HOME COUNTRY: RWANDA
MAJOR: POLITICAL SCIENCE
CURRENTLY A GRADUATE STUDENT, LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS AND POLITICAL SCIENCE, LONDON, ENGLAND
“John Carroll is a place where everyone is given an opportunity to shine. Professors want to see you succeed and will do anything to make sure it happens. Your success is also their success.”
Tell us about how you chose your major.
I grew up in a family that has always been interested and involved in politics. Since I was young, I would always listen to debates about politics between my father and brother. This inspired me to think about how politics affects our everyday lives, whether we are involved in politics or not. With this in mind, I decided to study political science at John Carroll University and today I can confidently say that I made a great decision.
One of the most interesting and thought provoking Political Science classes I took at John Carroll was Political Thought, which was taught by Professor Mindy Peden. The class pushed me to be more open to different ideas and perspectives. The class was also not just a lecture, it was discussion based. Therefore, it gave students the opportunity to share their opinion and learn from other people. These are the type of classes where you learn not just by memorizing information but by listening to other people’s opinions regarding current issues. These are the types of classes that allow students to realize that we are not different after all and actually have more in common than we think we do.
Share a great experience related to your major or future career that stands out.
Every political science class I had made my John Carroll experience an even better one. Through my classes I met people from different backgrounds. I also met many faculty and staff members who I know I will be able to keep in touch with for years to come. It is every single experience put together that made my time at John Carroll an unforgettable one. I will never forget the amount of times I ended up in a professor’s office to ask a question about the material but ended up staying for an hour talking about what I want to do with my life in the future. It is these moments that make John Carroll different from other schools. Professors actually know their students by name and are willing to help you and make sure you succeed.
If you have had an internship, please tell us that story.
During the summer of 2016, I had the opportunity to work for the United Nations in Mozambique. I specifically worked with the United Nations Development Program. The internship could not have been at a better time and place due to the political and economic crisis going on. For the internship, I did an analysis of Mozambique’s political and economic crisis. The internship was mostly research based. I would meet, on a daily basis, with the United Nations Development Program Country Director. We talked about ways I could complete my research. My internship did not only focus on doing research on the political and economic situation of the African nation-state. I also had to find solutions the United Nations Development Program could make use of in order to deal with the issue. Through the internship, I not only reinforced my writing skills but also learned so much about the country. It opened my eyes to a lot of issues that I did not know were still prevalent in developing countries. It is definitely an experience that I will never forget.
Who at JCU have been mentors for you?
As an international student, I was privileged to have a host family. My host mom also happened to be an English professor at John Carroll. They helped me so much. I was so grateful to have a family that looked after me like I was their own. It is through the Soft Landings Program, a support program for international students, that host parents were given to me. They provided me with so many resources that I would not have been able to have access to if it were not for them. I am truly thankful for everything they did for me and would not be the person I am today if it were not for them. They always came to pick me up from the airport every time I arrived from home during the summer. Also, they always made sure to invite me for dinner at their house during weekends or holidays throughout the year. This is not something that every international student at an American college has the opportunity to experience.
What activities and organizations are you involved with on campus?
I was the Vice President for Judicial Affairs and Chair of the Student Union Hearing Board in fall 2015. My job consisted of overseeing different hearings, engaging in discussion with different groups involved in the hearings and most importantly, making sure that every board member is impartial and that decision-making is fair. Throughout my experience as chair of the Student Union Hearing Board, I met different people, made friends, and also learned more about myself through others. I think that this position fit well with my plans of becoming a lawyer in the future. Being a good listener, properly using facts, and staying unbiased are things that I learned. Other than just learning, I enjoyed working with my peers and, in doing so, refined my leadership skills. Being the chair of the Student Union Hearing Board allowed me to serve my University by making sure that students in the John Carroll community better understand the Student Code of Conduct.
Specifically, why should a high school student choose John Carroll?
John Carroll is a place where everyone is given an opportunity to shine. There are so many resources that one can make use of to help one achieve their goals. The fact that John Carroll is a small University with small classes means that professors actually get to know you personally and do not simply view you as a number. Professors want to see you succeed and will do anything to make sure it happens. Your success is also their success.