Still, I remained in those classes and even joined a medical club. It wasn’t until the summer during a mission trip to Nicaragua that I realized that was what I was passionate about. I found myself less interested in medical work and more fascinated with practicing Spanish and engaging with the local people. I loved hearing their stories and learning about their history.
Shortly after my mission trip, I experienced a personal medical emergency, which confirmed for me that working in medicine was not for me. That said, at the start of my sophomore year, I changed my major to International Studies at the Hamilton Lugar School. I had always been passionate about human rights, humanitarian aid, and learning about the cultures of the world, and IU gave me the freedom to connect ALL of my interests.
The flexibility of my HLS degree allowed me to take classes in many disciplines (Gender Studies, Anthropology, etc.) while staying on track for graduation. I delved into the histories of Eastern Europe and Central Eurasia, I studied the social discrepancies between people of varying social classes, race, and sex in literature, and learned to look beyond the previously constructed binaries we are taught throughout our lives. In HLS classes, I consistently experienced quality interactions with my professors, who were fully invested in my growth.
Studying within HLS even allowed me to spend a lot of time abroad, which otherwise would have been difficult with another degree. I spent my junior spring semester in Barcelona, where I took classes on music, food, and communications while living with a host family, who was Indian (like me) and famous in Spain. I was able to attend Barcelona Fashion Week, learned more about Spanish culture, and became nearly fluent in the language. Additionally, I had a sales internship at a sustainable fashion studio, which ignited my interest in sales.
As you probably have gained from your own experiences, learning doesn’t stop when we leave the classroom. Throughout my four years at Indiana University, I have worked five jobs and internships, volunteered at non-profits, raised $3,500 for Riley Hospital for Children with the IU Dance Marathon, and spent hours practicing and competing nationally with IU HoosierRaas, a South-Asian intercollegiate dance team. These experiences taught me so much about dedication, passion, time management, social skill, and putting yourself outside of your comfort zone. HoosierRaas specifically gave me a newfound family and improved my leadership skills, as I served as the Team Captain for two years.
The experiences and opportunities I had at Indiana University paved the way for what would become by my dream come true. With the support and skills I gained from the Hamilton Lugar School, IU, and my extracurricular experiences, I secured a full-time job at LinkedIn in Global Sales.
Indiana University offers so many resources for students to excel in whatever they wish to pursue, be it classes, extracurriculars, or the skills gained through these experiences. I hope that sharing my story gave you insight into your possible future in the Hamilton Lugar School! If you have any questions about my experience, HLS, or IU, I would be more than happy to answer them. Know that wherever you go, take advantage of all that is offered.