Alumni Interviews — Madeleine Sligh (’14)

With each year that passes there are more and more BIC graduates doing great work all over the world. Each spring we publish brief “Alumni Updates” where our alumni can tell us some about their post-BIC lives. In addition to these annual updates, we post interviews with our alumni. Today we are excited to post an interview with Madeleine Sligh (’14). We hope you enjoy, and if you are interested in being interviewed for a future blog post, email us at BIC@baylor.edu.

What year did you graduate from Baylor? What did you study?

I graduated in December of 2014. I was a University Scholar, with concentrations in International Studies, Spanish, and Portuguese.

What were you involved in outside of BIC?

I was a Line Camp Leader and a Welcome Week Leader, which I absolutely loved. I was in Sing Alliance and Global Community. I also studied abroad twice, once in Maastricht, the Netherlands (2013) and once in Madrid, Spain (2014).

What has been your journey since graduating from Baylor? What are you doing currently for work/career?

After I graduated from Baylor, I worked in the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Lisbon, Portugal. I then went to work for the United Nations at the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean in Santiago, Chile. I started law school at the James E. Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona in the fall of 2015, where I am currently pursuing my J.D. as well as my Masters in Latin American Studies. While in law school, I worked for the Department of Justice at the Executive Office for Immigration Review, and for Gama Gloria, a Portuguese law firm. This past summer, I worked for Greenberg Traurig, an international law firm in Washington, D.C., in the Business Immigration and Compliance Practice.

What do you enjoy most about your recent work–or what is something you are currently excited about?

I think the thing I love most about the law is that it is constantly challenging me. Every case is a puzzle and it’s really fun to get to find the perfect pieces that fit in that puzzle. Also, as cliché as this sounds, I really like being able to help people. Immigration is a particularly daunting field of law, especially in today’s political climate, and I like being able to make things possible for people.

How has your BIC education influenced your life and/or work since leaving Baylor?

BIC helped prepare me for the amount of reading for law school. I also met some of my best friends through BIC, many of whom I’m in contact with regularly (and one of whom I’m in contact with constantly). I think the reason I liked BIC so much to begin with was that it was a family. I liked being able to see the same faces in class, and as an alumnus, I’ve noticed BIC-ers tend to stick together. There are a few from my year in D.C. that I know of, and all of them reached out to me within a couple of days of my moving there about meeting up. I would do the same for anyone who was in Arizona. I think that’s pretty special.

Do you have a favorite memory from your time in BIC?

I loved being a Peer Instructor. The students I worked with were really cool (shout out to Welty’s Cultures Class 2013).

Many alumni recall the theme of the examined life from their time in BIC. How does this concept still influence you today in your life and/or work?

I think it is important to take time for self reflection. I did not really recognize the importance of this in college, but I think being in tune with what is necessary for your mental and physical health to stay balanced is really crucial to being successful.

What are your goals for the future?

Anyone who knows me well knows my top two dream jobs are 1) Secretary of State and 2) U.S. Ambassador to Portugal. But as far as a little more in the near future, I want to graduate law school, get a job (hopefully in D.C., but honestly, I’m willing to go just about anywhere), and then travel the world. I don’t know if this counts as a goal, but I think being happy is a good one to have too.

Do you have any advice for current BIC students?

Hang in there! First year is rough but it gets better. Make the absolute most of your time at Baylor. If you want to do or try something, just do it! Don’t let other people pressure you either way. Go to all the Baylor traditions and football games, you have no idea how much you will miss them when you leave. And (of course)… study abroad.

Is there anything else would you like to share?

I just want to say thank you! I am immensely grateful to all my professors (particularly Dr. Cann and Dr. Wright, and Prof. Welty for being a great PI professor), all my friends (#bicem), and to Dr. Nogalski.

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