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Kalamazoo College

Shelby Hopper

International and Area Studies

Hometown: Clarkston, MI
Majors: International & Area Studies and German
Minor: Political Science
Study Abroad: Erlangen, Germany
Best Adjective to Describe You: Outgoing

In 20 words or less, what is the best thing about being part of this department?
I love the versatility, you take classes in almost all of the social science departments. It helps you find your interests!

What is your advice to first years and sophomores about getting connected to this department?
My biggest piece of advice is to get in contact with Dr. John Dugas as soon as you’re interested in being an IAS major.  He can really help direct you and put you on track!  Dr. Dugas is super accessible via email and he’s always in the Book Club a few times a week for his office hours.  He’s willing to chat about any questions/ concerns about the department.  I will also be very accessible via email too!

What is the most valuable thing you’ve learned at K?
The people you meet here and the people that are connected to K will be incredible lifelong friends/ connections!

What has been your favorite class at K?  Why?
My favorite class as K was probably my German class about German food culture.  It was the last class I took before I went abroad and it got me really excited to go to Germany and experience a whole new dimension of their culture!  The professor is also great and she makes sure her classes are enjoyable.

Have you taken advantage of the open curriculum or experienced breadth in your education?
Yes, definitely.  Although I haven’t taken a class in Dow before, I find myself switching between classes in Olds and Dewing quite often.  If I enjoy a topic in one class, I found myself looking for a class in a different department on a similar topic but with a different perspective. 

What experiential education opportunities have you participated in?
After my first year I participated in an externship with a criminal lawyer in Downtown Detroit.  It was awesome!  It made me realize that I would love to work in a big city.  I also participated in the first year of K to the Big Apple, a career trek that gets K students connected with K alum.  It also heightened my desire to live in a city at some point in my life and it helped me make valuable connections with K alum.

What is your SIP?
I’m writing my SIP in the German department and I’ll be exploring how German based international companies utilize social media as a marketing tool. 

What are your career aspirations/next steps after K?
I will either be applying for a fellowship to return to Germany or I’m hoping to find a job at a marketing company or in a marketing department somewhere in a larger town/city.

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