Alumna Spotlight: Vivian Alvarado

Photo Credit: Vivian Alvarado
Vivian Alvarado
Wed, 06/16/2021 - 19:27

Majors: Political Science, Global Studies
Minor: Arabic Studies
Hometown: Lincoln, NE
Graduation date: May '21

Why did you study your majors and minor?
As a first-generation student there were many majors I could choose from, but my call was to understand how the government works and to understand people's differences (traditions, religion, culture) from mine. I chose Political Science because there is more to learn than Democrats and Republicans polarization. We need more Latinx and from other minorities in governmental positions. This is how we can change the future of our communities.

As for Global Studies, I have always been intrigued by trying new food, music, and way of thinking. I chose it because I think the United States is so diverse, we should try to understand as much as we can other people's backgrounds.

The Arabic Studies minor was very important for me because it introduced me to a new world. Learning Arabic and getting to know people in this community is the reason I chose it. My learning comes from getting to know people and listening to what their experiences are. Overall, I chose all of these majors and minors because they complement each other.

What were some of the best/most interesting classes you took?
Some of the most interesting classes I took are Political Ideas, Women in the Qur'an, Israel & the Middle East and Logics and Critical Thinking. I found these classes interesting because they all introduced me to a new subject, helped me improve on what I already knew and even challenged me. I have learned from the most famous philosophers in Political Ideas such as Socrates to women's right in the Qur'an to how to be patient to resolve a problem in Logics and Critical thinking to ongoing conflicts such as the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

What are your suggestions for new/other majors?
One of my suggestions is to make time to have fun in college. Meet people that are different from you, you will see there is always something to learn from them and even how you interact with each other.

Also, make connections from different majors. You do not know if one day you will be tired of hearing about your major all the time and would like to hear from other major experiences. Eventually they learn from you too.

Lastly, do not be afraid to try something new. If it wasn't for you then that's okay at least you tried it. You also never know if being introduced to for example painting can be useful later (hint: self-care) or perhaps ends up being your passion. Attend events offered on campus and get involved on campus. You will be surprised how much you will learn and how that can help your future careers.

Why should someone choose your major?
If you are thinking of choosing a major or would like to change it, I would recommend my majors if you are looking to find joy in what you are studying every day.

For example, in Political Science there was always something going on and people are talking about it. It was a great opportunity to learn more about the subject if you are not familiar with it.

In Global Studies, there was always something happening around the world that you may be interested in, as well as how that impacts the United States.

As for Arabic Studies, you get to meet people from other countries, and they can even become great friends. Hence, my Omani friends who I met through Arabic classes.

Extra-curricular experiences
Before I came to UNL and until 2018 I was a citizenship, English, and GED tutor at El Centro de las Americas. I volunteered there because in order to become a citizen it is important to understand the history and the government of the United States. I also wanted to help permanent residents become naturalized citizens and be able to have access to services they couldn't. Not only this changed their future but their families. This led me to find organizations on campus related to immigration and the Latinx community.

I was a member of Define American where we hosted an event every year where we obtained donations for scholarships for undocumented/DACA students. I chose this organization because it is a nonpartisan organization. Most importantly, we collaborated with other organizations. Being involved in these activities helped me obtain experience.

Experience is very important when searching for jobs, so if you have a little extra time to spend on campus, do it as it will add up as experience and you will not have to worry so much after you graduate.

Post-graduation plans
I am taking a year off from college. I am applying to internships and fellowships to gain more experience while I prepare for the GRE/GMAT exam and apply for an MBA program.