Few things have had a stronger influence on my academic pursuits and career goals than my involvement with BYU’s Center for the Study of Europe (CSE). It all started while I was taking a political science course on the European Union from Professor Rebecca Larsen. Toward the end of the semester, she approached me and asked if I was interested in a job with CSE. I had not been at BYU for long and was not very familiar with the center, but she thought I would make a good candidate for a research assistant position that had just opened. I agreed to look into it.
Not long after that conversation, I found myself in the office of Wade Jacoby, CSE’s director. He first asked me to explain my interest in Europe. I replied that even though I am Brazilian, my ancestors came from Italy and Portugal. Also, Brazil itself is a Eurocentric country, which had piqued my interest in Europe from an early age. I had also just returned from a mission to London and was taking a number of courses on European topics, including language courses.
“Few things have had a stronger influence on my academic pursuits and career goals than my involvement with BYU’s Center for the Study of Europe”
Before I began working, I learned of another opportunity sponsored by the center. A few BYU students would be attending the Undergraduate Research Conference on the European Union sponsored by the Claremont Colleges and the University of California system. I submitted a paper I had written for Professor Larsen’s class, and when I showed up for my first day at the center, I was greeted with the news that I would be participating in the Claremont conference.