December 2010 Student Spotlight

December 2010 Student Spotlight

Mary Huigens

Hometown: Omaha, NE

Program of study: Masters in International Relations

Why did you choose Creighton?  After ten years away from Omaha I was ready for both a career change and a change of location.  When I determined that international relations was an area of interest to me as for a graduate degree, I started looking at schools with program in IR in or near Omaha so I could be home for a couple years while I returned to school. I found the Creighton program, talked to Dr. Clark the program director, and determined that the program here was almost ideal for what I hoped to get out of continuing my education and my career goals.  I also liked the fact that Creighton was a Catholic university and well respected as an academic institution.

What made you decide to pursue education in this program?  My undergrad background is in business and marketing, and I decided to take my career in a different direction after about 5 years working in the private sector.  Going back to school seemed like a good way to facilitate the transition I wanted to make, and this program in particular was well suited to what I hope to do next.

What are your interests outside of graduate school?  I am learning to play the guitar, Iím a runner, a movie buff, an avid reader (although most of my reading is for class these days), I love to travel, and I follow Notre Dame football (even though admittedly theyíre not good this season).  I have high hopes for their hockey team though.

What experiences at Creighton have best prepared you for life after college?  I think the coursework for my program and some of the outside opportunities Iíve gotten to pursue (speakers, seminars, etc) have been most beneficial in terms of preparing me for a career change.

What is your most memorable experience at Creighton?  This doesnít relate to my current studies, but my best friend got married at St. Johnís several years back and I was in her wedding.  Thatís probably my most personal experience with the campus, and now I still go to mass there sometimes with her, her husband, and their 2-year old son.

What is one thing that you have accomplished that makes you proud?  I took my first comprehensive exam at the end of this summerósix hours alone in a small room with a computer, typing furiously!  Hearing I had passed with distinction was very satisfying.

What have you most enjoyed about your experience at Creighton?  Challenging myself to learn a new subject area that Iíd really had no experience with before, getting to know my classmates and professors, and having a chance to spend some time in Omaha again before I head off to my next destination, wherever that ends up being.

Are you involved in any community service activities? If so please specify.  Not at the moment, school keeps me pretty busy, but previously Iíve been a tutor/mentor for kids in underprivileged schools, I ran a marathon with Team in Training to raise money for blood cancer research, and as a runner I like to participate in races that benefit different charitable causes.