Victoria Dillinger

Class Year

’16

Hometown

Ellettsville, Indiana

Major(s)

International Political Economy and Japanese

Minor(s)

Political Science

Victoria Dillinger ’16 knew Carthage was the school for her when she stepped on campus. “From my first tour, I loved the people I encountered at Carthage. I had already toured several schools, but nowhere had I found the same sense of community and a relaxed, yet academically-minded atmosphere,” she said.

At Carthage, Victoria is majoring in international political economy and Japanese in hopes of going to graduate school for developmental economics to obtain a career in community building.

“Through my international political economy (IPE) courses I have been able to gain a deeper understanding of both political science and economics without losing sight of the important ways in which they interact. The IPE major is a great way to develop skills which are applicable in a large range as fields. It is also capable of being tailored to each student’s unique goals and focuses,” said Victoria.

She further explained that studying Japanese has been the greatest challenge and most rewarding aspect of her college career. “I highly recommend anyone who intends to do work abroad consider studying a language in school. The discipline required and the mandated study abroad experience is a highly effective way to develop your skills.”

“From my first tour, I loved the people I encountered at Carthage. I had already toured several schools, but nowhere had I found the same sense of community and a relaxed, yet academically-minded atmosphere.”

Victoria Dillinger, ’16

Career goal

“I hope to eventually go to graduate school for developmental economics and find a career in community building. In the short-term I am looking to work for a socially-minded business in order to learn more about day-to-day business operations.”

How have Carthage faculty had an impact on your life or Carthage career?

Prof. Yan Wang has been an amazing mentor for me throughout my college career. She interacts with every Japanese major and truly cares about her students. She has pushed me to keep striving for more like no other professor has, and I am grateful for her influence looking back as a senior. Without her I would not have grown in my Japanese abilities as much as I have.

Prof. Jeffrey Roberg has been one of my most influential professors in regards to my long-term goals. While his Introduction to International Relations (POL 1050) class was a challenging way to begin my college career as a freshman, the material I learned from that class, as well as Introduction to Comparative Politics (POL 1030), has been instrumental in my understanding of international relations and politics. Equally, if not more importantly, Prof. Roberg has been my adviser for Model United Nations during all four years of college. His devotion to the organization has helped not only me, but the whole club gain the most Model UN has to offer.”

Favorite class

“My favorite class so far at Carthage has been African Transitions (SOC 3040) with Prof. Ellen Hauser. Since a young age I have had a fascination with Africa, yet seldom had the chance to study it in detail. In African Transitions we learned about the history which continues to impact the continent, read books by African authors, and learned about current challenges and successes in Africa. The rich diversity of sources we used in class kept the material interesting and engaging and helped me to have a holistic understanding of Africa.”

Campus involvement

“Currently I am president of Model United Nations (MUN) as well as parliamentarian in Student Government. When I first came to Carthage I knew what I wanted to major in and knew I wanted to join Model UN. My time with MUN has not disappointed my expectations. Most of the personal growth I have experienced at Carthage is a result of my activities with MUN. Throughout conferences I have developed speaking, writing, and researching skills, as well as self-confidence and an ability to work collaboratively. I also learned to organize and run a conference when I served as the head of our annual high school conference. Organizing the High School Conference is easily the hardest thing I have done at Carthage, but it was worth the effort to see the conference go smoothly. It has been an honor to serve as president for such a great group of intelligent and motivated peers.”

Toughest class

“My toughest class at Carthage so far has been Advanced Japanese (JPN 4070). My class had a mixture of students who had already studied abroad and some who had not, so there was a large range of abilities. While I found the class challenging, the skills and knowledge I gained ensured I was able to take full advantage of my time abroad.”

Internships or on-campus employment

“The summer after my sophomore year I interned at a Medicaid company, Amerihealth Caritas MDwise Hoosier Alliance, in my home state of Indiana. My experience gave me invaluable insight into business operations and the interplay between legislation and business. At the end of the summer I presented on proposed Medicaid legislation in Indiana which would have significant effects on the company. A large portion of the company came to the presentation and there were several call-ins by employees at the corporate office in Philadelphia. It was a rewarding experience to know I was able to provide meaningful information to so much of the company.”

Scholarships

“I received the Modern Language Scholarship for Japanese. This has allowed me to attend Carthage with much more peace-of-mind than would have been possible otherwise. Also, having the scholarship has been an important motivator for me to continue to push in my Japanese studies.”

Favorite moments and memories at Carthage

“My favorite moments and memories at Carthage all involve spending time with my friends. I have met some of the most amazing people at Carthage. It is important to me to be able to put school aside for a couple hours and talk and relax with friends on occasion. That being said, my friends are some of the most intelligent people I know and have enriched my knowledge through their own areas of expertise and interest.”

Favorite spot on campus

“My favorite spot on campus is the Fritsch Meditation Chapel by Lentz Hall. I have found it to be the most soothing and spiritually stimulating spot on campus.”

Biggest surprise so far

“The biggest surprise so far at Carthage has been how much the school is growing. I watched construction of the Science Center, but I still find myself occasionally walking through the halls in a state of disbelief.”

What would your 8-year-old self think of you now?

“My 8-year-old self really wanted to be an astronaut, so she may be a little confused by my current career trajectory, but I think she would be on board with my dreams of traveling the world.”

Why should other students consider your major? What advice do you have for them?

“I would advise Japanese students give it their all and make sure to study their kanji. It is hard to learn all those Chinese characters, but your knowledge of kanji goes a long way in either advancing your skills or holding you back. For international political economy majors, I recommend thinking through what you hope to get out of the major early on so you can tailor your electives to meet those goals.”