Growing up abroad shaped my interest in Global Affairs and has ultimately led me down the path of International Development. At a young age, I was exposed to life outside of the United States and I knew I was destined to build a career in the global arena. When I started my program at George Mason University, I was uncertain of my ultimate career focus, but as I fulfilled more of my required courses, I found myself gaining interest in International Development, which eventually became my concentration within my Global Affairs BA. Toward the end of my time in the program, I decided to add a secondary, regional concentration in Africa, both as an homage to my heritage and as a compass for my career. As I approach the end of my academic journey at Mason, I am grateful for the opportunities the GLOA program has provided me.
My college experience helped me grow in more ways than I can count. For the first five semesters of college, I studied abroad at the Mason Korea campus. There, I learned invaluable leadership, communication, and career skills. Working alongside classmates from different nationalities and cultural backgrounds directly reflected what I was being taught in the classroom on multiple occasions. During the onset of COVID-19, I was offered a position as a Writing and Communications Tutor at Mason Korea’s Academic Resource Center where I was exposed to writing from different disciplines and faced the added challenge of providing virtual tutoring. Additionally, my involvement in Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) gave me the opportunity to develop technical skills that would provide useful in my future internship.
I was able to apply my experience at a global, multicultural institution to my internship at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. When I returned to the Fairfax campus in the Fall of 2021, I immediately began searching for internships. It took over two semesters for me to secure one, so my advice to students is to start looking early and leverage your resources. When I received the offer for the Council, I was elated. My work as a Digital and Public Programs intern exposed me to the inner workings of a think tank. Not only have I applied the knowledge acquired in my concentration courses, but I have also provided insight as a young Global Affairs professional, something I did not expect to do so early on in my career. I have learned how to interpret global events and create effective campaigns for public engagement. Most importantly, my internship and coursework are continuously informing each other. My advice for anyone applying for internships is to keep going while maximizing the resources Mason provides. You never know when the perfect opportunity will arise. Global Affairs is such a diverse field, and an internship can help you find your niche.
December 22, 2022