Where Our Grads Are Now
Since graduating from Guilford College and the SOAN department, I have taken an unexpected yet exciting route to where I am today. I was awarded a curatorial internship at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art where I supported research, writing, object handling, acquisitions and exhibit displays. I loved the work yet I still yearned for something less static and more creative. It was then that I discovered my interest in a program at the VCU Brandcenter. Part art school, part business-communications school and all about branding and advertising, this Master of Science program has pushed me in new and exciting ways. Here I am a daily consumer of culture. I look at how to understand society, culture and consumers in order to produce strategic and creative insights for building stronger brands. My studies in the SOAN department continue to inspire my interest in this field. A chance to work within this dynamic field is a chance to study a complex, amorphous entity with real societal impact. My SOAN studies provided me with specific knowledge, strong writing skills and a theoretical framework for understanding our relationships with society, culture, technology and each other. What the SOAN department may lack in size, it more than makes up for in vigor, depth and real life application. It was there that I found a place to further my interests in how cultures and societies interact within our ever-changing environment.
I am currently pursuing a master’s degree in ‘Advanced Studies of Social and Cultural Anthropology’ at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain. Coming from a SOAN major at Guilford, I learned the importance of constantly questioning our realities and the value of conducting original research. The SOAN department at Guilford understands that theory has to be combined with practice. From the introductory level, theory is applied through social experiments on and off campus. I was able to conduct in-depth interviews based on my own research and later interned at Greensboro Lutheran Family Services. For many students, the master’s program was their first introduction to doing original research and ethnographies. I feel that my Guilford background has given me a unique edge in what is an often a challenging academic atmosphere.