St. Olaf Magazine | Spring/Summer 2022

Ole Career Launcher Student Success Profile: Aya Kamil ’22

The skills that a liberal arts degree helps Oles develop can take them far in life. The Piper Center’s new Ole Career Launcher is designed to accelerate that trajectory. In this profile, Aya Kamil ’22 shares her experience with the Ole Career Launcher’s International Affairs Careers track.

Aya Kamil '22
Aya Kamil ’22

Aya Kamil ’22 doesn’t dabble in the things she loves: she pursues them ferociously. A political science major who is deeply interested in a career in international affairs, she managed to do three study-abroad programs as a student — even with a pandemic-shortened travel window.

So when she saw the Ole Career Launcher’s International Affairs track, which promised to complement the theories she’d learned in her political science coursework, she couldn’t wait to get started. “This was a chance to adapt my skills to the real world,” she says.

She did: she learned to write one-page policy memos and targeted resumes. She also learned how to conduct useful informational interviews with people in the field. “It felt like a ‘hidden etiquette’ that you’d never get by Googling ‘Foreign Service Careers,’” she says.

This was a chance to adapt my skills to the real world.Aya Kamil ’22

This spring Kamil won a prestigious fellowship with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where she will be part of the Middle East and North Africa team. As she looks ahead, she plans to pursue a career in human rights or women’s rights advocacy work within the larger field of international relations. She feels confident that she has exactly what she needs to land a great role.

“This experience gave me the skills to set me apart,” she says. “It really makes a difference.”