WGS alumni find employment opportunities far and wide–and some end up right back here on campus! Today we hear from Tessa Brow (she/her/hers), who works for LAS Career Services as a Career Education Coordinator. As a student, Tessa majored in Math and English, and “accidentally” minored in Women’s and Gender Studies.
What prompted you to make WGS your minor?
My inability (or at least indifference) to stop taking coursework in WGS led me to my minor – it wasn’t a planned decision at first. I took WGS 201 as an elective on a whim my first semester of college and just kept coming back for more. I loved how my WGS courses continually asked “why?” and pushed me to think beyond what is to what could be in our society and in my own life. The fact that several WGS courses overlapped with my English major requirements made it easy to combine my academic interests and analyze literature through an intersectional feminist lens.
What did you hope to learn from your WGS courses, and how did that apply to your life and/or future profession?
My WGS minor taught me to analyze and challenge the status quo and to strive for more inclusive, intentional, and authentic ways of being. I frequently question why things are done a certain way, and I am unafraid of proposing and trying something new. My WGS courses were also the first to challenge me to think deeply about how race, class, and other social constructs (not just gender) shape my own and others’ existence. This nuanced awareness of identity allows me to better serve and connect with students from all backgrounds in my role in career services; it also challenges me, as I’m able within my sphere of influence, to push back against the unequal opportunities and outcomes that result from the systems of oppression built into education and industry.
I liked the smaller class sizes and interactive pedagogies of WGS classes as well as the faculty’s passion and wide-ranging expertise in a variety of departments/disciplines.