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Student spotlight: Summering in foreign policy

July 31, 2019

Carly Bainbridge, international studies major, at the "Less War, More Strategy" John Quincy Adams Society Conference, Washington D.C. July 2019
Carly Bainbridge, Jackson School international studies major, at the John Quincy Adams Society Conference on foreign policy, Washington D.C. July 2019

In this Q&A, we heard from Carly Bainbridge, a double major in international studies and law, societies & justice at the University of Washington, about her experience as a selected participant in the annual John Quincy Adams Society Student Leadership Conference, held in Washington D.C.  in July.

Name: Carly Bainbridge
Hometown: San Rafael, California
Degree/s: International Studies (general, human rights concentration) and Law, Societies and Justice
Expected graduation date: June 2020

Tell us how you think the John Quincy Adams Society Conference for undergrads in foreign policy will help in your career path. The John Quincy Adams Society Conference will help my career path as it exposed me to a wide range of new perspectives on foreign policy. Through conversations with professionals in the field, I learned about what policy looks like in real time in Washington D.C. I was able to see the role that foreign policy specialists play in working with Congress and elected officials to make change and influence current foreign policy.

I was also exposed to new perspectives on foreign policy through interacting with and having conversations with other students who are pursuing similar academic areas as my own. Given that we all grew up in different states and attended different schools, we were able to have richer conversations about our opinions on how to best implement foreign policy. These new perspectives shed light on career opportunities and provided me with connections to a broader network of professionals.

How did you select your major? I selected my major primarily as a result of interactions with the Jackson’s schools staff and professors who inspired me to see the possibilities in this field. I am very passionate about international relations and cultures, and by learning what the Jackson school has to offer, I have been able to see the potential in this major. Through studying human rights and law I can visualize effective ways of influencing leadership to make a more peaceful and inclusive world.

What is your favorite thing about being at the Jackson School? My favorite thing about being in the Jackson School is the community and the opportunities that arise from the vibrant community. The alumni network and professional connections that I have made though the assistance of staff and professors is invaluable. It’s relationships that I have made in the tight community that will last.

What is something that surprised you about the Jackson School? Something that surprised me about the Jackson School is how invested the professors are in their students. They are constantly thinking about how to better the students’ future and how they can assist them more. They are always making time and putting in the effort to make the students’ experience a positive one.

What is your ideal career? I’m not sure what my ideal career is yet, but I would love to work for the State Department in helping with international policy or work for the United Nations on promoting global peace. It would also be a dream to live in the Hague and work for the International Criminal Court.

Bainbridge hopes to launch a John Quincy Adams Society chapter at the University of Washington. In 2017-2018, she earned a UW Husky Leadership Certificate “which the Jackson School helped lead me to opportunities to build my leadership,” she said.