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Zachary Jarvinen


Undergraduate Degree
  • Class of 2006
  • IDP Major(s): International Development Studies Major
  • Additional Minor(s): Linguistics
While At UCLA

Study Abroad: I did a 6-month independent study on the truth and reconciliation committee in Peru, a six month study abroad to mexico and cuba, a year-long rotary ambassadorial scholarship to spain, and a national security scholarship to Brazil. In each country I served as much as I studied, that is, I picked one issue, from the new immigrant crisis in Spain, to the favela-city disconnect in Brazil, and passionately worked to make inroads--e.g. eventually shooting a documentary in Brazil, and producing a Peter Sellars piece for the UN Forum of Cultures in Barcelona.

Extracurriculars: I was a mentor for EQOP (Equal Opportunity Productions) which mentored at-risk LA youth talented in the performing arts. The experience helped ground me outside of the university bubble--actually enough to change my major to IDS, and plan for a lifetime of similar work.

Awards: I was on the Provost's list many times, and in addition to the Rotary and National Security Scholarships aforementioned, I also graduated Summa Cum Laude with College Honors.

After UCLA

I interned at the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the department of State. Then went to work on the ground in New Orleans disaster relief. Most recently I was a New Media Director for the Barack Obama Presidential Campaign, from Iowa to Puerto Rico to Pennsylvania. This Friday I interview with the Administration for a position at USAID (the United States Agency for International Development). (Advice: Though the best can make it happen without them, Grad degrees are not a bad idea but do them when your ready to settle into something and have a specific post-grad recruitment plan)

CV/Resume: cv_3fc9a2c2.pdf

Advice for Current International Institute IDP Students

Get out there and DO STUFF. Bring things to completion, whether in your own hood, or internationally. You can come back to your friends and family (no ones getting married that quick in the 21st century), now is the time for action. Now, commitment and taking leadership are not always easy, you will suffer if you join the peace corps, the Presidential Campaign, or another project of your choice (yes, even shooting a doc or becoming a rockstar), however you will be so much stronger, more capable, and closer to your calling because of it. The road to your dreams isn't always a straight one, but keep moving forward and keep the fire in the heart and you'll get there with a lot of adventure along the way. (book plug: The Pathfinder, by Nicholas Lore, and Chasing Daylight, by Erwin MacManus)