Alumni Spotlight: Vannak Khin’15

Name: Vannak KhinVK

Graduation Year: 2015

Major: Anthropology and Classics

Industry: Refugee Resettlement

Favorite Class: Ethnographic Field Methods

Campus Involvement: Fusion, LGBTQ Chaplain’s Group, and SPUD. 

College Internship/Work Experience:

Summer 2013 internship at the International Institute of Lowell, Summer 2013 Center for Khmer Studies Fellowship, Summer 2014 Mellon Research, Sociology-Anthropology Department Work Study Student

What were some of the most defining events/opportunities/aspects of your time at Holy Cross?

Finding the right major and concentration,  studying abroad in Vietnam, and becoming more politically active on campus during my Senior year.

What is one thing someone should be certain to do before they graduate?

Find the right professors who believe in you and can inspire you.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out in your field?

I would advise anyone starting out in the field is to continue developing a critical lens of the field and be aware of the rising or falling political climate that comes with refugees, immigrants, asylees, and any other new Americans. It is certainly an amazing field to consider a career in, particularly in the way in which it is informed by academia, social justice, and social work, but it is also a very demanding and precarious field.

What skills have you found most useful in your professional life that you attribute from learning at Holy Cross?

Holy Cross gave me very strong foundational skills in critical thinking, which I utilize every day in various capacities and environments. It has allowed me to think quickly, think deeply, and think effectively in terms of who and how I serve.

What is the most important advice you could give a student on obtaining an internship or a job?

I would advise the student to really consider the extent and breadth of your own skills and experience, from Holy Cross and beyond. Without cutting yourself short and by being as honest as possible, you can promote yourself as a potential candidate with not only the necessary skills but also the potential to do much, much more.