Category: Graduate Profiles 2024, News, Students

Title: As Her SFS Journey Ends, Andrea Nucete Alvarado (SFS’24) Prepares for Her Next Chapter on the Hilltop at MSFS

Author: Isabel Shepherd
Date Published: April 22, 2024

Graduating senior Andrea Nucete Alvarado (SFS’24), from San Cristóbal, Venezuela, has used her international economics major and minor in international development to understand the role of the private sector in driving international development and social change around the world. “From learning Swahili in real time while working in Tanzania to delving into the rich history of Cairo, my journey has been one of profound growth and discovery,” Nucete says.

Finding a Path

Nucete’s discovery of international economics profoundly shaped her Georgetown experience by helping her put her goals of engaging with the private sector to make change in motion. “When I arrived at Georgetown, I was certain about my passion for international affairs but uncertain about which specific path to pursue. I embraced the opportunity to explore various classes across disciplines, and it was during my introductory economics courses that I had a revelation,” she remembers. “These classes illuminated the intricate interconnectedness between the global economy and world affairs, showcasing how they profoundly impact everyone’s lives.”

Around the World With Georgetown

Nucete and classmates enjoyed a safari in Tanzania’s Mikumi National Park at the end of their study abroad program.

Along with her classes on the Hilltop, Nucete made the most of study abroad options, completing programs in Strasbourg, France; Cairo, Egypt; Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; and Livingstone, Zambia. Completing field research in Zambia for a study on environmental factors shaping migration in medieval Central Africa, Nucete was moved by her welcome from locals in a rural village in Zambia. “What truly made this experience unforgettable was the warm embrace of the local community and the opportunity to immerse myself in their way of life and traditions,” she says.

As part of Professor Rochelle Davis’ Centennial Lab, Cultural Heritage in the Arab World, Nucete explored conflicts over cultural heritage and its role in state and civil society, culminating in a trip to Cairo, Egypt over spring break. “This class stood out for its exceptional diversity among students, fostering a stimulating environment and rich conversations surrounding cultural heritage,” she says. “Delving into the history of Egypt alongside related concepts, the course offered a unique blend of academic exploration and practical experience.” Nucete combined the course’s subject matter with her own academic focus, studying how cultural heritage can spur community development and strengthen local economies.

Nucete in the field surveying potential sites for future digging in rural Zambia with other researchers.

For Nucete, this emphasis on a hands-on approach to education was fundamental to her personal growth and distinguishes Georgetown. “From immersive study abroad programs and internships to research opportunities and community engagement initiatives, Georgetown provides students with the tools and resources to apply theoretical knowledge to real-world issues,” she says. “This experiential learning approach not only enhances students’ understanding of complex global challenges but also equips them with the skills and confidence needed to make meaningful contributions to society upon graduation.”

A Vibrant Community

Nucete at the 96th annual Diplomatic Ball at the International Spy Museum.

Outside of classes, the SFS community has also been a vital part of shaping Nucete’s undergraduate experience. Nucete has made connections with her peers as a volunteer and treasurer of Georgetown’s chapter of the Food Recovery Network and as a member of the Georgetown Scholars Program.  “What I believe I will miss most is the vibrant, diverse, and passionate community that characterizes Georgetown and the School of Foreign Service,” she says. “It’s not just the students but also the professors who contribute to this stimulating atmosphere. Being surrounded by individuals who are not only experts in their fields but also deeply passionate about their work is truly inspiring. The opportunity to learn from such dedicated individuals who genuinely want to impart knowledge and foster growth is something I will always cherish and undoubtedly miss as I move forward in my academic and professional journey.”

Sticking to the Hilltop

Nucete at the Tidal Basin.

Graduation won’t mark the end of Nucete’s Georgetown experience—in the fall, she will continue to build her knowledge in international affairs and global development by pursuing a master of science in foreign service (MSFS) at SFS. 

As she takes this next step, Nucete’s sense of her purpose is clearer than ever. “I hope to steer businesses in the right direction to drive social and economic development as well as doing so sustainably, protecting the environment. The SFS has been fundamental to this realization, shaping my understanding of the intricate relationship between economics, development, and sustainability,” she affirms. “Returning to Georgetown signifies not just a continuation of my academic journey but also a testament to my personal growth and commitment to making a meaningful impact on the world.”