Name: Andrea Dunuwila
Year: Class of 2006
Majors: International Studies, Economics, and History
Hometown: Manlius, NY
Favorite Hopkins —: Favorite Hopkins perk – Free admission to the Baltimore Museum of Art! Adjacent to campus, this museum houses my favorite collection of art, the Cone Collection. Bequeathed to the BMA by the Cone sisters of Baltimore in the early 20th Century, this collection includes an avant-garde array of Matisse, Picasso, Degas and Monet, among others.
Unlike our past guest bloggers, I am not actually a current student. Having graduated this past December, a semester early, I am still in Baltimore, spending quality time with my friends, enjoying senior spring and working. Besides the depressing fact that the MSE Library here on campus has finally realized that I am not technically a student anymore and will no longer let me hold on to its copy of A Historical Commentary on Thucydides or rent free DVDs, I have been living in denial, enjoying life as a pseudo-senior at Hopkins.
Although my three and a half years of college seemed to fly by, I have been able to take advantage of a plethora of amazing opportunities. From studying abroad to tutoring an inner-city Baltimore second-grader, I have enjoyed the diverse array of experiences that Hopkins offers. With all of this under my belt, and fantastic memories of my undergraduate career, I have applied to law schools and have been interviewing for jobs in an effort to keep my options open as I venture out into the real world. In the meantime, I am busy planning JHUMUNC, or the Johns Hopkins University Model United Nations Conference, which will bring 800 high school students together with over 70 Hopkins students during a weekend of United Nations simulations at the Baltimore Convention Center this March. In addition, I am working as an intern at the Admissions Office and as a tutor at the University’s Writing Center.
One of the main differences between graduating from high school and finishing college is the uncertainty that comes with choosing between continuing with school or accepting a job. Despite this uncertainty, we are graduating with a degree from Hopkins that will open many doors, making this an exciting time for my fellow students and me. Come May, Hopkins students will be pursuing diverse paths, including medical school in California, Teach for America in Houston, investment banking on Wall Street, Fulbright grants in South America, masters programs at Harvard, starting a business, or working on the staff of a major magazine. Some students are even taking advantage of Hopkins’ accelerated degree programs by spending an extra year on campus pursuing graduate studies.
Having spent a year abroad at the Bologna Center, a Hopkins’ graduate institution in Italy through the School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS), I have a class full of mentors in this elite graduate program who have urged me to work before continuing with school. Although I am excited about going to law school, I recognize that spending a year or two in the workforce will be enriching and will help me fully appreciate the benefits of professional school. Decisions, decisions!
Both applying to law schools and interviewing for jobs are made infinitely easier for Hopkins students by the Office of Pre-Professional Advising and the Career Center, respectively. Conveniently located down the hall from each other, these two offices are often teeming with students and offer many helpful services. For example, Pre-Professional Advising offers a Committee Procedure for both pre-med and pre-law students, streamlining the application process and allowing a student to include an official “Committee” recommendation from a Hopkins affiliate with his or her applications. The Career Center, in addition to offering resume-writing workshops and mock interviews, runs the On-Campus Recruiting (OCR) program at Hopkins. OCR lets students submit resumes online to participating employers like Citigroup, McKinsey, Bloomberg, Microsoft and Guidant, who then invite a select number of candidates to interview on-campus for positions. Having interviewed with a number of firms and gone through the law school Committee Process, I have several options from which to choose, and very much appreciate having the semester away from classes to weigh my options.
Majoring in IR (international relations) at Hopkins obviously helped develop my knowledge of international affairs and European studies, while studying at SAIS sparked my interest in living and working abroad with the State Department. As I write this, I am watching the Winter Olympics, which I helped prepare for this summer while working for the U.S. Department of State in Torino, Italy. Although I miss ‘la dolce vita,’ I am so glad I had the opportunity to live abroad this past year. Besides—even the U.S. Ambassador to Italy, Ronald Spogli, had trouble obtaining tickets to the opening ceremonies, ski jumping and other popular events. Experiences like working for the State Department and spending a year at SAIS have been direct results of my studies and activities at Hopkins. While I have no idea where I will end up next year, I am proud to be a Hopkins grad and am excited to see what the future holds for myself and my classmates.