Alumni Tale: Jenn Barrett ’13

What are some of your strongest memories of UNH?

I really loved the UNH community. I have fond memories of watching hockey games, skating with the freestyle figure skating club and apple picking with the society of women engineers. I remember Professor Cook telling us we could do whatever we wanted with a Civil Engineering degree, and I really took that to heart. I also had a great time studying abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland and doing an internship through the Washington Center in Washington, DC. Having the opportunity to travel to China and learn about international business was definitely the highlight of the one-year MBA program.

How do you feel your time at UNH has had an impact on where you are today?

UNH helped me to grow both personally and professionally. Having grown up in Connecticut, I did not know anyone when I first started, but reflecting on UNH now, I still think of it as home, a place where I could be myself. As a civil engineering undergrad, I learned a lot about problem solving, writing technically, and of course, working hard. These skills that have helped me throughout my career and now, more than ever, in law school. Law school is all about identifying problems and applying the law to find the solution. Having a background in technical writing has helped me write concise legal documents. I have relied on my MBA skills often as well, most notably team work, organizational behaviors, and accounting.

Tell us about your career path to date… what have been some career milestones in your life?

My career has not been a straight line, but each step has brought growth and led me to where I am now. I started off as an Accessibility Specialist for Steven Winter Associates. I really enjoyed helping developers and architects understand the Americans with Disabilities Act and loved the feeling that I was making a difference for people with disabilities. In 2016 I moved to the west coast to be closer to extended family and worked in the construction industry for Project Management Advisors and then Williams Sonoma. At the same time as I was changing jobs, however, I became extremely ill from Lyme disease. Dealing with the illness was bad enough, I was unable to sleep, was constantly dizzy, and had trouble thinking straight due to brain fog, but the lack of knowledge about the illness, denial of treatment by doctors, and lack of coverage from insurance made my life extremely challenging. Luckily, I eventually found the help I needed, but I realized there were many other people who were not as lucky. That’s when I decided to apply for law school, so I could help others going through similar problems with the medical and insurance industry. I had been thinking about attending law school since my time at UNH, but was always too hesitant to make the jump. My illness gave me new motivation, direction, and determination. I am now a second year law student at Seattle University School of Law. I could not be more happy and excited about the future.