Aliyah Quereshi, SFS’19, International History

Aliyah Quereshi

Aliyah Quereshi
Brookfield, Wisconsin
SFS Class of 2019
Major: IHIS – International History


Why did you choose to apply to the SFS at Georgetown?

I applied to the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown because I have always viewed myself as a global citizen, responsible to the world. I wanted to study international relations in Washington, D.C. where the professors had field or government experience, and I could find relevant opportunities. I aim to approach my studies with humility and an open mind – I didn’t know how much the Jesuit identity of Georgetown would support this mentality until I got here.

Why did you choose your major? What are you focusing on within IHIS?

I appreciate the importance of historical research and contextualization, particularly regarding my concentration. My concentration on post-WWI international institutions was inspired by my fascination with the United Nations.

I am also pursuing a Women’s and Gender Studies certificate; an intersectional lens has helped me refine my IHIS interests, and encouraged me to reflect on my positionality as an aspiring historian.

AQWhich Proseminar did you take freshman year? What has been your favorite class within your major so far?

I took African Women in Film and Literature with Professor Lahra Smith. The course introduced me to research methods in the SFS and the interdisciplinary course sparked my academic curiosity. I also have kept in contact with Professor Smith for academic and professional advice! My favorite class within my major is Researching Alliances with Professor Kelly McFarland. The course focuses on the intersection of historical and political science research. I am thrilled to conduct research, as a recent goal of mine is to get published academically in the next year.

Have you studied abroad? How will this experience fit into your interests and requirements within your major? 

I worked abroad in Jakarta, Indonesia at the Asian Muslim Action Network. While studying religious and historical contexts, I interviewed grassroots female leaders on promoting peace in their communities. The experience showed me possible career paths with international non-governmental organizations and their coordination with communities and governments. While studying history, I find the experience critical to ground theory in practice, and show how I may apply history to field work.

AQWhat organizations or activities are you involved in on campus? What makes these activities meaningful to you?

During my Georgetown experience, I have been a sister in Delta Phi Epsilon Professional Foreign Service Sorority, as well as Georgetown University’s Hoyas For She Student Movement and the UNICEF-Georgetown International Development Conference. Serving in leadership positions, I have been able to connect my passion for uplifting my communities with a global perspective. I have also participated in student activism through Students for Climate Security and served as a Copy Assistant for The Hoya. I have explored different parts of my identity with the South Asian Society and Muslim Students Association communities.

What are your future career goals and aspirations, and how does your major fit into your plans for the future?

My dream job would be to influence policy to advocate for human rights internationally. Whether at the United Nations or an international non-governmental organization, I would like to play an active role in these processes.

What advice do you have for current or future BSFS students trying to determine their major?

If you enjoy studying history, definitely join International History! The flexibility in concentration helps you explore your academic curiosity and allows you to connect with professors more easily based on your interests. You should also talk with the deans of the majors you are considering – they welcome the discussion, and it helps sort through your passions.