Name: Solina Jean-Louis
Major: International Studies and German
Favorite Class: Economics of Refugees and Migrants with prof. Wagner
Favorite thing about BC:
I really love how supportive the professors are, and how they really want you to succeed. They would go out of their way to help you and be there all the time.
What can you see yourself doing after graduation?
My goal after graduation is to do something that will allow me to go to Germany. I’m interested in getting a Master degree in a German university, and I can see myself living in there in the future. My eventual career goal is to work in the field of international relations, which incorporates politics, economics, and sociology.
What are you doing to get there?
Majoring in German Studies, I’m proficient in the language and still learning and getting better at it. I’m also a teaching assistant in a beginner’s German class, so that I could immerse myself in the language a bit more. I’m getting myself exposed to more cross-cultural exchange experiences: In the past summer I worked with exchange students. By learning about different cultures, I could integrate into that culture more.
How did you learn about international relations?
In high school I hosted exchange students; ever since I realized it’s important to be worldly and tolerant with all cultures, so that we could understand each other better. In addition, I realize I really love the international affairs. I’m interested in how countries interact with each other politically, and I like to be always updated about what’s going on in the world.
What factors have contributed to your interest in international relations?
I think it definitely is being exposed to foreign language at an early age. I started learning German when I was in 4th grade. Ever since, I started to learn about German and European culture in general. In international affairs you learn about how the world works, so basically it just comes naturally to me. I’m always so excited to learn about what is going on.
How did you get started exploring potential careers?
For students who are doing social science majors like me, it can be really nerve-racking to think about potential careers, because these majors are not like CSOM concentrations in which you have a specific skill of a professional field to learn about.
Last year I did the Endeavor program, which really helped me a lot in terms of figuring out what I want to do in the future. It’s really cool to talk to alumni who did my major, which is international studies.
By talking to them, I understood that a career is not a one-path thing, but rather an evolving process. Once I narrowed down the general direction, the rest just fall into their place and flow as they are supposed to.
What advice would you give to students who are also interested in International Relations?
Read the news all the time, because International Relations is a field that is always changing. Events are happening, and theories of how people are looking at the world changes a lot with them. International Relations is interdisciplinary; if you ever find yourself overwhelmed by how broad the field is, just pick a specific area of the world or subject that you are interested in as your focus.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I think my greatest achievement is having discovered what I’m truly passionate about. I’m really grateful and proud that I have found out what really gets me going, and I can see myself doing it for the rest of my life. I know I’m not going to be deterred by any other factors, even if I might not end up being in the most lucrative career, or making tons of money like a businesswoman would.
Who are your heroes in real life?
My heroes are my mom and Angela Merkel, who is the Chancellor of Germany. She is a strong female leader, and I’m always so inspired by her. Barack Obama is also a hero of mine. As a person of color, he has been really influential for me.