Alumni Spotlight: Alexander M. Wegner
1. What are you doing now?
I am a graduate student at The University of Chicago, working toward an M.A. in the Social Sciences, concentrating in Interdisciplinary Research. More specifically, I am exploring and working on topics in political philosophy and the humanities philosophy of technology.
2. If working, where are you working and what is your job title? Location? (e.g. city if not in Doha)
3. If in graduate school, what degree are you working on? School? Location?
M.A. in the Social Sciences, concentration in Interdisciplinary Research, the University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.
4. If you’ve already earned a graduate or professional degree, what did you study? School? Location?
5. How long did it take you to find your first paid job? Where was it? How did you stay motivated?
I started working full-time two days after graduation, having begun the job search a year in advance, with interviews in the spring prior to graduation. For just over two years, I worked at the Doha office of Weber Shandwick, a leading global public relations firm. What kept me going was a focus on the medium-term: pursuing graduate studies. Involvement outside of work also factored in, including involvement in the Doha hub of the World Economic Forum, and a commitment to reading, writing, and online courses.
6. Looking back, what were some of your “takeaways” from your GU-Q experience?
GU-Q provided me with a breadth of knowledge, broadening my interests and strengthening my ability to think and work across fields. GU-Q, in particular, is unique in terms of diversity, resources and access to faculty. Its size also results in a considerable workload that, if taken seriously, can serve as a strong preparation for some of the more academically demanding graduate schools/ programs.
7. What advice would you give to current undergraduates who may want to follow in your footsteps?
Professor Nada Eissa once said something along the lines of: take yourself seriously, and take your colleagues seriously; I think this is exactly right. You will get few, if any other chances, to learn so much, and do so full-time. Give it your best, find out what captivates you, and then pursue that to the best of your abilities. Be willing to listen to your peers, and learn from your professors. Prioritize work but engage in the community, and invest in your friends and network. Be prepared to challenge and be challenged; set your goals high!
8. What are some of your proudest achievements so far? Future plans?
I tend to look back at what I did not achieve. Indeed, I have to echo Silicon Valley, and suggest that we learn the most from our failures. If it was not for them, and the people who helped me grow, I would likely find myself elsewhere today. In terms of the near-future, I am focused on my M.A. thesis, am considering applying to Ph.D. programs, and hope to contribute to the unfolding space race.