Monique Callender ’18 & G’21

Major in Psychology, MA in Global Communications

What first brought you to AUP? 

I didn't apply to any other universities. When I found out about AUP, I just knew it was where I had to be. At the time, I was studying at Santa Monica College in California. I wasn't planning on leaving California to continue my education, but as soon as the idea of AUP entered my mind, I couldn't shake it. AUP was nothing like I expected it to be – it defies expectations. I believe I have become a more interesting and understanding person thanks to my travels with the Cultural Program and my experiences with other students.  

How have your career aspirations evolved since then? 

I came to AUP thinking that I was going to become a therapist. My time at AUP encouraged me to explore parts of myself I hadn’t ever allowed myself to explore. The creative nonfiction class as an undergrad, and later the digital media writing class as a graduate student, encouraged me to be more serious about my writing. Enrolling in the MAGC program opened my eyes to a career in communications. Now I’m doing a copywriting internship at Deezer, a French online music streaming service, and living a life that the Monique from four years ago could never have imagined. 

What is your most enduring memory of your time at AUP? 

The most enduring memory for me is the feeling of community. During my time as an undergraduate, I was involved in the Student Senate, I was a student advisor, and I nearly always showed up to events. After I graduated in 2018, I thought I was going to live in Morocco but that only lasted about four months. I came back to Paris with little to nothing and not sure of my next steps. AUP welcomed me back as a graduate student, and the people I knew who were still there, students and faculty, helped me reestablish my life in Paris. I think the most beautiful part of AUP is that it’s a safe space to be who you are.