Loyola University Chicago

College of Arts & Sciences

Hope Williams

See how a Loyola degree helped them succeed

Recent college graduates face fierce competition for jobs and positions in graduate and professional schools. Here are four members of Loyola's Class of 2018 who definitely stand out from the crowd.

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Take it all in and live in the moment.

See how a Loyola degree helped them succeed

Hope Williams 

Major: Political Science
Minor: Religious studies and Peace studies

Post-graduate plans: graduate studies in theological studies at Harvard University 

What are your post-graduation plans?

I will be heading to Harvard University for graduate school where I’ll be getting my master's in theological studies with a focus in Islamic studies. I was chosen as one of the President’s Fellows, which means I have a full grant for my graduate studies, which is very exciting. I'll be taking half of my courses at Harvard Divinity School in Islam and religious studies and half of my courses at the Kennedy School of Government in foreign policy and public policy.

What are you hoping to do with your master's degree?

There's a few different career paths I see myself going down, but in the end, I know I want to do something using a religious and cultural understanding as the basis for work around the U.S.  role in foreign policy. Whether that be academia or government work, I know that I want to do something with religious advising or foreign policy work.

What are some of your accomplishments on and off campus?

I was recently Loyola’s delegate at the Naval Academy Foreign Affairs Conference, which is the top foreign affairs conference in the world for undergraduates and graduate students. While there, I was able to meet with 150 delegates from around the globe and discuss foreign policy—specifically the role of democratization around the world. What a really incredible experience! I spent a semester in Washington, D.C. working at the Federal Judicial Center which is the education agency of the federal courts. During that time, I worked on programs educating federal judges from all around the nation who were really appointed by this most recent administration. I’m also a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma and have served on the board as the Vice President of Academic Excellence. I’m also a member of the Maroon & Gold Society, which recognizes 25 top graduating students who exhibits leadership and academic excellence and Jesuit values.

How has being a student at Loyola helped you get where you are today?

It’s the relationships I've developed with professors who've mentored me and guided me through different career paths or discernment in deciding exactly what I see myself doing. They have supported me and guided me through those kind of mid-college crises where I didn't know what I wanted. Loyola has given me a value-based education. Loyola has challenged me to reevaluate the things I believe in: Why do I believe them? What do I want to do? And, why I want to do it. It sounds cliché, but I really do think this is what Loyola has instilled in me. It's the reason I came here and it's the reason that I've stayed, and I think it's the reason that I'll be pursuing a degree for a wider purpose in the future.

Do you have any advice for students who will be graduating next year?

Take it all in and live in the moment. I think one thing I focused on this year as a senior is to be really present, and obviously plan for the future and focus on those things, but also to be grateful for everything Loyola has to offer. I'm feeling very sentimental and wishing that I could relive so many of my college experiences. So just really being present and grateful every day for what Loyola has given me and taking time to reflect on those things.