Meet William Dantini ’24 A global politics and economics double major, Dantini found his ‘home’ on campus with the University Singers.
Name: William Dantini ’24
Hometown: New Canaan, Connecticut
Major: Global politics and economics
Why did you choose to come to W&L?
Besides the wonderful location, W&L stood out to me not only because of its breadth of resources but also its strong community. When I visited campus, I was amazed that a professor would spend an hour talking to me about my interests and showing me around the arts building, which he easily could have declined to do. My expectations have been exceeded since being on campus. Resources like the Office of Career and Professional Development, the director of fellowships, advisors, teachers and students all want to see each other succeed. This extends to our strong relationships with alumni, who are happy to spend time giving advice and helping you succeed as well. Combined with W&L’s resources, I feel that I have the resources and mentorship to do anything I put my mind to.
Have you discovered a course or topic that you didn’t expect to study when you first came to W&L?
I was surprised to find myself involved with German. In high school, I took Latin and decided to put that to rest in college, instead taking German for the language requirement. After my Spring Term Abroad trip to Berlin and on the advice of faculty and alumni, I took a few extra classes in the subject. The German department has a close-knit community of dedicated faculty and passionate students interested not only in the language, but academic and professional opportunities in Germany as well.
Where is your “home” on campus?
I consider choir to be my university family. The University Singers not only rehearses four days a week but travels every year and internationally every four years. During that time, in addition to our many traditions, we end up getting to know each other very well. People in University Singers are passionate about singing, and between our director and student leadership, we do our best to support each other during and after rehearsal.
What has been your most impactful experience at W&L?
Washington Term was the most impactful experience for me at W&L. It is a class where students find internships with the help of the professor, then spend six weeks interning in Washington, D.C., having class on Friday. It would be an understatement to say that something extraordinary happened each week I was in D.C. I went to hearings and briefings with witnesses like bank executives, federal agency directors, industry leaders and even astronauts. As a class, we had extremely high-level discourse on current national issues, incorporating our different perspectives and experience, as well as meeting with political pundits, campaign leaders, embassy staff, agency analysts and Congressional aides, many of whom were alumni. The networking and interning experience I gained has made me feel confident I can succeed in a competitive city like D.C.
What was your favorite class and why?
One of my favorite classes, because it is so hard to choose, was Middle Eastern Politics with Professor Seth Cantey. The course gave sufficient history and political background on the region, using readings from not only experts in the field, but also from leaders in the region. Professor Cantey’s personal experiences in the region and his own expertise gave a balanced and complete foundation which we used to tackle difficult subjects and questions in our class discussions.
Have you studied abroad during your time at W&L?
I went to Berlin with the Layered Berlin Spring Term Abroad trip. The class was on social businesses in Germany. We had class in the morning on business or German language, then visited local businesses and Berlin’s many cultural and historical areas in the afternoon. Being a W&L class with W&L professors, I found the experience mostly stress-free. We were able to become our own little community, even staying in touch after the class ended. Not only did we make the most of our four weeks there learning about the many layers in Berlin’s history, but the experience of our professors provided excellent context and discussion for our learning.
How have your experiences at W&L prepared you for post-graduate success?
Besides the Washington Term Program, W&L has several other resources I have found useful for my career. The Office of Career and Professional Development is an excellent place with written materials, dedicated faculty and student career fellows to answer any questions you may have. They also bring leading companies with strong alumni connections and other groups onto campus for information sessions and coffee chats. They have many information sessions throughout the year on career preparedness as well as industry-specific sessions. Thanks to our Director of Fellowships Matthew Loar, we have several Fulbright winners every year, which has encouraged me to apply for some scholarships that I thought were unattainable. Additionally, my professors and alumni love to help students out. With all these resources and the enthusiasm of the W&L community, I feel confident that my investment at W&L will be worth it.