Ana Ramirez is a first-year doctoral student in anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
What made you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
I took three years off between my undergraduate and graduate school years. I took those years to really explore my interests and different career pathways which led me to keywords in my pursuits: research with communities, teaching, learning and grassroots efforts. Anthropology allowed me to really carry out the work I did during my three years of exploration, and I know for certain that my graduate degree in anthropology will allow me to further flesh out those goals.
What’s the thing you love most about Chapel Hill?
I really love many of my fellow peers’ and professors’ commitment to research with communities and honoring various forms of knowledge and understandings. I also really love the support students of color receive from DSS [Diversity and Student Success]. Events such as Writing Wednesday and the various socials throughout the semester are wonderful ways to keep me motivated in my graduate experience.
If you had any advice for someone thinking about pursuing a graduate degree, what would it be?
Please, think it out very carefully. My path was a little untraditional in various ways, but it allowed me to have a stronger sense of what I want from my graduate degree. It is not a decision to take lightly. In addition, know who you are and what you want, so if you apply to graduate school, then you know which programs are a better fit.
What is your dream career after you’ve completed your studies?
My dream career is a career where I enjoy what I do and I work towards a higher mission that is beyond my own goals.
How will your Carolina degree help you make a difference in the world?
I do not like to think that my own singular efforts can/will make a difference in the world; but rather my efforts by working collaboratively with others will help lead to make positive strides and, hopefully, changes in the communities I will belong to. I do believe that my Carolina education will connect me to like-minded individuals to keep me motivated for a lifetime undertaking and that it will also provide me with the tools to best carry out these efforts.