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A sophomore year opportunity to study Spanish in Argentina set Emily Graham, '19, on her life's path.

Graham, a civil engineering and Spanish double major, says she returned from that fall quarter trip with a vision to pursue her civil engineering career abroad supporting people and projects where resources are scarce.

"The experience made me realize I don’t want to live in the U.S. bubble," Graham says. "I realized I wanted to work for people who needed better systems around them. When I came back I started searching for ways where I could do that professionally."

Graham made her ambitions known to her College of Science and Engineering professors, who connected her to international opportunities. Additionally, a co-worker at the engineering firm Coughlin Porter Lundeen, where Graham interned since her freshman year, told her about a project that she pursued through Seattle U's International Development Internship Program (IDIP).

A lot of these experiences have been highly linked to Seattle U," says Graham. "My professors learned a lot about me and wanted to help. They give you a lot of opportunities to go outside of the box if you want to."

Practicalities aside, Graham chose to extend her undergraduate timeline by a quarter just to take advantage of two Seattle U opportunities.

In August 2017 she joined a group of professionals, including Seattle U professors and students, under the banner of Kilowatts for Humanity in Zambia. As the project's engineering assistant, she helped design a set of solar panels for a kiosk and taught villagers how to maintain the system. She spent most of the summer stateside and 10 days in Zambia helping to install the panels and train the locals.


Emily Graham Downloadable Story