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Brits in America: a world of experience

Bonnie reflects on some of the opportunities she has had from networking with Barnard alumni in her latest blog from New York

  • Student life
  • Study abroad
Bonnie MacRae's avatar

Bonnie MacRae

January 26 2018
Greta Gerwig Oscars best director


When applying to study in the US, one of the biggest draws for me was the amount of opportunity that would be available. The connections I have made while at university in New York City have opened doors to many things that I couldn't have expected. 

US universities focus greatly on their alumni, and students are encouraged to stay in touch with their university long after graduating. This has advantages for those of us currently studying, who often have the chance to meet and connect with former students now thriving in various fields.

It is not uncommon for alumni to visit their old campus to give talks and conduct seminars about their careers and how their university experience prepared them for work. Alumni from my own college include businesswoman and television personality Martha Stewart, author and journalist Anna Quindlen, and director Greta Gerwig, who recently became the fifth woman to ever be nominated for a best director Oscar. 

Follow the rest of Bonnie's journey here

Brits in America: Christmas in New York helps to ease the homesickness

Every year, Barnard College hosts the Athena Film Festival, focusing on films that celebrate strong women. This year, I am volunteering at the event where leading figures in the film industry will be attending. Assisting at such a large-scale event, and being able to mingle with people from the industry that I look up to is just one of the amazing opportunities I have had here.

Being at Barnard has also allowed me to gain experience in fields I never would have imagined being involved with. Recently, through word of mouth from other students, I gained an internship with a record label in Brooklyn. Not only is the founder of the label a former Barnard student, but the other interns are fellow students. In just a few short weeks of working there, I have gained invaluable industry experience through assisting with music promotion and other PR-related tasks.

Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in it all, and to forget about how strange and varied my experiences in New York have been. In a few short months I’ve met more people and tried more new things than I think I did in my 18 years at home. 

Read more: Best universities in the United States

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