Kayla Lawson ’11

JOB TITLE: Clinical curriculum program assistant
ORGANIZATION: Weill Cornell Medical College
LOCATION: New York, New York
GRADUATE DEGREE: Currently completing a master’s degree in human rights studies at Columbia University

What was your first position after college? I was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to teach English in Indonesia. When I returned to the States, I moved to New York City and started working at Weill Cornell Medical College. I also attend Columbia University as a part-time student, completing an M.A. in human rights studies.           

Has a liberal arts education helped you in shaping your career? My education has helped me develop well-rounded skills needed for my job. I majored in anthropology and human rights studies at Trinity, both of which informed my decision to pursue my interest in working in the human rights/social justice field and to continue my studies in graduate school. I also was awarded a fellowship to intern at Amnesty International during the summer before my junior year. This opportunity furthered my desire to work in the human rights field.           

What advice would you give to Trinity students to prepare for a position in your field? It is very important to get as much work experience as possible. Having an internship helps develop the office skills many employers are looking for. I highly encourage students to study abroad and get as much field experience as possible. It also is important to be passionate and excited about what you are studying and remember that the network of people you meet is crucial to your advancement later.           

What is the biggest misconception about your field? Many people question what I will be able to do with a master’s in human rights studies. There are so many opportunities in this field; it’s just a matter of getting a foot in the door and gaining experience.