"Thriving in my dream job today.”

  • Monday, Aug 8, 2016

Although Kate (Schneider) Melendres ’04 received her B.S. in Psychology more than ten years ago, she credits the opportunities she enjoyed here for making it possible to reach great heights (so far!) in her professional life.

What I’m doing now:

“I am a Trial Attorney in the Criminal Division at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. I review federal wiretap requests, provide guidance to federal prosecutors and agencies, and provide recommendations to Departmental officials regarding the approval of wiretap requests. I also served 17 months as a special federal prosecutor in San Diego, California.”

How I decided on my major:

“I had been interested in both law and psychology since middle school, so majoring in Psychology was a natural choice for me. During my junior year I made the decision to seek an “individualized” minor in legal studies after taking a Business Law course. The course reignited my love of the law and I was fortunate to be able to take advantage of the unique courses relating to law. I have always been more interested in criminal law and federal public service, so a career with the Dept. of Justice is a dream job for me.”

How the College influenced my path:

“The working relationships I fostered with many of my professors, particularly those in the Psychology Department, really helped develop the skills needed to succeed both at law school, and in a professional environment. One of the primary reasons I chose to attend Edgewood College, as opposed to a larger university, is that I felt more personalized interaction with one’s professors is crucial in a person’s success later on—and that proved to be true for me. Also, I was able to intern at the Wisconsin State Capitol which provided critical “real world” experience outside of the classroom.”

How a liberal arts education has influenced my outlook:

“Edgewood College offers many unique opportunities that I did not find when looking at other universities and colleges. Specifically, the course I took, “Cuba in Transition,” was transformative in the way I viewed and responded to various international issues. It provided hands-on experience in the form of traveling to Cuba and interacting with the Cuban people, including healthcare workers and children. Also, gaining firsthand knowledge of their daily lives and struggles, while at the same time witnessing their happiness with what little they had, was quite eye-opening. It truly changed my perspective on that particular country, an experience that is transferable to humanitarian issues arising every day.”

Making the most of your experience:

“Take advantage of the variety of unique courses that are offered. Even if a course is not something in which you are normally interested, you may unexpectedly find your true calling. And if nothing else, you will have gained a more well-rounded educational (and worldly) experience. The opportunities available to me during my years at Edgewood College are truly the basis for me thriving in my dream job today.”