“Upon arrival at the University of Michigan, I thought I knew exactly what I wanted to study and what path I would follow prior to law school. Through the course of my first year, even as a pre-law student, my interests suddenly spawned from psychology to information to business. 

Nonetheless, having in mind the goal of becoming a lawyer, especially as a Puerto Rican first-generation student, I knew I would study global policy and deepen my knowledge on the systems of power in place across the world. The International Studies major allowed me to go beyond just that. 

Due to the flexibility of the major, I was not only able to double major with Russian, but also study abroad in St. Petersburg, Russia and apply that credit for both majors. For many underprivileged students, studying abroad can be thought of as unattainable due to costs. I rarely traveled within the United States and wouldn’t leave the country until I studied abroad as a junior in college. The International Studies major took me across the world before I physically left the country. I was able to combine my interests in economics, politics, and history from a global perspective while in the United States. I then experienced what I learned while I was abroad. The ease with which I was able to combine my wide array of interests and apply them to the International Studies major, all while furthering my knowledge, has been one of the most rewarding aspects of my undergraduate career. 

After graduation, I will be working for the U.S. Department of Justice until I enroll in law school. I hope to continue traveling the world and engaging with communities I once thought were unreachable, and I will forever be grateful for the Program in International and Comparative Studies for allowing me to learn about them in such an interdisciplinary manner.”

Jailene Acevedo

BA International Studies (International Security, Norms and Cooperation); BA Russian ‘21

Hometown: Chicago, IL and San Juan, Puerto Rico 

Affiliations: Delta Gamma Phi (DGPhi) 

Future plans: “I will be taking 2 years off before going to law school!”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “Getting to take a wide range of courses and study abroad!”

Is there anything you would like to express to your peers, parents, professors, or others?: “As a first-generation Latina, there were many obstacles set to deter me from success, but I thank my family for their unconditional support and my community for always reminding me that we can also make it. Additionally, thank you to the professors in PICS and the Slavic Department whose dedication and genuine interest in the subjects taught never failed to inspire me to want to continue my education further.”