Andrea Blobel Pérez
Job Title, Organization
What three words would you use to describe L&C?
What made you want to come to Lewis & Clark?
I chose Lewis & Clark because it has the four ingredients I was looking for in a college: a small community surrounded by nature but at the same time connected to the city of Portland and having a tight-knit community of international students present. I received a full merit and need based scholarship which allowed me to attend and was able to have part-time jobs on campus that allowed me to pay for my expenses.
What have you been doing since graduation?
After graduating from L&C, I moved to Canada for work. Moving to a new country to find a job was challenging as my network and connections were all based in the US so I had to start from scratch. But one thing I knew: if I had lived in five other countries before, this would be challenging but not impossible!
I started working as a marketing specialist and web designer at a tech startup and then moved to work as a marketing manager in finance and as a freelancer and consultant for NGOs and political campaigns. Throughout my career I’ve been a self-starter and hope one day to have my own marketing and branding agency.
How did Lewis & Clark prepare you for job?
L&C gave me the opportunity to connect with professors, explore projects and make connections: I was able to do sociological research in Cambodia and learn directly from Dr. Maryann Bylander: we were selected by the ASIANetwork Student-Faculty Fellows program to do research in Cambodia and interrogate the meaning of microcredit. We wrote together an article that was published at the Development Policy Review.
After this experience I was able to apply for a student grant and do sociological research by myself in Chile and presented at the AAA in Washington, DC. This research was basis for my thesis in 2018.
I also worked at the Career Centre and was a SAA scholar so I got to directly interact and learn from alumni. This was a key element for my career: I learned how to network, what questions to ask and learn from others’ experiences. As I said before, I moved to Canada and had to start from scratch so the first 4 months of being here I was busy networking and making connections. It’s all about connections! So attending all the career preparation events were very helpful!
I was also able to do several internships while I was at L&C. After my sophomore year, I knew that I didn’t want to be a sociologist or anthropologist, but I wanted to be a marketing and designer hybrid. Having different internships helped me to figure that out and gave me the opportunity to learn the hard and soft skills of the job.
What would you say is the most important thing you learned at Lewis & Clark?
Take classes that inspire and interest you. Make connections with people and make the most out of this time to explore who you are and what you’d like to become.
Why did you major in Sociology and Anthropology?
I chose my major based on what the SOAN department had to offer: diverse professors with extensive and interesting global experience. As an international student and latina, having professors I could relate to and connect was a very important factor for me. I will always remember the interactions I had with my professors: going to their offices, sitting to have some tea, and connecting to a very significant level. If there is one thing that I miss about college is having those interactions that challenge and put in question your view of the world.
If applicable, why did you minor in Political Economy?
I minored in Political Economy because I fell in love with the curriculum and I only had to take a couple of classes to complete the minor. I’d recommend anyone doing a SOAN major to do a Political Economy minor. The professors are inspiring, the content is very challenging but fun. I still remember my international political economy class with Professor Elizabeth Bennett: one of the hardest and most interesting class I’ve had. We had to learn how to read and write an article like The Economist. What a fun way to write a paper! I think it’s one of the written pieces I’m most proud of and I have used it in job applications when asked for a written and political piece.
How do you stay connected to Lewis & Clark as an alum?
I’ve been a bad alumna - I haven’t attended any alumni events. However, I do keep in touch with my college friends and occasionally send an email to my dearest professors to keep in touch and ask them how they are and what keeps them inspired.
What was your favorite class? How did it expand your knowledge? // Who was your mentor on campus? Why do you consider this person your mentor?
One of my favorite classes was with Professor Sepideh Bajracharya. I took several classes taught by Sepideh. I do not remember the exact name but it was related to Care, Healing and Medical Anthropology. I loved her drive and passion for the topics we discussed. I learned so much about our views on “care” and myself. One of my favorite ethnographies we read was “Life beside itself” by Lisa Stevenson and “Pastoral Clinic” by Angela Garcia. What I loved is that we read books and written pieces that were written by diverse authors - POC and from other parts of the world.
Professor Maryann Bylander was also one of my favorite professors. I attended my first class with her in intro to sociology and she captivated my intellectual self. I took several classes that were taught by Maryann. One of my favorite ones was international migration and I was fortunate to do my thesis with her. She’s a hardcore professor who will challenge your mind and view of the world. I was able to travel with her to Cambodia and see her hands-on doing research which was an amazing experience: seeing her in her element outside the classroom.