Since graduating for the University of Arizona in May of 2019 and prior to pursuing graduate studies in 2021, I have been volunteering my time as a national service member in the local Tucson community. I entered service as I felt compelled to support our local education system by providing specialized support to student youth. A traditional job would not have afforded me the valuable opportunities I have received through my service role to serve directly within the community.
The way in which my Humanities education has prepared me for entering the professional sphere is twofold. Carrying a well-stocked toolbox of professional skills, including but not limited to proficiency in public speaking and large-group presentation, written and verbal communication, and inclusive workplace behaviors, I have been equipped to enter novel spaces confidently and passionately. The ability to work independently and engage from the start in idea formulation, project development, and other leadership roles has been an invaluable skill for professional and personal growth.
I find that I draw upon my degree in Religious Studies nearly every day in my professional spaces. A few examples include engaging a colleague in discussion about their personal values and beliefs or about a tradition they know of and are curious about learning more about; crafting a plan with a student who previously did not know they could study religion and its connection to women's rights in college; speaking up on behalf of English Language Learning students about representation and equality in school curriculum and culture. Now acting in the role of a professional in the education space, I am constantly engaging in self-reflection and question making about how to best serve my students and staff in an active, justice-forward, humanistic manner.