Meet Graduating Senior Hazel Ebenezer
Originally from South India but raised in a small town in the Himalayas called Mussoorie, Hazel Ebenezer is a senior at John Cabot with a major in International Affairs and a minor in Business Administration. She is scheduled to graduate this month. Very active both within and outside the University, she was the President of Student Government in 2016, and a member of many other clubs, while she also worked in several JCU offices.
What are your plans after JCU?
I plan to attend graduate school and get my Master’s with a focus on Human Rights. As much as I appreciate and admire the global progress taking place in this day and age, I don’t see it going very far until every person is made aware of their rights as a citizen and even as a human.
What is your career goal?
My career goal is to become a policy maker for Human Rights Law. As an Indian and a woman, I want to work for gender equality in India and Asia first and then see where my career takes me. I have seen and experienced archaic and discriminatory biases myself while growing up – not only in India but all over the world. Such distinctions have no place in the 21st century and especially not in countries that seem to be at the forefront of progress in our globalized society. I believe that everybody wants to exercise their equal rights but many simply aren’t aware they exist or the system is lacking when it comes to protecting these rights. I want to cover that gap. At a time like this, it is important to find the concepts and values that unify us and I think Human Rights is, or should be, one of those core concepts. Moreover, it is a sub-field that also relates to many other aspects of International Relations – such as Domestic Policy, International Law, Religion and Politics, Economic Systems – which makes it all the more interesting and relevant to study.
How did you decide to apply to John Cabot?
Coming from an international high school in the Himalayas called the Woodstock School and having done the American Advanced Placement curriculum, I was looking for an American university with a cultural and international setting and John Cabot fit the bill perfectly. I also knew that I enjoy a smaller environment where I get to interact with others on a more personal level and John Cabot provided that as well. There was also the added bonus of living in Rome and who wouldn’t want an adventure like that?
Any advice for a new student starting out at JCU?
I think that it’s really important to know that John Cabot has a lot to offer but only if you’re willing to take it. Academically, I loved taking classes with visiting professors, such as an Argumentation and Debate course with a former Presidential Speech writer in 2015. Outside of academics, I went to a Harvard World MUN Conference in Seoul, South Korea in 2015 through the University’s Model United Nations Club. I was also the Chair of another conference in France called MEDMUN through the same club in 2016. Similarly, in 2015, I went to Madrid through the Student Government to attend an International Youth Leadership Conference with other international Student Government Members. Being in the Student Government, for me, was a way to give back to John Cabot. This University is an institution that cares so much about their students that it would be a shame if the students didn’t have a proper outlet to express their opinions, which is why a Student Government is such a valuable organization. That’s why John Cabot is so special – because it has so much to give to those who are looking for something more!
Tell us about your working experiences at JCU
Being a Resident Assistant allowed me to understand what office work, team work, and commitment mean in a formal working environment while building my understanding of compassion, empathy, and communication. Working in the Writing Center was a very unique experience as you get to truly see the diversity in the John Cabot student body through the collection of writing styles that come into the Center. The Special Events office gave me a great opportunity to see and understand the amount of behind-the-scenes work that goes into any event or conference.
Would you like to add anything else?
I really appreciated the fact that John Cabot is truly a cultural mélange, where it’s both important and easy to forget preconceived notions and look at people for their individual attributes – a trait I think will serve us well the more globalized the world gets. In conclusion, anyone who’s thinking about taking the leap of faith and doing something out of the box like moving to Italy when you’re seventeen and don’t speak a word of Italian – do it. There wasn’t a moment of this journey that I regret. From the University, the people here to the friends I have made, every step of this experience was completely worth it.