As we head into our fourth week of classes, I’m feeling significantly more comfortable with living in New York and being a grad student at NYU. Although NYU is a huge school with a sprawling campus, I’ve really appreciated the personal and individualized feel of CLACS. As a prospective student, constantly emailing CLACS staff to make sure various application materials were received, the personal attention that I received from the department, including a phone call from a professor, gave me a positive opinion of CLACS and the university overall even before I decided to enroll.
This positive opinion has proven to be well-deserved in recent weeks as I’ve settled into graduate life, NYU, and New York. The CLACS faculty and staff have been incredibly helpful, warm, and encouraging. They understand that graduate school is a transition and that developing a routine is something that takes time. I have begun to particularly appreciate my Intro to Latin American and Caribbean Studies class, which is a requirement for all CLACS MA students, because my professor does a great job of synthesizing the readings with practical knowledge for the writing and research process of our thesis projects. For example, by picking apart texts which used secondary sources, we were able to discuss exactly which questions to ask when using these types of sources in our research.
By combining theory with practicality, my CLACS courses so far have been interesting, useful, and beneficial for graduate study and future work in the field. I am interested in a career in international development and non-profit or NGO work, specifically in the fields of education, literacy, and the media. I am hoping to learn how to use my knowledge of political theories and Latin American history and culture in a way that be advantageous to the societies I seek to engage. I also hope to understand more about how journalism and the media, and particularly access to media, have influenced societies in Latin America. I’m excited for the things that I will learn this semester and the connections that will be made, both in my department and in New York City.
Elizabeth Con is an MA Candidate at CLACS at NYU