Amanda Stueve graduated from Kansas State University in May 2010 with degrees in Anthropology and Political Science. While she was a student at K-State, Amanda studied abroad in Morocco and then after graduation received a Fulbright grant to do research in Morocco from June 2010 to July 2011. Amanda spent the first four months studying Arabic and then spent nine months researching “generational change in identity construction in Morocco. Amanda’s research was done with participant observation as well as over 70 interviews in Moroccan Arabic. She lived in the town of Azrou with her host family and participated in daily Moroccan life. “I attended funerals, weddings, naming ceremonies and circumcisions, learned to peel tomatoes, bathed primarily in the public baths during the winter and made homemade Moroccan bread. I visited the courthouse with my host mom, a judicial secretary, and assisted with cultural exchanges organized by my host father. I ran with one of my host brothers and practiced my French with one of my host sisters,” Amanda said when asked to describe her time in Morocco. After doing ethnographic research in Morocco for a year, Amanda decided to get her masters in International Affairs from Texas A&M University. However, before receiving her degree in August 2014, Amanda spent nine months in Jordan on a Boren Fellowship. One of the terms of the Boren Fellowship is a one-year service requirement for the federal government. Thus, Amanda is currently looking for a job to fulfill that requirement. After that however, Amanda says she would love to find a job in the Middle East doing research and/or using her Arabic skills.
Although I was nervous at first, I am thankful that I had the opportunity to interview Amanda over Skype. Like me, Amanda is bubbly, full of curiosity and has numerous subjects that she’s interested in. As I interviewed Amanda, I felt as though I was getting a glimpse into my future due to our similar personalities, interests and aspirations. During the interview, Amanda gave me some great advice for seniors about to graduate, as well as underclassman that are still searching for a career path.
CS: What advice would you give to senior about their first year in the “real world”?
Amanda: Take a year and don’t go strait to grad school. If you’re going to go to grad school you need to really love it. Don’t just go because you can’t find a job. Also, learn to ask for help and use connections to help you get a job.
CS: What advice do you have for freshman like myself that haven’t quite figured out what career path we want to take?
Amanda: Find something you are interested in and learn the general skills. Also, figure out your skill set and know how to articulate your skill set.
CS: If you could go back and do it all again, what would you do differently?
Amanda: I would read more of the assigned readings and I would have dropped Political Science and focused more on Anthropology. Anthropology was what was helping me grow and as long as you can demonstrate the skills needed for the job, you don’t need the extra major.
CS: If you had to give one piece of advice to current Anthropology majors, what would it be?
Amanda: Read everything and go to everything. You only have four years at the University setting with lectures, presentations, etc. so take advantage of it.
Interviewing Amanda was reassuring because it made me realize that it’s ok not to have your entire life planned out when you’re a freshman in college. For quite some time, I’ve had an enormous weight on my shoulders due to trying to figure out what career path I wanted to take. But now, after talking to Amanda, I feel as though I don’t have to limit myself to one career for the rest of my life. My eyes have been opened to endless possibilities and rather than ignoring my dreams and thinking they aren’t practical, I am chasing them. I cant wait to see what Amanda continues to do and the different careers she embarks on, and I only hope that one day I will be as successful as her.