Alumni Spotlight: Patrick Baker

Photo Credit: Alumni Spotlight Patrick Baker
Alumni Spotlight Patrick Baker
Mon, 11/28/2022 - 12:29

Majors: Global studies, political science
Minor: Arabic

What were some of you favorite memories of being at UNL?
Some of my favorite memories from my time as a global studies student come from the relationships that I made in the classroom. I opted to take Arabic for my foreign language requirement. Having no experience in the language was daunting, but the friendliness of the other students, teachers, and native speakers made for an incredibly welcoming environment where I made great progress in my learning and created lifelong friendships. Additionally, my professors within the School of Global Integrative Studies made for an excellent learning experience. Specifically, my enrollment in three classes with Dr. Julia Reilly made me think deeply about my place in the world and inspired me to make change at a local and global level.

On and off campus involvement:
I was involved in a number of organizations and clubs throughout my four years at UNL. Some of the most impactful organizations that I was a part of include: ASUN, Lincoln Literacy, Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, and the Innocents Society.

What have you been up to since graduation?
In June, I began working full time at a non-partisan non-profit called the International Republican Institute. This organization receives funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the US State Department and works with civil society organizations and political parties around the world. The goal of the organization is to promote good governance and support grassroots movements advocating for basic civil rights and liberties. I work as a Program Associate on the organization’s Tunisia portfolio. My role is to support the 14 Tunisian employees in the field in their work through providing logistical assistance, processing payments, and working directly with representatives from USAID and the Department of State. I travelled to Tunisia in July and will be back numerous times throughout the next year!

Interesting story from your time at UNL:
As I was trying to find a job out of college, I began reaching out to recent UNL alumni who were working in jobs that I found interesting. Although none of my meetings specifically led to a job offer or recommendation, I gained valuable insight about the job search process and about the frustrations that others had felt in their own experiences. It was great to build my network and meet (often virtually) with other UNL grads. I’d be more than happy to meet with any students that would like to hear more about my story or have questions answered about the job search process.

What is your advice for current global studies majors who aren’t quite sure what to do after they graduate?
The first job is always the hardest to get. Breaking into a field as a recent graduate is incredibly difficult as you are competing against master’s students and people with many years more experience than you. I found disappointment when I couldn’t land my ‘dream job.’ Remember that your first job is not the destination, but rather the beginning of your career journey. If you see it as a springboard and not the landing zone, you’ll be excited to learn and grow in your work.