“I first became interested in integrating International Studies into my education as a freshman at the University of Michigan. I started by taking International Studies 101 which I enjoyed, knowing that that course would set the foundation for the rest of my educational career. I appreciate the breadth of topics and global issues from my international studies courses and specifically the topics that challenged the current state of international affairs and highlighted the need for change. International Studies, in my opinion, must be one of the most interdisciplinary fields to enter because, as my classes have taught me, the world is interconnected in almost every way and most fields have some international component or impact. One of my favorite memories from the PICS program was my International Studies 401 course, which had a topic on climate change and focused on international components of the difficulties in enacting change. 

My sub-plan in International Studies is Global Environment and Health and is the perfect track to complement my Environment major. The support I've gathered from the support of U-M faculty and my peers throughout my courses has provided me with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to begin my career. After graduation, I will begin a career in renewable solar power project development. 

I'm thankful for my experiences these past four years!"

Gabriella Valderrama

Majors/Minors: BS International Studies (Global Environment and Health); BS Environmental Policy; minor, Energy Science and Policy ‘22

Hometown: Bethesda, MD

Affiliations:  Net Impact (impact investing club), Beta Alpha Rho (Pre-Law and Public Service Fraternity)

Future Plans: “I will be working at a solar company, Borrego, as an Associate Project Developer!”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “I enjoyed my classes the most. International studies classes always pushed me to think outside of my current worldview and helped me foster a more holistic thought process and open mind that I'll carry with me post-graduation.”