Sunday, December 16, 2012

From ILC Alum Brandon Amargo

Dear Ivy League Connection Community,

As I enter my final semester at U.C. Berkeley, I can only think about graduation day in May. Cal has taught me so many lessons inside and outside of the lecture hall. The rigorous courses and diverse student body has equipped me to enter the workforce with awareness to the importance of valuing everything everyone has to offer. I plan on continuing my work at Cal, but as a full time employee post-graduation. In addition, I plan on volunteering or working at Equality California, a non-profit in San Francisco. 

This past semester, I completed three upper division Political Science courses: History of Ancient Thought, Japanese Politics and Latinos in the U.S. Political System. Next semester, I will complete my last set of upper-division courses in Political Science: Modern Arabic Political Thought, International Political Economy and Public Organization & Administration. These upper-division courses have student enrollments from 60 to 120 students. In contrast, lower-division courses can reach an enrollment of as much as 300 students. Furthermore, the section size in upper-division courses is reduced to about 20 students creating an intimate setting for fruitful conversation on course material. The course structure varies incredibly. Some courses are strictly composed of lengthy take-home essays. Others include pop quizzes, in-class midterms/finals and small online assignments.

My advice to current ILC members is to picture yourself at the universities your interested in. Being comfortable and having a sense of belonging is crucial to your academic success. For example, it is extremely difficult to escape the uniqueness of Cal and if you don’t embrace “Bezerkeley” for what it is, you’ll have a hard time studying here. The fact of the matter is Cal isn’t for everyone and the same goes for most schools. It is only due to my passion for Cal that I am able to succeed here. I hope that you all find your passion.

Go Bears!

U.C. Berkeley | 2013 
B.A. Political Science
Assistant, Vice Chancellor for Research Office

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