, the modern facilities our program has to call home, and the resources and extracurricular opportunities provided by the wider campus. Since starting at Penn State, I found a family within our small cohort, something that seemed harder to obtain in larger programs. I’m eager to see how that family grows as I complete the SIA program.