The College of Humanities inaugural Young Professional Achievement Award will be presented to Autumn DiGaetano-Fedoruk, who credits her double major in Spanish and economics for opening doors to professional opportunities that she is still leveraging today.
Now working in corporate strategy for the popular meal-kit company Blue Apron, DiGaetano-Fedoruk has drawn on her humanities education at each stage of a varied career: as an internal consultant at American Express, during a two-year teaching commitment in the Bronx with Teach for America, working with Uncommon Schools to open eight new schools in New York and New Jersey, and working for an economic development organization in Peru.
“My career demands that I uncover the root cause of an issue and identify opportunities and recommendations for improvement. I believe that my humanities degree continues to be the lynchpin to a successful career,” she says. “The best thing about the humanities is that it reinforces balance and encourages us to examine and understand cultural nuance, enabling us to view the world through different lenses.”
“My passion for cross-cultural understanding, desire to learn and understand language, and the curiosity to dive deeply and broadly into topics comes directly from my humanities classes,” she says. “Humanities taught me that understanding intersectionality is crucial to being successful in the professional world.”
DiGaetano-Fedoruk serves as a resource and mentor to UA College of Humanities students. She has also agreed to advise the college going forward on how skills taught in the humanities can apply to the global workforce. As far as advice for current students, she stresses adaptability and versatility.
“We should be prepared to live and experience different pathways. We should explore and take advantage of opportunities that we have, not letting those opportunities slip away simply because we think our path should be a straight line,” she says. “I’ve consistently chosen the path that would open doors, offer opportunities to learn something new, or take me to new corners of the world. Work to learn, be curious, and enjoy the journey. It’ll take you down a more memorable path.”
This is the first time the College of Humanities has selected a Young Professional Achievement Award recipient. Established by the UA Alumni Association in 2010, the award recognizes alumni age 40 and under who have attained prominence in their field.
Building stronger connections with College of Humanities alumni is a primary focus for Dean Alain-Philippe Durand.
“Our more recent alumni in particular have entered a workforce that depends on the skills we teach in the humanities. They’ve secured jobs in any industry you can think of and are highly sought after,” Durand says. “The College of Humanities is proud to present this award to Autumn DiGaetano-Fedoruk, who is a dedicated mentor as well as an accomplished professional.”