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Fernanda Rubi
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Fernanda Rubi

Graduation year: 2024

High school: Colegio Teresiano

Hometown: Managua, Nicaragua

Majors: Political science; multimedia journalism and mass communication; communication studies

Campus activities: Political Science Student Advisory Council, academic coach, Chi Omega Gamma sorority

Internships: Latin American News Digest news reporter; WVIK NPR Quad Cities Station news reporter; EMA government affairs and communications intern; Vera French communication and fund development intern

Post-grad plans: Work in communication and government affairs in D.C.!

Why Augustana?

When I was applying to Augie, Liz Nino, the executive director of international enrollment, was helpful at every step of the process. She was very supportive, and I could tell she wanted what was best for me. It made me think: if every person at Augie is like this, then I want to spend the next four years of my life surrounded by supportive individuals who will uplift me as I find and work toward my goals.

Are you where you thought you'd be when you first came to campus?

Yes and no! I always hoped college would shape me into a qualified professional and transform my understanding of the world and myself. But I did not know what that would look like. I know high-school Fernanda would be proud to know that I was able to dream so high and turn those thoughts into goals, plans and achievements.

Who helped you get to where you are now?

So many people. Faculty, especially Dr. Magalhães. He helped me find internships and scholarships, and connect me with alumni or others who could help me. He always reminded me that I am capable of doing anything I set my mind to. He is my political science advisor, and ever since I met him my freshman year, he has only wanted me to succeed!

Individuals in my sorority, Chi Omega Gamma, helped me find myself and my voice when I was a freshman, and they all have held my hand every step of the way. My friends and roommates who have been with me through my happiest and hardest days, and have always reminded me of my worth.

Despite the distance, my family has always been there for me. They have not only pushed me to always do my best, but also reminded me that my 'best' looks different every day, and that it is important to take some time to reflect on how far I have come. 

Most importantly, I have done my best, but God has done the rest.

Peak experience?

Spending the summer after my junior year interning in Washington, D.C., as part of the TFAs program, which gave me a full scholarship that covered my housing. I had the opportunity to gain real-world experience, learn about possible career paths and connect with government officials, professionals and young leaders. I attended meetings at Capitol Hill with legislative staff, met several representatives and navigated the city almost like a local!

What surprised you?

The amount of resources available at Augustana. During my sophomore year, I participated in a research project in Sweden for two weeks with Dr. Magalhães and another student-turned-into-friend. The Wallenberg Faculty Grant for Scandinavian Studies covered all expenses; I never imagined I would have the chance to conduct research in Europe without worrying about the financial burden.

How did you use your Augie Choice?

I used it to study abroad in Brazil!

What will you miss the most?

I am going to miss coming to the Brew and instantly seeing familiar faces, especially seeing a sea of red (my sorority colors), my best friends and saying hi to my boss of four years, Jill.

Advice for the Class of 2028?

It’s easy to get overwhelmed or stressed out about classes or the future, rather than noticing the great friends, memories and opportunities standing right in front of you. Remember to look back at how far you've come, and how proud your past self would be of you.

"Fernanda was one the best research assistants I’ve had in my 20-plus years at Augustana. Fernanda showed from the very beginning her ability to contribute as a genuine partner in the research we conducted in Sweden. She is inquisitive, thorough, shows initiative and has a knack for grasping difficult concepts very quickly. She excelled at analyzing our research results creatively and was a superb problem-solver. Fernanda is truly an intellectual rockstar."

– Dr. Mariano Magalhães, professor, political science