W&L Outcomes: Andrea Levan ’22 Andrea Levan '22 is a paralegal specialist in the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.
Post-Grad Plans: Paralegal Specialist in the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.
Areas of Study: Global Politics, Chinese
“No one expects that you have everything figured out by the end of college, and there’s plenty of people out there who were in the same boat.”
~ Andrea Levan ’22
Q: What have you been doing since graduation?
I am working as a paralegal specialist within the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington D.C.
Q: What internships or other summer experiences did you partake in and how did those experiences shape you and your career plans?
At the very start of college, I was set on becoming a Foreign Service Officer (FSO) and specializing in U.S.-China relations. I worked at various China-related nonprofits and in my junior year of college, I interned for the State Department at the Manila Embassy. During that internship, I analyzed China’s maritime claims in the South China Sea and China’s COVID-19 vaccine campaign across Southeast Asia.
Though I was still intent on becoming a FSO, I made an effort to expand upon my studies of global politics and Chinese at W&L. After taking Introduction to Law, Justice, and Society with Professor Kevin Crotty, I gained a newfound curiosity of the legal profession and acted on this inclination. I reached out to W&L Law faculty and met Professor Alex Zhang, who took me under her wing in helping her track legal responses to COVID-19 across Asia and delve into issues of data privacy related to emerging contact tracing technology. This ongoing research has informed my decisions to attend law school in the near future and work as a paralegal during my gap years.
Q: How did the Office of Career and Professional Development (CPD) support you and which resources did you find most helpful?
The CPD helped connect me with alumni all throughout my career explorations – from when I was first looking into foreign affairs to now international law. Another one of the most helpful resources has been the Law School Studio meetings hosted by Lorri Olan. As someone coming in with little knowledge of the law school admissions process and the legal profession overall, these meetings helped navigate me through the process and connect me with other W&L students that have similar interests and career aspirations. I have also been given free access to LSAT study materials and prep classes that I otherwise would have struggled to afford.
Q: What career-related advice would you give to next year’s graduating class?
The biggest career advice I have is that networking is key, especially when you are unsure of your future plans. No one expects that you have everything figured out by the end of college, and there’s plenty of people out there who were in the same boat. When I first came to W&L, I faced major imposter syndrome and feelings of anxiety both in and out of the classroom. I believed that all the alumni I spoke with could see through my attempts to mask my uncertainty and lack of experience. It wasn’t until I became open and transparent about my situation that this fear quickly subsided, and I was able to strengthen my connections with alumni to help guide me to where I am today.
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