Student Spotlight: Victoria Adams C’21

Victoria Adams C’21

What attracted you to Drew?

I was really attracted to the Civic Scholar program, Drew’s small size, and its proximity to home.

Why are you drawn to the fields of Philosophy and International Relations?

I think Philosophy is the best vessel for understanding different perspectives. I knew I wanted to be a lawyer since I was a kid and choosing philosophy as a major before law school is one of the best things I’ve ever done.

As far as International Relations, I just love the community.  Coming from a Catholic high school there are a lot of political topics that are not discussed.  I feel all the professors at Drew are great at being objective.  Also, there is a great camaraderie and a strong support system with other political science students.  I never felt uncomfortable asking questions in class and gained more confidence over the years.

Have you done any internships? 

My first internship was with Dress for Success in Northern NJ. I was placed there as a Civic Scholar but I ended up staying a year longer because I loved learning about the non-profit sector. The building was damaged in a fire, so they had to renovate, and I had an opportunity to see the entire process of creating the business from how you stock shelves, to how you maintain inventory, etc.  I was able to see everything from the bottom up and understand the groundwork of a non-profit.  I learned a wealth of information.  I am currently the Co-chair of a non-profit and I’ve been able to apply what I learned at Dress for Success.

My second internship was with the NJ Coalition Against Human Trafficking We did a virtual summit for World Human Trafficking Day to raise awareness about trafficking.  We do not work with human trafficking victims; We just educate people in the State of NJ.

My third internship was with the Ocean County Prosecutor’s office for 3 months over a summer.  I loved it!  There is something really special being part of a team especially when dealing with subjects that are so heavy.  This was in 2018 when they implemented 2017 bail reform that stopped cash bail.  I learned a lot about that topic and had an opportunity to network.

The fourth internship, done in the fall of my sophomore year, was at the Morris County Courthouse in their Domestic Violence Unit. I wanted to see more of the clerical side of things, how paperwork was filed, and how much time processes take, etc. I knew I needed it for the sake of practical knowledge.  I wanted a full lens of the legal system in that department.

For my fifth internship, during the summer of my sophomore year, I worked in the Office of the Public Defender.  I wanted to learn the defense side and it was great.  I got to visit the jail and see how bail works. I hope to be a Public Defender one day. It’s really important if you have no one else in your corner, that you have someone who is going to help you.  You have to be a voice for others.

What are some of your favorite memories of Drew?

I completed the London Semester in the Fall of 2019. It was one of the best memories I had during my Drew experience. It gave me the opportunity to learn how to be independent. I was able to take classes in Art History, Political Science, and Theatre. This gave me a great sense of London’s current climate. I was also able to learn about Brexit and hear perspectives from the local Londoners about their opinions on the situation. I was also able to travel throughout England, to Paris, and to Italy and was definitely “bit by the travel bug” from that experience!! It was absolutely wonderful and I would have never seen the world or learned so much if I haven’t participated- I recommend everyone look into it!!

Another favorite memory would be my freshman year project, where a group of Civic Scholars, put together a panel to discuss women’s issues. We talked about domestic violence, had a rep from Planned Parenthood, etc. It was great to see such a good turnout.

Also, other favorite memories involve the civic engagement retreats.  I think it’s really special to work together for a great cause to help the community.

Do you have any mentors at Drew?

Dr. Lee from the Philosophy department.  When I first started taking philosophy classes he said if I needed anything I could reach out to him anytime. When I emailed him, he’d always got back to me right away. That meant a lot to me.

Another mentor is Amy Sugerman, from Civic Engagement, she’s been my rock at times. She’s always been there when things fall apart, especially during Covid. She is always supportive and wants me to have the best opportunities.  Amy Koritz from Civic Engagement is also wonderful.

How do you think being a part of Civic Engagement has impacted your future career plans?

I always grew up with the idea that you need to give back.  I feel I am very privileged and should use that privilege to help other people. There are so many ways to help people, not just donating to a food bank. There are so many ways to get involved that are also fun.  There’s a whole world in the non-profit sector. It’s the second largest employer behind retail.  It is heartwarming that there are so many people in their careers dedicated to helping others and that there’s so many different fields and a way for anyone, regardless of your interests, to get involved.

What are your career goals? Where do you hope to be in 5 years?

I hope I’m in law school in 5 years but with Covid-19, it might take longer. I would like to either be in my own law practice or be working for a public defender. I would love to continue to do non-profit work even have have my own non-profit one day to continue to give back.

Fun fact you would like to share?

I love horoscopes.  I truly believe that the reason I am disciplined is because I am a Capricorn.

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