From the Editor’s Desk: Bianca Munguia

When I was younger, I found solace in books. Naturally, I wanted to be an author when I grew up, and for a long time that had always been in the back of my mind. I attribute my interests in history, politics, and policy to my family’s immigrant background, so when I decided to major in Sociology, I had all but abandoned my childhood aspiration for writing professionally.

As an Odyssey scholar, I had the opportunity to apply for a summer internship, something I had never done before. I wanted to take advantage of the situation and explore my interests to see if they would actually fit into the impending category of ‘this is what you’re going to do for the rest of your life.’ After intensive searching and a plethora of emails, my career advisor swooped in last minute with a possible position as a writer on the communications team in the Division of the Social Sciences. The internship combined my proposed ambitions, so I jumped on the opportunity to be a part of the team. Though my experience with journalistic writing was minimal, I wanted to further explore a new style and its potential.

At the end of the summer, I look back upon the decision as a great one. When you’re a student, it is easy to forget about the vibrant community that the University fosters, and this internship allowed me to take a break from the books and dive deep into the surrounding opportunities. I interviewed and spoke with various faculty and students, taking in their own roles and educational journeys, and leaving with chances for future involvement. I also attended various workshops and events where I gained a better understanding of academic research, a field that I would not have considered pursuing before. I particularly enjoyed working with such a dedicated team; they made my job not feel like work.

While my journalistic writing improved, so did my perspective on school. I gained a new eagerness to participate in more programs and events, to grow as a student and as a person. Once again, I have picked up my habit of writing, and may explore some classes related to Creative Writing and English Literature – though, I still maintain my love for the social sciences. Through the many conversations and experiences this summer, I’ve gained more confidence in my ability to approach new people; after all, we can all learn from each other.

Even though my decision to interview for this position was a quick one, I’m glad this was how I spent my first summer in Chicago. I look forward to the rest of my time at UChicago with a new perspective on the University and myself.