Sarah Hund ’13 is barely nine months removed from her undergraduate experience at Gustavus Adolphus College, but she is already reaping the benefits of the liberal arts education she received. Hund is now enrolled in law school at the University of Oregon and feels she has successfully made the transition thanks in large part to the wide range of academic opportunities she had at Gustavus as an English major and history and biology minor.
“Being an English major has really helped me in my first year of law school. There is a lot of research and writing involved and having a good background in the subject gave me a head start,” Hund said. “My coursework in history has also been beneficial because it helped me understand the context and background to so many of the cases we study.”
Hund added that her gender studies courses have also come in handy when her law classes study newer cases that deal directly with that issue. She says that her courses in biology have also been advantageous because the University of Oregon is primarily an environmental law school and that science issues frequently come up in class.
“Overall, having a very diverse and truly liberal arts background has provided me with an open mind and a little experience in all the issues we cover,” Hund said. “Law school is pretty challenging, but Gustavus set me up well to handle the work load. Professor Deborah Downs-Miers and Professor Robert Kendrick within the English Department especially had an impact on my education and pushed me to become a better writer.”
While it’s obvious that Hund’s experience within the academic departments at Gustavus will be crucial to her success in law school and in the future, she is also quick to point out the skills and values she learned through her involvement in the Peer Assistants and the women’s swimming and diving team during her four years at Gustavus.
“Judy Douglas, our Peer Assistant advisor, really helped me grow as a person. Judy and the PA program taught me to be a mature adult, how to handle stressful situations, how to compromise, and how to be a role model for others,” Hund said. “My swimming coach Jon Carlson pushed me to become a strong competitor and athlete. Handling swimming and school forced me to be an organized and diligent student.”
When it came time to applying for law schools, Hund cast a wide net and applied for a number of different schools around the country. During Spring Break, Hund had an opportunity to visit and interview at the University of Oregon. Before making the trip to the Pacific Northwest, Hund was able to utilize the College’s fully developed career services department to prepare for her interview.
“Vince Thomas in the Career Center was very helpful to me during this process. He practiced interviewing with me and was able to connect with some of the admission staff at Oregon,” Hund said. “After a quick trip to Eugene, I knew it was the perfect fit. The students there reminded me of Gusties and everyone was so friendly.”
Hund says she is planning on taking courses in international human rights and child advocacy for the next two years. After graduation she can see herself working for a nonprofit, specifically focusing on women and children. She says that her and her fiancé have also talked about joining UNICEF or the United Nations to spend a few years working abroad with disabled children.
“I have always been passionate about children and although I won’t be in the courtroom or working directly with clients, law school is the stepping stone I need to really make a difference,” Hund said. “There are so many career paths a person can explore with a law degree. It has opened my eyes to the world and how much of a difference each individual can make.”