Lindsay Bernsen BA’12
There were many devoted faculty members and staff who made time to give me counsel and thought.
Home: Webster, Texas
UT Dallas Degree: BA – International Political Economy, 2012
Profession: International Licensing Analyst, Lockheed Martin
As an international licensing analyst for Lockheed Martin, I work on the Cargo Mission contract, which is a contract NASA has made with Lockheed Martin to have all of the cargo, supplies, testing materials, and components necessary for the International Space Station program transported to their desired locations.
Since the end of the shuttle program, we have dealt exclusively with international exports (except for cargo for Space X, which we also administer and which launches domestically at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida) to countries that continue to maintain active launch vehicles and sites (Japan, Russia, and the European Space Agency’s launch site, French Guyana) or to countries within the International Space Station program that are responsible for ground testing of equipment or analysis of experimental results from tests that have already flown. I’m responsible for ensuring that our exports meet the domestic and international restrictions for export and hazardous good control outlined in the Department of State’s International Treaty on Arms Regulation, the Department of Commerce’s Export Administration Regulations, and other laws and agreements.
The Value of My Degree
My time at UT Dallas was beneficial on many fronts. I was an editor of A Modest Proposal, a member of the Mock Trial, Model U.N., and Legal Mediation teams, a student ambassador, and an Archer fellow. I was also a founding executive member of the International Political Economy Students Association.
During college, I interned with the U.S. House of Representatives and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, a non-partisan Washington D.C. think tank. During summers, I also worked as a tour guide of the Johnson Space Center and as an instructor at the University of Houston Clear Lake’s Kids’ University program, teaching robotics and stop-motion videography.
I spent a semester in an exchange program in Hong Kong studying Chinese and Southeast Asian political structures and a month in Montreal learning French.
I graduated cum laude, with EPPS honors, and with CV honors.
My EPPS Success
There were many devoted faculty members and staff who made time to give me counsel and thought. Dr. Lloyd Dumas, Dr. Ted Harpham, Dr. Clint Peinhardt, and Ms. Nora Hernandez were all particularly excellent advisors, although every professor was approachable, made an effort to connect with students, and readily offered insight. This attitude of acceptance and appreciation fanned my passion for learning and made it easy to proactively seek out new opportunities where I could practice and apply what I had learned.
Advice for EPPS Students
Join a group. Although there are some programs that won’t admit first semester freshmen, such as student ambassadors or peer advisors, many programs will. Even those that do not will expect to see evidence of your interest in the university during their selective admissions process. It can be easy to feel left out if you don’t start pursuing hobbies and making meaningful friends, and many of the programs I joined also provided me with the opportunity to travel domestically.
Don’t be afraid to reach outside of the university – you can volunteer, tutor or start working on a local political campaign; community involvement is just as important a grounding as campus involvement. And don’t neglect the opportunity to see new horizons, literally. Especially for students who are on a scholarship, an exchange program is one of the most economical ways you will ever be able to afford a foreign country – your tuition is covered by the exchange agreement and sometimes your housing is, too, leaving you to save only for airfare and expenses. If you choose your location wisely, your purchasing power is greatly expanded by the exchange rate, and a single summer of savings can allow you to explore for an entire semester. Most of all, don’t be afraid to try. I was told three or four times that my study abroad plans wouldn’t work before I finally received approval, but I was determined that I would ultimately be able to go, even if I had to make a few compromises. Similarly, the application for the Archer Fellowship program was daunting, but it provided me with a tremendous experience that allowed me to make new friends from across the UT system and that strengthened my friendships with other UT Dallas students, building a network of trust and warmth that I know will last for decades.