Alumni Spotlight: Emma Lentsch

Alumni Spotlight Emma Lentsch
Fri, 01/21/2022 - 15:59

Majors: Global studies, political science
Minors: Spanish, national security studies (and business and law)
Graduation date: December 2020

Favorite memories
Some of my favorite memories from being at UNL were simply being on campus in the classroom with my fellow Global Studies classmates. I loved going to class every day because my classmates genuinely participated and contributed to class discussions by adding their experiences in foreign countries, information they learned from other classes, and their ideas about how to solve complex world issues. Additionally, hearing about other past experiences studying abroad, teaching/living internationally, internships, scholarships, research, etc. they had done expanded my perspective on the amount of great opportunities available in international affairs. My Global Studies classmates were some of the coolest, most inspiring, and motivated people on campus that I knew. They were actively involved in the UNL and Lincoln community, all while pushing further to expand their impact.

Involvement

  • On campus: ASUN (student government) Campus Life and Safety Committee, College of Arts and Sciences Advisory Board (on exec board), Alpha Omicron Pi sorority (Panhellenic Delegate and Alumnae Relations Chair), Washington DC Professional Academy, Phi Sigma Alpha (Political Science Honors Society), Sigma Lota Rho (Global Studies Honors Society)
  • Off campus: Lector at St. Thomas Aquinas Newman Center, FOCUS Greek, Intramural volleyball and basketball official at UNL Campus Recreation Center, internships with: Nebraska Appleseed, Congressman Fortenberry, Legal Aid of Nebraska, Jensen-Rogert lobbying firm, Department of Homeland Security

As soon as I got to college, I made it a priority to get as much out of classroom experience as I could in as many different areas as possible to figure out what I wanted to do. The more exposure I had, the more I felt confident in my decision to pursue a future career in public service and international affairs. The combination of my involvement in student organizations, various jobs, internship and volunteer opportunities, really allowed me to narrow down my areas of interest. There is so much the world has to offer, I think that it is important to take advantage of your time in college and challenge yourself to say yes more than you say no. Especially as Global Studies students, there are so many different areas to explore that trying different things helped me decide this is not for me or yes I think I want to do more of this.

Post-grad life
After I graduated in December 2020, I had a job offer from the FBI. However, I turned it down and started working at Linked-In as a Trust and Safety Content Analyst. I really enjoyed this job as I was able to take my knowledge as a Global Studies student, as well as language skills from my Spanish minor, and apply it to my duties of monitoring digital content internationally. In August, I started law school at Nebraska College of Law. I decided to pursue a JD with the goal of working in immigration law either as an attorney or eventually in policy. This upcoming summer, I will be working as an intern for the Department of State in their Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs. I am very excited to combine my passion for international affairs and law with this opportunity!

As mentioned above, I did numerous internships during my time in undergrad. It is important to apply for as many internships as you can because you never know what it can lead to. Some of the internships that I applied for and was most excited about I ended up not liking as much. Oppositely, some of the internships that I applied spontaneously for turned out to be my favorite and opened more doors down the road. Internships are not necessarily about making the most money or meeting the top executives, but rather it should be an investment of your time to determine what you like and what you don't. Internships are experience. They give you a first-hand glimpse into the world of what it would be like to actually work there someday. They also allow you to meet a variety of people and ask them their experiences of how they got to where they are today. It is a great way to meet a mentor or a fellow intern who you could realize have similar goals to you.

Advice for current students
My advice for current Global Studies major who are not quite sure what to do after they graduate is to simply explore. Try everything. If you do not know what to do, that might mean you just have not explored enough. Don't be afraid to ask for help from people you have networked with and be open to anything.

My post-graduation plans were about as unconventional as they come. Senior year, I was working for DHS with a group of attorneys and judges. I had no idea what to do after graduation, but really enjoyed my time in the courtroom. They were the ones who encouraged me to apply to law school even though I did not take the LSAT. I applied for the waiver and was accepted! However, I still had an eight-month window between graduation and starting the next fall. So, I started working at a real-estate company in their legal department while bartending part-time at a country club until I transitioned full time at Linked-In. Although non-traditional, the experience I gained at all the jobs during my break from school was worthwhile. Working in corporate America, serving customers, and exploring different areas of law in a variety of areas led me to be prepared for anything law school threw my way once I started.

If you do not have a post-graduation plan it is okay. Utilizing connections, job platforms such as Linked-In and Handshake, even social media sites is a great place to start searching for your next opportunity. It can be temporary, it can be unpaid, it can be something you think you could never see yourself doing. However, if you fully commit to give everything a fair chance, the more likely you are to eventually discover what you are passionate about and good at.