Ari Matz '17

Anthropology

Good afternoon administrators, faculty, and fellow UDRs. Our time at Brandeis is marked by the achievements we accomplish and the relationships we build. As student leaders, we have taken on the extra task of serving our department for the benefits of its students. Students who, like you and me, have been conflicted about how to tell their parents they wanted to major in anthropology, or which professors taught life-changing classes, or how to prepare for their future beyond Brandeis.

Upon accepting this award, I began to reflect on my experience this past year to define what makes a UDR “Outstanding”. I am surrounded by incredible UDRs who have accomplished so much with their departments. Extraordinary achievements come in all shapes and sizes.

While working with Professor Schattschneider, we identified key issues troubling the department’s upperclassmen. The dreaded J-word; finding a job. We are fortunate to have students with such a wide variety of interests and skills, and yet the question is always, “how can I find a job in anthropology”.  This past November, we held a seminar introducing resources for obtaining jobs and internships that relates to the unique needs of students. This perspective changed the question we ask from "how can I find a job in anthropology" to "how can I apply skills learned in anthropology to a career of my interest".

Providing this resource in of itself is extraordinary. We all have the opportunity to serve our departments in the unique ways they require. Our goals, no matter how big or small, will impact the Brandeis community. I look forward to seeing how each and every one of us plays an instrumental role in that impact.

Thank you.