BA, Sociology, UIC, 2014
Bianca landed a job as a data technician at the University of Michigan. She did this by first getting an internship with them as an undergraduate, which led to employment after graduating. Her job consists of scripting, clearing and processing data, programming, and on the job learning. Bianca loves what she does because her job shares research from government institutions with the public so that more people can see and use it. She loves that her work gets to be viewed by others and that it provides a place where researchers and academics can access the open database freely. She also deeply enjoys the people that she works with. Interestingly, her coworkers usually come from sociology backgrounds. The work environment is collaborative, and they often have thoughtful discussion about important issues.
Leveraging work experience in pursuit of graduate school and beyond
Bianca may be able to get funding for her graduate degree, as she is employed by the University of Michigan. She is currently debating pursuing her master’s degree in statistics because it would help her to pursue a career in sociology or policy. She is interested in policy because our political leaders are overwhelmingly white, male and upper class. She says that people of all backgrounds need to be at the table where decisions are being made. Bianca is motivated by an activist she heard who said, “I am no longer accepting the things I can not change. I am changing the things I can not accept.” She believes it is very important for people to unite to make change, rather than to be passive and accept the social injustices that occur daily.
Advice for current sociology students
Bianca urges undergraduates to get involved with internships, programs, and networking during their undergraduate years because all of these help greatly when applying for a job after graduation. She says that many people put limitations on themselves and don’t apply to jobs because many think they are simply not qualified for it. This is why it is important to step out of your comfort zone and to apply to jobs for which one might not feel qualified. She believes anyone with a sociology degree can get a job after graduating as long as they put in the time and effort searching.
What attracted Bianca to sociology
At the beginning of her undergraduate career, Bianca learned that humans’ genetic makeup is 99.9% identical. Learning this was very eye opening for her, because there are so many social inequalities between humans who have such significant biological similarities. Sociology as a field of study has made her more aware of social injustices and how much policy, culture, class and more is interconnected; it gives her a greater awareness of her surroundings. Bianca would highly recommend a sociology major to anyone!
An interesting fact
Bianca is Puerto Rican, but people often think she is white. Her family looks very different from her, and often in public, people react to her and her family very differently, because of their differences in appearance.
For Bianca, success is…
Making an impact, not money. We need more people who care about people rather than superficial values. She intends to pursue this impact in her career and personal life.
Interviewed by Stephanie Munoz