Ask a Grad: Scarlett Chidgey

A few weeks ago, Brandon Sternquist shared some of his insights into graduate school and gave advice for those of you in the application stage. Today, we hear from Scarlett Chidgey, a 2011 graduate of our International Studies program. I remember meeting Scarlett in San Francisco while she was a prospective student. She had a welcoming smile that she kept throughout graduate school. Given her important work with the Shanti Project, I assume the smile remains.

1. If you are able to share, what is your current job?

I currently work as a Development Assistant at the Shanti Project, a human services agency in San Francisco, which provides emotional and practical support to people in the community living with HIV/AIDS and breast cancer.

2. Did you think your current job is what you would be doing when you went to graduate school?

I didn’t have any expectation one way or another regarding the department or position in which I would be working; however, I imagined I would work for an organization focusing on some aspect of international human rights or development. After all of my travel and field work abroad, I was a bit surprised, but pleased nonetheless, to find myself working for an organization focusing on the needs of people so close to home.

3. What do you wish you had done differently in graduate school?

I wish I would have taken a course in Human Rights and Security.

4. If you remember the graduate school application process, what scared you the most?

I don’t think the process scared me that much, but I was concerned about finding academic references, since I had graduated with my B.S. 12 years earlier. I remember one application that I sent priority mail got delayed and returned due to stormy weather, and I was worried that the school wouldn’t accept it since it would technically arrive after the deadline.

5. What advice do you have for prospective students who want to be in the spot you’re in today?

I suggest that prospective students keep an open mind in selecting a program, coursework, internships, and finally, a job after graduation. I think it’s important to have a vision and goals for the future, but I think it’s good (and incredibly helpful) to be flexible.

Thanks for sharing Scarlett!

If you have any questions that you would like to ask a grad, please email them to brad.miller@du.edu and they might appear in the next edition of Ask a Grad!

Brad Miller

Director of Admissions

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