Senior Spotlight: Becka DeSmidt

Name: Becka DeSmidt_x000D_
College: Pomona_x000D_
Hometown: San Francisco, CA

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At a time when other seniors are gearing up for world travels, gap years, volunteerism, and a little self-exploration time post-graduation, Pomona senior Becka DeSmidt is not. From early in her senior year, she was certain that she wanted a job.

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“Being employed after graduation was my goal,” DeSmidt recalled. And she has achieved that goal: next year, she plans to work for the Advisory Board Company, a leading healthcare consulting research firm in Washington, D.C. She will be working as a research associate.

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“I’m really excited to explore a new place and a new experience,” DeSmidt said.

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A Politics major at Pomona, DeSmidt never envisioned herself running for office or working on campaigns. She is more interested in policy, and pursuing change through that avenue.

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While at Pomona, she conducted politics research that led to her new research job. Although the nature of her job doesn’t correlate directly to her major, her employers were looking for someone with a solid liberal arts background.

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Originally interested in a History or English major, DeSmidt fell in love with the Politics department at Pomona and her studies fell into place from there.

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“Politics classes were always my favorite and most challenging classes. I really connected with the faculty and have made a lot of friends in my major,” DeSmidt said.

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Looking ahead toward long-term plans is more difficult. “I really don’t know what this job will lead into, but I’m thinking really good things,” DeSmidt said, referring to the possibility of being promoted and gaining experience in the healthcare industry.

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But DeSmidt knows she does not want to go to grad school. “By the process of elimination—picking between law, business, medical school or pursuing a Master’s—I just knew I didn’t want to do any of it.”

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For DeSmidt, who just heard that her starting date is in July, the summer looks like a good time to spend with family and enjoy being home. It might also involve a cross-country road trip with friends.

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“I’m really lucky to have found this job. It just shows that you don’t have to have a clear idea of exactly what you want to do,” DeSmidt said. She had also applied to jobs in social media, advertising, and the non-profit sector.

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And DeSmidt doesn’t feel as reluctant about graduation as she thought she would.

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“I’m very surprised to be okay with graduation and feel a lot more confident about the future than I expected,” she said.

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She will miss the network of friends she has built during her time at Pomona but hopes that it will follow her to Washington, D.C., as many of her friends are planning to live on the East Coast.

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For now, DeSmidt feels “really lucky, especially because I have no thesis and can pretty much have a relaxing semester.” She should consider it a semester well-deserved.

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