The Southwestern Experience: A Most Wonderful, Insane Ride
My time at Southwestern has been the adventure of a lifetime. When I came to this school, I wasn’t even really sure that college was for me. On top of that, I was convinced that I was headed for a career in comic book editing, which remained my career goal throughout my first year. However, the opportunity to intern in Washington DC for a member of the US House of Representatives the summer in between first and sophomore year presented itself, and I could not pass it up. This is what set this whole wonderful, insane ride in motion.
Since coming to SU, I have interned for the US House of Representatives, the Texas Legislature, the US Department of Homeland Security in intelligence and cyber crimes through the Secretary’s Honors Program, and the Charles Group LLC, a small security and defense contracting and consulting firm in Washington DC. I was also named a Hatton W. Sumners Scholar and subsequently exposed to people from all over the nation that I would not have otherwise come into contact with. I even spent the fall of my junior year at Ewha Womans University in Seoul, South Korea studying Korean, international law and relations, nuclear policy, and security studies at a time when the whole world was watching the Peninsula because of these subjects.
More recently, I was accepted into The Fund for American Studies’ Institute on Economics and International Affairs for the summer. As such I am currently taking classes on international economic policy and US foreign policy while interning in the nation’s capital. I am also currently working with my German professor to finish a research project exploring the changes in German and European security and defense policy post-9/11 and how it impacts EU relations with the US, NATO, and the UN. All this has happened or is happening because of Southwestern, and that is just what I have been able to do off campus.
As for life on campus, it has also been full of impactful experiences. From being involved with the mock trial team, the University Honor Code Council, Student Government, different honor societies, and every other extracurricular I have been able to be a part of to being surrounded by professors that I believe comprise one of the best history programs offered, there has never been a dull moment on campus. As for what is next, I was recently selected to be a 2018-2019 Texas Civic Ambassador by the Annette Strauss Institute and the New Politics Forum at the University of Texas at Austin. Through this program, I will be designing a project to help improve civic life at Southwestern during my senior year. During this year, I will also be taking Mandarin Chinese and more German classes, finishing out my history degree by completing my Capstone, and, with any luck, preparing to enter graduate school.
In short, Southwestern has changed me. I am on a path towards a career in national security, I have embraced my love of foreign languages, I can confidently answer the “What are you going to do with a history degree?” question, I have seen more and done more in three years than I could have ever imagined doing in a lifetime as a high school senior, and I owe it all to the opportunities afforded to me by my family and by Southwestern University. This school is unique for a number of reasons, the most important of which are its people and its opportunities. This school is difficult and challenges you in many ways, but it is so worth the investment.
–Danyale Kellogg ’19