Junior Researcher and Junior Lecturer, Erasmus University, NL
In my early years at UT, I was very unsure of what I wanted to study. Through taking a geography course for a gen ed requirement I realized that the human side of geography covered many of my personal interests. One day I visited the department to ask some questions about the geography major and I was introduced to several professors that were all very welcoming and I knew that I was in the right place! Alongside the BA in Geography I also got a BA in Hispanic studies which paired really well and piqued my interest in immigration and social policies.
Outside of class, I worked at the International House on campus and as a research assistant for a dissertation on refugee integration. One summer I interned with the US State Department at the US Embassy in Costa Rica. I worked within the political section to write reports for diplomats on political situations in the country and events. I learned a lot about working in a professional international environment but also about the innerworkings of the State Department itself which was invaluable. This experience provided an additional push into the international political world.
Once I graduated in 2020 (mid pandemic), I decided to continue my education by pursuing a MSc in Governance of Migration and Diversity at Erasmus University in the Netherlands. This was a big step, but I would highly recommend studying in another country to anyone that is interested! If you have the desire to do it, you have the ability to navigate it! This program gave me a unique perspective and specialized knowledge on Immigration policy in the EU.
After graduating I decided to stay in the Netherlands to work for Erasmus University as a Junior Lecturer and Junior Researcher. I teach for an undergraduate program that is called Management of International Social Challenges and I do research on Immigrant integration policies in the EU. In the past year I also co authored a report on policies offering access to social protection to undocumented migrants that was published by the Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants. I am now looking to shift out of academia and further into advocacy and public policy work.
I know that many Geography majors (especially human geographers) are unsure of what they would like to do after graduation. I have been there! Now being on the other side, my advice is to stick with your passions and let them guide you! Your geography degree has given you all of the skills that you need to do a job well, now you have the freedom to find a job that pairs your interests with those skills.