College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences > Academics > International Studies > About > Alumni Spotlight > Catherine Drake

Catherine Drake

Program: International Studies M.A.
Year of Graduation: 2018
Thesis Focus: Facebook as a Contemporary Public Sphere

How did the International Studies Program impact you?
The International Studies Program gave me an opportunity to revisit, explore, and challenge a variety of understandings and beliefs that I had accumulated over the years. I came away with a more nuanced understanding of the ways in which power, exercised both politically and economically, disenfranchises and harms many in society. It was also a pleasure to engage intellectually with students who may not have had nearly as much “real world” experience as I had, but from whom I learned a great deal.

What are you doing now?
Today, I continue to work as a managing director in the credit research department of an asset management firm. In my free time I have become more involved in progressive causes, particularly related to voting rights. Longer term, I hope to become more actively engaged in bring a greater diversity of voices into the political conversation so that those who have been marginalized can be increasingly empowered.

Is there anything you’d like to say to current or prospective INT students?
I would encourage current INT students to hang on to a sense of idealism as they embark on their careers, to recognize that each small step they take to enhance social justice has a powerful impact. I would also encourage mid-career professionals to consider enrolling in the INT program at the graduate level. If you have an abundance of intellectual curiosity, an open mind, and enjoy a challenge, embarking on the journey of earning a Master’s in INT can impel you to action with a fresh new perspective on the world around you.​