Kevin Quintana (Class of ’17), University of Florida, Graduated 2021
Degree: Bachelor’s in Criminology with a Minor in Philosophy & Anthropology
Career Goals: My goal is to become an associate at a national law firm. After gaining several years of experience and knowledge in the industry, I would like to establish my own private practice.
What has been the biggest surprise about the college experience? The importance of networking and building meaningful connections throughout your career. Although it is important to be well-versed in the subjects you are studying, it is just as important to be well connected and establish a good reputation with your community. Having a circle of supportive friends and colleagues will vastly increase your chances of landing great opportunities at school and the workplace.
Most challenging coursework in college: Most of my philosophy classes were pretty challenging. These courses involved very dense readings that were often difficult to understand at first glance. All of your grades are based on lengthy essays; these essays require you to articulate and defend strong arguments. If your argumentation is not solid and your papers are not well-written, you will have a difficult time getting a good grade.
Accomplishment most proud of: During my third year, I was selected by the Bob Graham Center for Public Service to participate in their legislative internship at the Florida Legislature. During this internship, I worked alongside members of the Florida Senate and had the opportunity to network with a vast selection of politicians, lobbyists, judges, and government agencies. Some of my responsibilities included legislative research, drafting speeches and talking points for Senators to publicly present, and conducting meetings with constituents.
Can you provide any advice to our current Knights? Do not be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone. Try to challenge yourself with experiences that may be difficult or unfamiliar to you. You can run for a leadership position in student government, apply to a competitive internship, study abroad for a semester, take a course that is challenging but very rewarding, compete in intramural sports, attend a professional networking event and introduce yourself to everyone — the opportunities are endless. Do not become complacent when you are in college. Even if you are self-conscious or doubtful of your capabilities, try your best to get involved. These experiences will ultimately help you grow as an individual and help you become a better leader.
I paid for college with…: Federal Pell Grant ($5,845), FL Student Assistance Grant ($2,610), FL Medallion Scholars ($3,988), Federal Work Study ($1,694), Douglas Turner Grant ($1,000), Tallahassee Internship Program ($5,512). All of my tuition, textbooks, and a portion of my housing was covered by scholarships and grants. My family helped me pay for all other expenses.
Fondest memory from high school: I really enjoyed senior breakfast and prom. Our graduating class was able to fundraise enough money to host these events at two beautiful venues that were by the ocean. Celebrating my accomplishments alongside my close friends was very rewarding!