Student Profiles - Rebecca Graves
Major: International Studies
Class Year: 2015
Where are you from?
I’m from Mount Joy, Pa.
Why did you choose to attend Millersville?
I attended two years of community college at Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC) to save money, and then transferred to Millersville. HACC and Millersville have a direct credit transfer program and all my credits from HACC transferred smoothly into Millersville. It has been a blessing to have a university such as Millersville close enough for me to commute to and from school each day. Millersville is an excellent university, and offers a great program for my major in international studies.
What do you plan to do professionally after graduation?
I’m not sure exactly what I want to do after graduation. It’s not set in stone yet, but I see myself overseas at some point, possibly somewhere in South America. I definitely want a job that’s physically active; I know I can’t handle a job that’s sitting behind a desk for most of the day. If I don’t get a job right after graduation, I’ve thought about applying to join the Coast Guard. It has always been a dream of mine and I think it would be a good fit for me.
Do you feel as though Millersville has adequately prepared you for the professional world?
Yes, especially through the internship I’m currently at with the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission. The Harrisburg Internship Semester (THIS) that Millersville encourages students to apply for is an excellent opportunity. I’m gaining professional experience as well as stronger communication skills that will be necessary for any post-graduation job.
How did you get the internship at the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission?
I applied to be a part of THIS that Millersville offers. After being selected to represent Millersville for the fall semester, I interviewed with three different departments in Harrisburg. Then I decided which department I would like to intern with. Each department also gave feedback as to whether they thought I would fit well in their department. I ended up choosing the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission and I am enjoying it. Preserving history is something I think is very important. I’m learning a lot about what the department does to make sure this can happen across Pennsylvania.
What will you be doing at your internship?
I will be doing a variety of projects during my internship. I am currently helping the staff plan for their exhibit at the Pennsylvania farm show that takes place in January. I know I’ll also be learning more about what the Bureau for Historic Preservation does, since my major doesn’t directly relate to this field. I also get to go on occasional site visits to the various historical properties located across Pennsylvania, which is both fun and informative.
What do you hope to get out of your internship?
I hope to leave my internship with a better understanding of what I may or may not wish to pursue as a career someday. I also want to improve my communication and professional skills, as well as learn more about public policy and all that it encompasses.
What organizations are you involved with on campus?
Unfortunately, I haven’t been involved with many organizations on campus. With my full-time job throughout college and full-time academic schedule, it would have been difficult to stay committed to a club or affiliation. I did, however, play on an intramural soccer team last year. If I had it to do again, I would have worked harder to be more involved with campus organizations.
How did you initially become interested in international affairs?
I was originally a nursing major but I began to realize it wasn’t something I could see myself pursuing for the rest of my life. A friend of mine told me he was switching his major to international studies. He explained it to me and I realized this sounded like the perfect fit for me. Shortly after, I switched my major to international studies and I love all the classes I’ve taken at Millersville. It’s an interdisciplinary study so I get to learn a little bit of everything: cultures, government, geography, history. I really love my major now! With our globalized world and the increasing importance of international relationships, I think majoring in international studies is exciting.
What are your interests or hobbies outside of school?
I love everything outdoors, biking, hiking, swimming and spending time at the beach. I spent this past summer in Cape Cod, Mass. where my uncle lives. I worked at a restaurant called Winslow’s Tavern in Wellfleet. I miss the ocean so much since I’m landlocked in Pennsylvania, but I can’t wait to go back again next summer.
How do you feel Millersville has set you up for success?
Millersville has taught me to think outside of the box and challenged me academically. I’ve taken a lot of valuable classes at Millersville and I know they will all be useful to me in whichever career path I choose to pursue. My advisor, Dr. Bookmiller, has been a huge help with figuring out classes and encouraging me to apply for THIS internship, although I didn’t think I would be chosen.
Do you have a favorite class or professor you’ve taken at MU?
I’ve enjoyed nearly all of my professors at Millersville. Some of my favorite professors have been Dr. Adyanga, both Dr. Bookmillers, Dr. Shelor and Dr. Antolin.