[M]arine Corps. Mercy Corps. Peace Corps. Georgetown!
This is not only a list of challenges I have confronted and overcome (or soon will), but also a list of the reasons why I have decided to dedicate my life to international politics and more specifically, security studies. I’ve actually known my career track since secondary school, when my social studies teacher got our class involved in a letter writing campaign to help a Buddhist monk who was being unjustly imprisoned. This drastically changed my inward-focused, normal, teenage girl perspective and I began to understand the plight of different peoples from all over the world, on a whole new level.
After graduating I committed myself to serving my country and the freedoms we are so fortunate to have, for 6 years, in the Marine Corps Reserves. Boot camp was one of the most challenging but worth-while experiences of my life. It made me a stronger person both personally and professionally. I learned more about how our country interacts with others, specifically during times of war and crisis. I developed an interest in international conflict and a desire to innovate our policy and actions to benefit overall security and development in our own country as well as globally. This goal was further solidified when a very close, personal friend lost his life in the war in Afghanistan. I knew that there must be a better way for modern-day political and developmental problems to be solved.
My undergraduate studies and study abroad experiences showed me yet more perspectives. I studied many groups of thought in my academic field and continually put myself in situations where I was forced to confront my own positions. From this I developed great insight into how and why others think the way they do, and how to solidify my own opinions, or sometimes even change them.
After graduating I sought out further opportunities to broaden my horizons and continue down my selected career track. I subsequently worked for a large, international nonprofit, Mercy Corps, for over two years, and then joined the Peace Corps, serving in Africa for an additional two years. The realities of on-the-ground development work are drastically different than what you read in a textbook. I came to appreciate these additional challenges, but also the advantages provided by other cultures, that can positively influence complicated situations and even produce new solutions to problems not previously discovered.
I have now been accepted to and confirmed my attendance at Georgetown’s Masters in Foreign Service, Security Studies Program this fall. I look forward to the additional challenges I will face, the insights I will gain, and the future this will provide. I am committed to doing my part in making our country and our world a better and safer place.
As you can see, the word ‘corps’ is just a coincidence, but my path is quite intentional.
We are proud to announce Kristin Pettersen is one of the current JustJobs Scholarship finalists. Vote for her essay (Facebook ‘Like’ and other social media sharing options in left column), click the ‘star’ just above comments section below, and/or leave comments of support to help us with the selection process.