Alumni Profile: Tea Cimini

‘Try to dip your toes into as many different pools as possible so that you have a variety of experiences.’

 

Tea Cimini graduated from UofT in 2018 with a Specialist in Peace, Conflict and Justice and a Minor in Political Science. Now working with the World Bank’s Rome office, she credits her experience in the PCJ program with giving her the flexibility to combine her interests in European Studies and security, as well as the connections she made with her peers with vastly different courses of study.

Learn more about Tea Cimini’s time in the PCJ program and where her journey has taken her since.

Q: When did you graduate from PCJ and what other programs did you study at UofT?

A: I graduated from UofT in 2018 with a Specialist in PCJ and a Minor in Political Science.

Q: What does your day-to-day work entail?

A: I work at the World Bank and just started a new position with the office in Rome where we coordinate with other international partners. We are basically the point of contact for Rome-based United Nations agencies as well as other southern European donor countries such as Greece, Portugal, Spain, and Italy. Over the past few months, we were busy preparing for the buildup to the G20 Summit and were holding a lot of ministerial meetings. We used that as an opportunity to push some of the policy priorities that the World Bank has set for itself and have also launched a new Climate Change Action Plan.

Q: What was your favourite aspect of PCJ?

A: I love the people that I met during my time in the program. I found that it attracted people who were interested in a broad range of disciplines and wanted to pursue different careers. In the same class, you would have people who study global health, art history, and neuroscience. What was most enriching was that you were always able to find some points of intersection between these interests in the program.

Q: What influence did PCJ have on your path both at U of T and after?

A: When I was an undergraduate student, I had a lot of different interests and the flexibility of the program allowed me to take courses that supported my academic goals. In the beginning, I focused a little bit on European studies before concentrating more on security later in my studies as I was exposed to the subject matter. I was able to combine these different interests through my thesis on private military and security companies.

Q: PCJ is such a broad and interdisciplinary program. How were you able to explore your interests and find a path that suited you?

A: I think that being in the program was one of the most significant experiences that I have had at UofT because most of my friends were from PCJ and so were most of the activities that I participated in. I felt like it provided me with infinite opportunities to grow as I had the chance to take part in the Centre for the Study of the Presidency and Congress (CSPC) fellowship and PCJ Student Conference. It definitely allowed me to leave my undergraduate degree having a solid array of experiences under my belt so that when I went into my master’s studies, I focused a little bit more on external experiences that you would not be able to get through university.

Q: What is something that you wish you knew when you were in PCJ?

A: I wish I truly appreciated how important networking was. Connecting with people who you think are doing interesting work and making sure to follow up to offer your help pays off. Most of the people that I know have gotten jobs and contracts by building relationships with other professionals.

Q: Do you have any last piece of advice for current students?

A: Try to dip your toes into as many different pools as possible so that you have a variety of experiences and skills to fall back on when you come out of your undergraduate degree. These can also be the clarity that you’re looking for—and can help you decide what you like in terms of your career.


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