College of Arts and Sciences alumni have turned their passions into careers and found Success After Drake across the globe.
Earning a degree in liberal or fine arts allows students to engage with fundamental questions, be immersed in cultures different from their own, think for themselves and become engaged citizens on both local and global levels: ideal preparation to thrive in any career. By drawing on the past and studying most current research, we prepare our graduates for the opportunities and challenges of years to come.
Arts & Sciences Alumni can connect with the Drake Alumni Community to get involved with regional networks, take advantage of alumni services and perks, and find out about reunions. Membership is free, and the benefits are numerous.
Lauren (Smith) Hong
Owner/ Founder at Out & About Communications, Owner/Designer at Lauren Olivia & Company
Drake Degree: BA '07 Graphic Design; Advertising minor; Global Ambassador Certificate
After touring Drake, I knew it was the right fit. At Drake, you don't feel like a number. Professors take time to meet with and mentor you. The administration genuinely wants to see you succeed and is always working to make campus better. You get big school benefits, and a small school feeling. It's an environment where you can knock on your professor’s door, where the president invites you into his home, and where the greater Des Moines community is involved with Drake happenings.
A favorite internship was working with OXFAM in Hong Kong. I decided to intern overseas to enrich my undergraduate experience, and to make the most out of my Drake Global Ambassador Certificate. I was fortunate to spend a summer at OXFAM preparing their marketing materials for an upcoming World Trade Conference. This was a fascinating opportunity to support the behind-the-scenes work of a multinational NGO. Also, I was able to return to Drake with a few graduation requirements checked off, and new work added to my portfolio!
As the owner and founder of a marketing and branding company, Out & About Communications, so I use my Drake graphic design degree every day. The graphic design department at Drake really focuses on design principles and how this translates to the online space. This is valuable, because understanding the fundamentals really helps pinpoint why certain designs work or don't work. Also, at Drake I took a handful of classes in different colleges, and I've found that Drake's interdisciplinary focus really helps me better network, relate and connect with my clients who work in a variety of industries.
Community Engagement VISTA at AIB College of Business
Drake degree: BA ’13 Environmental Policy; Law, Politics & Society
The environmental policy and law, politics, and society majors really stuck out to me, seeming to align perfectly with my passions and professional goals. Even though I visited in the middle of the summer and there were hardly any students on campus, I could tell that Drake was a place where I would have opportunities to expand my horizons and make memories to last a lifetime…and it did not disappoint!
One of Drake’s most valuable assets is the countless opportunities it provides for students to get involved on and around campus. Being able to explore interests and leadership positions outside of my academic focus helped me realize that people are my passion. The atmosphere at Drake promotes a balance of life, where students are encouraged to pursue both personal and professional accomplishments. The people I have met in my four years at Drake are the most driven, passionate, generous, and genuine humans I could ever hope to acquaint myself with, and it is these friendships that have allowed me to grow into the person I am today.
My two favorite classes at Drake were American Public Policy with Professor Joanna Mosser and Human Rights and Environmental Catastrophes with Professor Jean Carmalt. The theories and discussions involved in both of these courses opened my eyes to new ideas and problems in our society, but more importantly, my professors prepared me to begin dialogues aimed at addressing these issues. Even with incredibly complex social concerns such as global human right violations or the American policymaking process, my classmates and I were able to walk away from the course inspired and with tools to begin solving these problems.
Both of my majors were housed in the College of Arts and Sciences and I participated in the Honors program, so most of my classes were discussion-based and quite interdisciplinary. Being able to build relationships with my professors and peers allowed for a really meaningful learning environment where I could share my opinions and learn from those around me. I only took three multiple-choice tests throughout my entire time at Drake, which meant that I was given the infrastructure and space to formulate opinions, support my ideas, and continue to build on everything I had learned in other courses. I often found that discussions I was having in one class would enhance my learning in other classes and I was constantly encouraged to push myself and make mental connections. I was forced to develop my writing, reading, and speaking skills, but most importantly, I learned to listen.
While I obviously gained a lot of knowledge from my professors and reading materials, I probably learned the most from my classmates and peers. Having an open classroom environmental exposed me to immeasurably diverse perspectives and each classroom developed its own dynamic where students grow personally and academically, and bring their unique strengths to the table.
Read on: Ashley Anne Wick