Why a Berkley Public Policy Graduate from California joined IDEX

Today, we want you to meet one of our most recent IDEX alumni, Shannon Thomas. Shannon is one of those rare phenomenal women you meet who immediately inspires you by her "all in" attitude. Shannon joined IDEX in January to gain experience in marketing, communications, public relations and strategic planning and deepen her work in public policy.  Her commitment to her fellowship placement with Equal Community Foundation during IDEX and her commitment to work on local advocacy initiatives was truly inspiring.  Just look at her blog and you will see that she was dedicated to make the most from her fellowship experience and remained open and flexible to opportunities. Enjoy!

Where do you Currently Live? 

Pasadena (otherwise known as Los Angeles), California

What's your favorite memory about IDEX?

Our group trips to GoaKerala, and Hampi as well as our absurdist dancing at DJ Lish shows (experiences that, coincidentally, all happen to be captured in my blog.)

What's the first thing you did when you after the fellowship? 

Immediately after the Fellowship, I spent three weeks traveling to Jaipur and Agra (in northern India), Koh Samui and Bangkok (in Thailand), Camp Casey and Seoul (in South Korea), AND  technically North Korea (crossed over the Military Demarcation Line while touring the DMZ). But the first thing I did when arriving back in California was eat an In N Out Burger — double double animal style.

What do you miss most about IDEX? 

This question is easy, and probably redundant for most of us. THE PEOPLE, of course! I think we had a uniquely close-knit cohort, and I am not ashamed to admit that I am relatively addicted to my quirky, brilliant, compassionate IDEX team. As a testament to our lasting bond, just check out our ridiculous and constantly updated Group Me.

What are you working on now?  

I am primarily hibernating, and secondarily finishing online economics courses/Arabic review/quantitative prep before heading to Harvard for graduate school in Boston.

What's the best advice you have for anyone considering IDEX? 

In the words of international superstar Shia Labeouf in his latest erratic motivational video  "JUST DO IT!" This one's for you, Mallory St. Claire. IDEX was one of the best experiences of my life, and afforded me more opportunity for professional growth than anything I could have done in the United States following my college graduation. I would recommend it to anyone interested in making a social impact and working a job that is life-affirming rather than soul-sucking.

What's next for you? 

I am beginning a Masters Degree in Public Policy, focusing on International and Global Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Hopefully I will gain some useful skills for my intended career in international diplomacy. Also, hopefully I will not die from frostbite. 

How can we follow you?

You can check out my blog at https://shannonsindianadventure.wordpress.com
And I can be found on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/pub/shannon-thomas/66/540/969