Namiko Uno (2012) – Graduate School, Human Rights and International Development
The Ethnic Studies department at Cal Poly played an integral role in the development of my current career trajectory and future goals. Being exposed to so many different perspectives and new ideas enabled me to think critically about my own opinions, biases, and preconceived notions. The professors presented curricula which encouraged a forum of open discussion and thought. This type of environment sparked my interest in the fields of human rights, equality, social justice and cultural differences.
Since graduating from Cal Poly in 2012, I have had the opportunity to gain some work experience in the non-profit sector. My first job was in development and fundraising for a foster child and family service non-profit; I then went on to intern in the Major Gifts Department at the American Red Cross in West Los Angeles. I also made a point to travel after graduation and see some of the places I had learned about while in school. I am currently working as a Development Coordinator for an education non-profit in Los Angeles and focus on grant writing and data management. Ethnic Studies inspired me to work in the non-profit world and be part of a network of organizations focused on addressing important societal and human rights issues.
I am currently in the United Kingdom in a Human Rights and International Development graduate program. My Ethnic Studies minor from Cal Poly has had a major influence in this decision. It not only exposed me to new fields of study, but it helped me develop my research skills and challenged me to think laterally about many of today’s most important global issues. I am excited to delve deeper into some of the topics we covered in my Ethnic Studies classes and to participate in both theoretical discussions and hands-on projects in the field.