Trying to decide a major or just wanting to learn more about IU life? Check out my answers to these commonly-asked college questions.
Q: Why did you decide to go to IU?
I eventually decided on IU for three main reason (in no particular order). 1) IU is an excellent value all around. The school's academics, athletics, campus, and college town feel are top of the line, and it doesn't break the bank to go here. You may not be too interested now, but not having $200,000 in student loan debt after graduation is really appealing. 2) Bloomington is the perfecrt place to develop your life and you! Bloomington offers something for everyone-- from foodie hang outs and cozy vintage shops to bars and food trucks and game day to natural wonders and winding park paths-- and the people of the city love IU just as much (if not more) than we students do. 3) IU had just the program I was looking for-- There is no undergraduate program like SPEA (the School of Public and Enviromental Affairs) anywhere else in the country.
Q: What is your major? What can you do with that?
My degree is in public affairs with a track in nonprofit management. Nonprofit management gives you the set of skills you need--- a background in accounting, law, public relations, communication, computers, business, and more-- in order to work for or even call the shots for a nonprofit organization. Nonprofits are many and varied; you can work in whatever kind represents a cause that you are passionate about! Plus, you can also work in government, since governments are technically nonprofits too.
Q: How did you pick your major? Have you changed majors at all?
I picked my major because I know that I want to help people, and the classes and resources SPEA offers are going to most prepare me for that. I started off on the environmental management track instead of the nonprofit track, but it was a slight switch, and switching your major once or twice early on is normally not too big of a deal. If you do ever switch majors, just make sure to work through it with your academic advisor.
Q: What exactly is SPEA? What do you like about it?
SPEA is a school that offers a multi-disciplinary approach to public affairs, arts, health, and the environment. It is a one-of-a-kind school that stresses both real world experience and impactful coursework. SPEA's graduate programs are ranked second in the country, above Harvard. Like I mentioned before, at the undergraduate level, no school offers a cirriculum like SPEA's. There are always advisors and career services staff ready to help you make academic and career decisions, and the professors and variety of courses offered at SPEA are second to none. SPEA's special topics courses are noteworthy; there are classes next semester focusing on food policy and one on NGOs, just to name a few.
Q: What makes SPEA different from other schools?
As menitoned, SPEA incorporates all different fields into its degree requirements. My degree requires economics, political science, professional writing, and environmental studies, and more, for example. It's not just focused on nonprofits or on management. SPEA also offers prestigious honors and accelerated programs. The Accelerated Masters Program (AMP) allows students to complete their undergraduate and Masters degrees in only five years. There are also numerous study abroad programs (Siberia, Barcelona, Oxford, Croatia, and more) and an internship program in Washington D.C. SPEA is also always willing to work with you to help you find internship and job opportunities and has a vast network of alums ready to help as well.
Q: What are your minors? Why did you pick them?
My minors are Spanish and Latino Studies. I picked these minors to help specialize my major a bit. I also wanted to learn more about a specific area and group of people and help to connect communities. Learning a language is always beneficial for a career. People want to see that you're invested in something and have something you're passionate about.