Lina Palancares, B.A. 2018

College Access Manager, Thrive Scholars, Remote

2018 Major: International Comparative Studies; certificate in Civic Engagement and Social Change; minor in French

How has being an ICS graduate from Duke helped shape you personally and/or professionally?

"The ICS foundational classes where really formative for how I think and approach the world. Understanding and questioning power structures is a skill I learned in ICS and one I use daily in my non-profit job. For me, the jump between my major and my current career in education didn't seem clear at first, but understanding cultural context when working with students who don't share my background is really import in my day to day interactions."

What advice would you give students in Duke's International Comparative Studies programs? 

"Something I really enjoyed being a part of the ICS program is how intentionally interdisciplinary it is. Starting school, I had a general idea of what I wanted to study, but I also had lots of interests that I wanted to pursue. ICS gives you a lot of freedom to build the major that makes sense to you. Make sure you're picking classes that interest you and that are building towards creating the plan of study that makes sense for your future goal. Make sure the language you pick makes sense for the cultural learning you're working on deepening. Sometimes it'll feel easier to continue on with the language you learned in high school, but think about if it aligns with your regional interests. Don't be afraid to take a class if it sounds interesting, even if it's outside your comfort zone, because it might end up informing your future career path. Take your capstone project seriously! You might end up using it to apply for grad school (I did!)"

Lina Palancares