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Alexa Sheldon

Position and company: Associate, Privacy, Security, and Online Safety, PUBLIC Group Intl
Country of work: United Kingdom
Degree Attained at UCLA: BS in Environmental Science, Minor in Conservation Biology
Graduation Year: 2018
How did the coursework and research you did while a student at UCLA prepare you for an international career?
My professors integrated global issues into curriculum and encouraged open discussion, fostering respect for diverse perspectives. During my semester abroad in South Africa, I engaged in forums, listening to varied viewpoints and self-reflecting. Collaboration with local communities was encouraged and crucial to my research in Cameroon. These skills resonate in my career, emphasizing the interconnectedness of global issues and valuing cross-cultural collaboration for holistic problem-solving.
Can you speak a little bit about your career and how it has progressed since graduating from UCLA?
During my UCLA senior year practicum project with the Congo Basin Institute, I researched the role of technology in driving global sustainability and development initiatives. As I began my early career in Costa Rica and Washington D.C., I continued exploring this intersection of technology and society and became interested in how these tools are governed. This passion led me to a career in technology policy, advising UK policymakers on online safety initiatives with national and global impact.
What do you think are the most important components of educating students to be culturally competent global citizens, no matter their major?
Fostering open cross-disciplinary discussions cultivates culturally competent global citizens. Where peer learning is founded on mutual respect, and students can debate topics beyond the curriculum. To build culturally aware problem solvers, provide and encourage hands-on learning opportunities outside the classroom through volunteering locally or studying abroad. I believe through these efforts, students will lead with empathy, mutual respect, and integrity, shaping them to be global citizens.
Are you involved in any international UCLA alumni groups or support networks?
Since graduation, I have stayed engaged in supporting the student research initiatives at UCLA’s research institute, the Congo Basin Institute in Cameroon. Additionally, upon moving to the UK, I have engaged in events and the mentorship program with the UC UK Trust and Alumni group. It has been great staying in touch with the UCLA community and meeting other alumni based in the UK.

As a land grant institution, the International Institute at UCLA acknowledges the Gabrielino/Tongva peoples as the traditional land caretakers of Tovaangar (Los Angeles basin, Southern Channel Islands).

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