Virginia Rieck Warren, 2010

Virginia Rieck Warren

2010 Major: Cultural Anthropology, minor in Education, certificate in Information Science + Information Studies

Currently: Florida Epidemic Intelligence Fellow, State of Florida

How has being a Cultural Anthropology graduate from Duke helped shape your professional success?

"I have found that offering a cultural-anthropological perspective in the workplace has made people think of me as someone with a unique perspective. (Most people have never met someone who studied cultural anthropology.) Having a unique perspective has been valuable to me as a professional because it makes me stand out. Colleagues have wanted me on their teams because I bring something "new" to the table."

What advice would you give students in Cultural Anthropology?

"If you are not sure what you want to do after you graduate, don't be afraid to try on different kinds of job hats after graduation. Don't feel like you have to do "what everybody else is doing." Follow YOUR gut. You are likely very smart and capable, so don't shade your shine by trying to force yourself into positions that suck the life out of you. Trying out different things will give you more self-knowledge. And, the more self-knowledge you have, the better equipped you will be to build a life that makes sense for you. Pro-tip: Plenty of introspection makes succeeding in interviews way easier. (If you have already asked yourself every interview question anyone has ever considered, it's harder for people to ask you a question that baffles you.)"