Erin Hulme '06 says she always visualized herself moving to D.C. "Whether it was to do with international relations, politics, or international business, D.C. has it all," she says.
Hulme (pronounced "Hume") has found her niche, for now, working for the United Nations Foundation. She helps develop partnerships for the foundation with corporations and nongovernmental organizations to create solutions for problem areas.
"It's getting people with resources to assist those who have none," she says. One such organization is Nothing But Nets, which raises money to prevent malaria by sending bed nets to children in Africa.
A native of Cottonwood, Arizona, Hulme "looked all over the country" for a college. "I wanted an urban campus where I could get real-world experience," she explains. Also, one with solid history and language departments, and a school that would allow her to study abroad (which she did, in Italy). "I picked Portland State."
A 3.9 GPA graduate, she was a student ambassador for three years, serving as coordinator in her senior year, and received the President's Outstanding University Service Award in 2006.
A history major, with emphasis on 20th-century American diplomacy, Hulme's knowledge of German and Italian gave her "a really good base of knowledge I can use anywhere," Hulme says.
Hulme loves living in the capital. She rooms with a friend she describes as her "best friend since we were babies," also from Cottonwood. On Saturday nights she tends bar at an Irish pub, just for fun. Washington is a city of neighborhoods, she says, and in hers, storekeepers and gas station attendants know her by name.
On the other hand, "People are very intense here. I'm really a West Coast girl. I always thought I was high-strung, but found I am laid back" by comparison.
Hulme eventually plans to go to grad school, but where "depends on whether I want to stay on the East Coast."
By Cliff Collins