BY HALEY ROBINSON '17
Chrislyn Laurore ’16, a West Palm Beach native, was nominated for a Posse Foundation scholarship during her senior year of high school. Through Posse Miami, Laurore was matched with Mount Holyoke.
During her time at Mount Holyoke, Laurore said she was “actively involved in all things Posse, the V8s, Amnesty International, the Five College West African Drumming Circle, Admissions and — because [she loves] proselytizing about the importance of the social sciences — the anthropology and Africana studies departments.” As a double major in anthropology and Africana studies with a concentration in visual culture, Laurore decided to spend the fall semester of her junior year abroad in Cape Town, South Africa.
The following summer, her academic pursuits led her to an internship with UNICEF in Hanoi, Vietnam, where she conducted policy research on the rights of ethnic minority children in Southeast Asia. Following these experiences, Laurore was encouraged to complete her senior thesis on the politics of memory of post-apartheid University of Cape Town with the guidance of her advisor, Dr. Andrew Lass.
Upon graduation from Mount Holyoke last spring, Laurore spent the summer in Washington, D.C. interning at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art and the American Anthropological Association. Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole, the director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, who, according to Laurore, is “one of the foremost African American anthropologists of her time,” connected Laurore to Hogan Lovells, U.S. LLP, where she currently works as a government regulatory assistant. According to Laurore, her day-to-day schedule “consists of everything from fielding questions from clients, coordinating meetings and drafting letters, to translating for asylum cases and doing research on child marriage laws for the pro bono team.”
Laurore suggests to those interested in a career in Anthropology or Africana Studies to be creative, patient and persistent. “The skills one gains as a student of the social sciences may not always be readily apparent to potential employers,” admits Laurore. “Having had the experience of job-hunting with a degree in these field[s], I’ve learned the importance of being able to self-advocate, especially with respect to translatable skills such as research, writing and being able to work with various people of various backgrounds. The work experience I gained from having an on-campus job in Admissions was also an added benefit.”
Laurore added, “I personally feel that further education will enhance my career prospects, and I look forward to building upon the research I started at Mount Holyoke in grad school.” Soon-to-be-graduating seniors with majors and fields of interest in the humanities and social sciences, like Laurore, have a plethora of resources, such as the Alumnae Network, Weissman Center, Miller-Worley Center and the Career Development Center, accessible to them to start the next stages of their lives.