Q & A: Ms. Iliria Camaj

Where did you decide to attend college (undergrad)?

I attended the University of Michigan. UofM's dedication to cutting edge academia, progressive initiatives, and international opportunities made it the ideal choice for me.

What major did you choose?  Why?

I majored in International Studies: Security, Norms and Cooperation, and I minored in Arab and Muslim American Studies. I chose these areas of study because I am interested in the contours of contemporary conflict and the ways that notions of national security shape foreign and domestic policies. I chose to add the minor to further my understanding of the impact that U.S. policies have on the experiences of Arab and Muslim populations in the U.S. and abroad.

Are you thinking about (or in) graduate school?  For what?

I am currently a first-year student at Columbia Law School in New York. I am interested in national security law and intelligence law.

What is your career goal?

My long-term career goal is to become a litigator dedicated to civil rights and liberties, as well as national security. I hope to gain meaningful litigation experience to harness the skills, knowledge and strategy to represent individuals and groups with varying needs and objectives.

Fill in the blank:  If I could, I would never ______ again.  Please explain with an additional 2-3 sentences.

If I could, I would never entertain negativity again. In my opinion, entertaining self-doubt undermines your ability to press forward and achieve the results that you have set out for yourself. Whenever I found myself veering off of my path or stressing out, I tried to eliminate experiences or thoughts that were not conducive to success.

What advice would you give the next recipients of the LAunch Scholarship, who are about to leave high school and embark on the next chapter of their educational journey?

I would advise the recipients to remember that accomplishment and adversity do not stop after high school. I urge against the temptation to become complacent or cynical in their educational journey, and I ask the next recipients to keep in mind my favorite quote: "How art thou out of breath, when thou hast breath to say to me that thou art out of breath?" Tackle the next chapter head on!

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