Meet Timmy Arnold, a junior political science major at DePaul originally from Bloomington-Normal, Ill. Arnold is a student employee in the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, but is also involved in a number of other activities at DePaul. Arnold sat down and chatted with us recently—read on to learn more about this DePaul junior.
Q. You’re from Bloomington-Normal. Why did you choose to come to DePaul, when Illinois State University is right there?
A. I didn’t want the traditional college experience that you might get at a big state school. Instead, I opted to immerse myself in the city. This pushed me out of my comfort zone and opened me up to countless professional, social and personal opportunities.
Q. Tell us about some of the opportunities that you’ve taken advantage of.
A. I’m involved in Varsity Mock Trial Team (compete as a plaintiff attorney and a defense witness), I’m a Queer Peers mentor, and I am an event management intern at the Honeycomb Project.
Mock Trial has vastly improved my critical thinking skills. The fake court cases are designed to be full of loop-holes and technicalities that really keep the ‘attorneys’ on our feet. I am constantly forced to make up witness examinations “on the fly” and take stances on complicated legal issues within a matter of moments. All in all, the program has helped me gain greater confidence in public speaking that seamlessly transfers over into many of my other pursuits.
I became a Queer Peers mentor in April 2016. Each mentor is paired up with one mentee to work with throughout the quarter. It is immensely important to me to give back to the LGBTQ community. I was fortunate to have a stable support system while coming out, but sadly, many others do not. I joined this organization to lend a helping hand to individuals facing situations that I have personally encountered, hopefully providing some new insight for them.
The Honeycomb Project is a Chicago-based non-profit that provides opportunities for families to engage in community service in the Chicago area together, in order to raise informed, compassionate citizens. When I came across the Honeycomb Project position, I had already done a few political internships and wanted to try something different. My mother taught me the importance of giving back from a young age, so working for a non-profit like Honeycomb seemed to be a great fit. Also, I wanted to expand my skillset by looking into the responsibilities of a professional event planner. My work with this group has made me completely reconsider my professional goals and civic duties.
Q. What do you like most about your DePaul experience so far?
A. I sincerely appreciate the inclusivity fostered by DePaul’s students and faculty. The wide array of clubs and activities appeals to the full spectrum of DePaul’s population. There is truly something for everyone to be passionate about on campus.
Q. What has it been like to work in the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs?
A. Working in the Office for the VP of Student Affairs has been the most rewarding professional experience of my life. I have acquired countless life skills, improved my communication abilities, gotten a better sense of how the University operates in “the-big-picture,” and made great friends with the staff-professionals in the office. Every staff member truly cares how I am doing as a student and goes above and beyond to set me up for future success.
Q. What are your plans after you graduate?
A. After graduating, I plan to go to graduate school for a master’s degree in Foreign Affairs. I will then take the Foreign Service Officer Test (FSOT) and hopefully join the State Department as a Foreign Service Officer located anywhere around the world.
Q. Tell us three interesting things about yourself
A. I once broke my arm while coloring with crayons, I have been to Spain, and I was in Wrigleyville when the Cubs won the World Series.
Q. Wait. You broke your arm coloring?
A. Yes. When I was 4 years old, I was intensely focused on coloring a picture. As I moved toward coloring the edge of the page, my whole body moved with me (but the chair didn’t), I fell off my chair, landed awkwardly and broke my arm.
Ah. So not actually during the act of coloring—that makes sense. Thanks for taking the time to talk to us, Timmy. Best of luck to you as you finish up your time and DePaul, and good luck with the FSOT!