This summer, we are following grads from the Class of 2015 as they continue their journeys around the corner and across the globe. Paulina Heule is working as a paralegal in Washington, D.C. at Covington & Burling—a large international law firm.
- Name: Paulina Heule
- Class: 2015
- Hometown: Ada, Mich.
- Major(s): literature, international relations
- Next step: law school
What class at Calvin uniquely prepared you for this position?
Being a paralegal requires rigorous reading and writing, so I would say my many English classes prepared me for the large volume of reading and attention to detail that is required in my position. Additionally, I took Business Law as an elective and a Law Interim course, which both helped me gain a better understanding of the legal system in general.
What class at Calvin had the greatest impact on you overall?
African Politics with Amy Patterson my freshman year. This class had the greatest impact on me because it was the first class that truly opened my eyes to the complexity of our world and our role as Christians to seek to live out God’s mercy and call for justice in our lives and the world around us. It’s a lot easier to sit back and say, “Oh, other people will deal with those problems. I’ll just stay in my comfort zone.” But God calls us to truly seek justice and be his instruments of peace.
How did your relationships at Calvin form who you’ve become?
My relationships with both my professors and peers at Calvin have taught me the importance of taking time to value intentionality and thoughtfulness in my relationships in ways that are tangibly seen through both actions and words. It’s so easy to be self-centered in a college environment because so much of our academic journey is characterized by a “ME attitude.” However, through the people I’ve met at Calvin, I realized the importance of investing in the people around you and how that, in turn, creates a flourishing and Christ-centered community.
What’s one thing you would want to tell someone starting his or her journey at Calvin?
Don’t put yourself in a box and always be up for trying different things with different groups of people. Everyone is much more alike than I think our often engrained stereotypes want us to believe, and you can learn something valuable from each new experience you have and each new individual you encounter.
A successful path
The success of Calvin grads goes beyond job titles, salaries, graduate degrees and employers as they pursue God's call on their lives. Still, the results are clear: Calvin grads get good jobs at places like Google, Pixar, National Geographic and Boeing, earn higher mid-career salaries than grads from other private colleges in Michigan (according to Payscale.com) and attend some of the best graduate schools in the country.