Name: Katja Walton
Major (s): Political Science & International Affairs
Minor (s): Mandarin Chinese
Certificate (s): None

My Pathway:

Freshman year:

  • Came in with IAFS major, took entry level requirements for IAFS degree
  • Began taking Chinese

Sophomore year: 

Junior year:

  • Continued UD coursework, took fun classes that were not required to graduate
  • Made sufficient progress on degree requirements
  • Learning Assistant for ATOC

Senior year: 

Freshman-Sophomore: Recharge
Sophomore-Junior: Worked in an off-campus job to gain experience.
Junior-Senior: Continued working off-campus to gain experience

  • When applying for college right after high school, I knew from my experiences as an exchange student and being from Germany that I wanted to work in foreign affairs

  • You often get advice to spend the first years exploring the majors and exploring the courses, but if you know you are interested in something and know that that is the goal, it is okay to get right to work focusing on achieving that goal. That being said, take advantage of any internship opportunity that becomes available as they provide invaluable workplace experience and there is also something to learn from them.

  • I would have focused more on finding a work life balance between my classes, internships, and a social life. Sometimes the real world experience of an internship needs to take precedence over coursework that is unrelated to the end goal, even if it means potentially getting a lower grade, which is a hard pill to swallow.

  • The ability to do internships and receive credit was incredible. Internships are just so valuable because we are in a stage in our lives where we need to gain experience and, with financial aid, can afford to work for free. Internships also allow for networking and teach you things that you might not have thought were important.

  • I was involved in CWA my freshman year, but dropped that. I then got involved in local middle schools as a Public Achievement coach which helped students develop and execute their own civics project, which was really fun.

  • Plan things out so that you can find a work life balance that suits your needs. Make sure that you are focusing on the goal and doing everything you can to work towards your goal, but also make sure you are enjoying college.