2017 W&M Graduation Series: Abigail Barnes

Abigail Barnes ’17 is one of several William & Mary seniors who will be featured in our scholarships series leading up to Commencement.

Hometown: Springfield, Va.

Major: International relations, French and francophone studies, Russian

What type of impact do you want to make on the world and how do you plan to do it?

I want to help solve problems to improve the lives of vulnerable populations, like children, in the future. I plan to use my professional skills and resources to build the capacity of human capital for a mission-driven organization working with orphans and at-risk children so that they can better allocate resources and achieve their goals.

What are your plans for the future, or in your career?

I plan to become a human resources recruiter or human capital consultant.

What skills have you gained while attending W&M, and/or, how has William & Mary prepared you for the future?

William & Mary has given me language skills, writing skills, a broader perspective of the world and a work ethic. I have learned how to have big dreams and how to work hard to achieve them. I have developed a passion for making change happen and believing that it can happen.

Looking back, what is the best thing you will take with you from your experience at William & Mary? (A favorite memory or tradition, times with your closest friends, your favorite professors, or life lessons, etc.)

The best thing I will take from my time at William & Mary is the chance to intern and take classes through W&M's D.C. semester program and spending time with close friends. I was able to intern at the Department of State working on researching effective human resources management in international organizations and developing skills I hope to draw on in my future career. Additionally, I met some of my best friends and four-year roommate at William & Mary!

How did scholarships impact your William & Mary experience?

Having a scholarship at William & Mary helped me not have to worry about taking on jobs in addition to schoolwork just to keep funding my degree here. My scholarship alleviated pressure on my family and allowed me to explore fields that I would not have otherwise had time to explore.

How has a scholarship changed your trajectory in life? Would you have come to W&M without a scholarship?

I would not have been able to attend William & Mary without the generous help of scholarships. I am grateful for having had the opportunity to expand my perspective and meet so many driven, compassionate people here. My experience has fueled my trajectory toward a career in human capital.

Please add a note of thanks to scholarship donors in general, or add a message to other potential donors who are thinking about supporting scholarships?

Thank you for your contribution to improving the experience of a student at William & Mary. My experience at William & Mary may not have been possible without the generous gift of a scholarship. Your help will truly contribute to giving a student a broader perspective of the world to meet challenging problems in society.