I was having a discussion with a few friends and came to a realization. The jobs many of us do weren't even conceivable when the class of 2012 graduated.
I had everything planned out. I graduated with a Public Policy/Arabic double major and a minor in political science. And I was going to be a diplomat and change the world, working for President Clinton.
Instead, although I started out as an education program contractor in Tunisia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and a guest coach for Qatar's national debate team, I moved to Austin, Texas and am now Delivery Manager of Accenture's Silicon Valley portfolio--running projects for the largest social media companies in the world. I've realized I thrive on managing projects that are building the plane as it's taking off: the rapid growth, interesting challenges, chaos, dark humor, and then ultimately, stubbornly achieving thorough and uncompromising success with some of the most remarkable minds I've ever seen.
I also never thought I'd be in Austin 4 years later. I'm used to living out of a suitcase, but it's nice to take a breather. I am now the proud owner of a West Elm couch and an artificial intelligent trash can.
Realizing that life is about strapping in and holding on for the ride, I'm grateful now that I pursued what I love, which wasn't only languages and research projects, but founding and running a non-profit for underprivileged children. I mention this because I was thrilled to discover recently that the Bull Durham Speech and Debate League still exists 6 years later--so that makes a quixotic idea conceived in the bottom of the recession a decade old. I highly recommend reaching out if you see the coach recruitment posters floating around. Accenture's also hiring all the time so feel free to reach out to Colleen [Director, Baldwin Scholars] for my info.
I wish anyone who reads this a convoluted and exciting adventure both at Duke and beyond.