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Bailey Kimmitt ′15

By on 22-Apr-15 06:23. Comments (0)
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Hometown: Fairhope, Alabama
Major: Political Economy
Minor: International Studies, Religious Studies
Academic interests: International relations, foreign trade and business, Christian religious theology, political philosophy
Extracurricular activities: President of Sigma Nu, Rhodes College Golf Team,
Catholic Students Association, Reformed University Fellowship (RUF), Tennessee Intercollegiate State Legislature (TISL), Rhodes Diplomats, Intern in Admission Office

Tell the story of how you got to Rhodes College.

When I was applying to colleges, I honestly had very little idea of what I was seeking from my college selection. Looking back, I over emphasized the idea of being a college athlete. I thought there could be nothing better than playing NCAA Division 1 golf, and I was honestly enjoying the recruitment process. At the same time, I had worked hard in high school and realized that I had the potential to attend a great college. Coach Cochran began recruiting me and, at the suggestion of my father, I visited in the spring of my senior year. Of all the schools I visited, Rhodes was the most hospitable. While I noticed that Rhodes quite evidently had much to be proud of, everyone with whom I spoke seemed humble and sincere—they seemed to genuinely care. And Rhodes was offering me exactly what I wanted: the chance to be a college athlete at an academically renowned institution.

How has being a student-athlete impacted your Rhodes career?

Being on the golf team has been a great experience for me. As a freshman, it gave me a good group of friends from the very start of college. I’m proud of how far we’ve progressed as a team since my freshman year, both in terms of performance on the course as well as in how tight-knit we are as a group of friends. Even when I don’t play well, I’m enjoying the game now more than ever. I feel like I’m always busy with school and extracurricular activities, so you know I must be desperate to resort to something as aggravating as golf to keep me sane! It’s a sport that’s designed for you to lose more frequently than you win, which is a humbling situation for all skill levels.

Tell us about your internship in Europe last summer.

I worked at the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) in Brussels, Belgium. Professor Michta informed me of an opening and also passed on my resume and secured an interview for me. I can best describe the organization as a think tank and grant-writing foundation that researches and promotes the U.S.-EU relationship. It was an exciting summer to be in Europe, with the EU elections and Ukraine crisis at the forefront of our office’s work. As someone interested in international politics, there was so much to see and do in Brussels, with NATO, the European Union institutions, and a countless number of embassies based there.

The experience certainly knocked me out of my comfort zone, but I cannot speak highly enough of my co-workers. Everyone in the GMF’s Brussels office was so very good to me, and I learned so much from them, both through work and informal conversation. The level of intellectual brilliance and accomplishment on display—at a relatively small office no less—was astounding. There always seemed to be some intellectual discussion happening, and I had to really begin to examine issues more analytically in order to keep up. What made the experience even more enriching was the degree of diverse perspectives in the office. In my dealings with professionals both in and outside the GMF office, I was exposed to the perspectives of professionals from all over Europe, as well as Canada, Latin America, and China. Above all else, everyone there treated me so well, and I cannot thank everyone at GMF enough for giving me such a tremendous opportunity.

What are your plans for the future?

My interest in international relations and economics led me to Brussels last summer, and I have no doubt that it will take me some place just as interesting and dynamic this upcoming summer. Advisors and mentors have told me that my internship at GMF will open a lot of doors when I start applying for jobs. I’m confident that D.C. is the next stop post-grad. Regardless of where I am next year, I know it’s ultimately part of a greater plan. That was true of my journey to Rhodes, and it will be true wherever life takes me.