Why did you choose to major/minor in Spanish or pursue a concentration in Latin American, Iberian and Latino Studies?
I somehow ended up as a first-year student in a 300 level course on Adultery Literature for my language requirement. I was terrified, and convinced I was grossly underqualified to be in the course, which to an extent was true. I noticed that I was spending at least three times longer on my Spanish course than my other courses, which to me was a sign that I was really passionate about the class. Additionally, I already knew coming into Haverford that I wanted to go into medicine, and I knew the rest of my life was going to be biology-based, so I wanted to take advantage of perhaps my last chance to embrace the values of a comprehensive liberal arts education.
What is your current job and/or career path?
I am currently a second year medical student at Penn Med.
What are your future educational and/or professional goals?
Kelly Boylan, (very far in the) Future MD!
How has the Spanish/LAILS program helped you develop and pursue your professional goals?
Well, I am currently on my clinical OBGYN rotation, and just a few hours ago, I was able to counsel a Latina mom about her 20 week fetal ultrasound. I know that I want to practice medicine with Latina patients and practitioners some day, and the major does a great job at developing one's fundamental language skills and incorporating conversations about social issues affecting Latina populations. Beyond simple language acquisition and fluency, the time I spent in my Spanish courses interrogating text and debating literary concepts has genuinely aided me in my medical studies; to be a good physician, you must be able to develop a differential diagnosis with the evidence you are presented, and be able to ask the right questions in order to reveal a diagnosis. The stories and histories I uncovered in 17th century Inquisition documents have instilled an appreciation for the stories and histories of my patients.
What advice do you have for incoming/potential majors (and minors)?
The true beauty of the major is the flexibility to honor one's own interests. I had classmates with interests in education, art history, medicine, and other fields who found a way to blend their multidisciplinary interests into their thesis. And even if your thesis doesn't neatly "connect" with what you end up doing in life, as was my case, trust that the skillset acquired throughout the major transcends nearly all "end goals" in life.