October 19th Assignment

I’ve been involved with my internship now for over two months. My perception of the Center has not changed, but my own outlook has expanded, as I become more aware of the opportunities for global engagement. I continue to be surprised by the number of services offered by the Center and the number of relationships that the Center maintains with elite institutions around the world. These relationships create opportunities for students to study and participate in internships all over the world. Also, some of the connections facilitate transcontinental research collaborations between professors.

International Education Week occurs in November and I’ve been busy planning some activities for it. I’m very excited about an International Jeopardy Contest that I created on Power Point. It includes five rounds of play and incorporates audio, video, and photo files; and of course, many “Daily Doubles.” My favorite category in the game is called, “Do You Dare?” With this category, contestants must act out their answers in some manner. For instance, a question may be to “Name the national dance for Argentina (tango) and give a demonstration.” The Jeopardy contest will take place in the Student Union, so for the “Do You Dare?” category; contestants will have to act out their answers in front of everyone passing through the Student Union!

I imagine all internships and jobs have their boring or routine moments. I thought mine would be filing. However, as I file, it’s given me an opportunity to review the program proposals and agreements in the files, so filing has actually provided me with an overview of all the relationships between the Center and other institutions. Also, I’ve been keeping mental notes of the programs that appeal to me for future study abroad options!

The Graphic Organizer 9/28/15

Annotated Bibliography Graphic Organizer

Bibliography: (MLA format):

“The New Global Professionals: Flexible And Forward-Thinking.” Foreign Policy 208 (2014): 2-11. MasterFILE Elite. Web. 19 Oct. 2015.

Annotation:

This article presents young professionals working in the Foreign Service and international business fields. The article highlights each individual’s education, experience, and motivation for working in these fields.

The individuals featured in the article include: Amer Barghouth, a private investment project manager at the Regional Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (RCREEE) in Cairo, Egypt; Hanna Camp, who works for the Institute for Security Studies (ISS), a pan-African think tank located in Pretoria, South Africa, Christopher Connolly who works with the Peace Corp; Anisa Kamadoli Costa who is the president of the Tiffany and Company Foundation, and Margherita Zuin, who works with the United Nations (UN) as a global affairs professional on a political mission to Somalia.

Potential Quotes:

“Be open to different opportunities, and don’t be afraid to see where your interests and passions take you, because there are many ways to achieve what you’re interested in.”          – Anisa Kamadoli Costa

“I came to see the wider picture of how conflict is related to poverty and lack of development. Many people are not just poor, but also desperate.”    – Margherita Zuin

“Living the expat life can be fun and comfortable in its own way, but it’s not the same as making a positive choice to build expertise and a real skill set.”     – Hanna Camp

Assessment:

The Foreign Policy Journal (where this article was originally featured) and foreignpolicy.com are reputable sources for information on global affairs and business. The journal is published six times annually. Foreignpolicy.com offers over twenty originally-published articles on a daily basis and more than a dozen daily blogs and columns.

Reflection:

I wanted to learn about career opportunities in Foreign Service and International Business. This article provided five profiles of real people who are emerging leaders in their fields. I will use the article for inspiration and also as a resource because the article also included a summary of master’s programs in foreign policy.

Sept. 14th: College and Scholarship Search

Sept. 14th Assignment: College and Scholarship Search

I am a big fan of using on-line tools to search for colleges and scholarships. The College Board provides a wealth of information on-line, such as SAT and AP test preparation, and college, career, and scholarship searches. Try out its helpful filtering tool to search for colleges at:

https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/college-search

I searched for universities that excel at International Business and Chinese in the southeast and mid-Atlantic regions of the United States and the search resulted in several exceptional choices, including:

Georgetown University

37th and O Streets, NW

Washington, DC 20057

www.georgetown.edu

University of Richmond

28 Westhampton Way

University of Richmond, VA 23173

www.richmond.edu

University of Virginia

P.O. Box 400160

Charlottesville, VA 22904

www.virginia.edu

The criteria that I used to evaluate colleges include: reputable rankings from business periodicals and associations, financial aid support, job placement after graduation, non-urban location, mid-size, and student feedback. National rankings by business periodicals usually include a number of factors, such as graduation rate, loan debt, and return on investment.

Both New York University and the University of Pennsylvania excel in my field of study, however, I don’t want to go to school in a big city. Although Georgetown is in an urban location, I am interested in this university because of its overall excellence and the potential for outstanding internships in the nation’s capital. Additional entrance requirements for Georgetown University and the University of Virginia include the completion of three SAT Subject Matter tests.

Of course, getting accepted by any of these prestigious universities is only the first step. Securing scholarships to help pay for college is critical. In my local area, the North Georgia Community Foundation is a central funding source for scholarships and the Kiwanis provide scholarships based on fine art, writing, and performing achievements. National scholarships include the Coca-Cola scholars and Prudential Spirit of Community.

Applying to colleges and waiting for acceptance letters and financial aid offers can be exciting and unnerving at the same time. Thankfully, on-line tools can make the process easier, especially tools from highly-regarded sources, such as the College Board.

September 8 Assignment: Time Management

Everyone has twenty-four hours in a day. How you use those hours will reveal your priorities. Establishing priorities is an important factor in managing your time to complete those tasks that are the most important to you.

I struggle with setting and sticking to my priorities. It is easy to get pulled off track by a task that has a looming deadline, even if in the scheme of things, it is not that critical to my overall priorities.

It is crucial to manage my time wisely in my career field, so that my supervisor and co-workers know they can rely on me to complete work on time. Successful time management also requires good communication skills-letting people know if priorities have changed that will impact deadlines. Sometimes priorities can conflict and the best approach is to sort it out with your boss, so that everyone agrees on what work needs to be tackled first. Clear communication can save a lot of time.

August 31 Assignment Interviews

I just read a terrific post on Tim Elmore’s “Growing Leaders” blog entitled: “Advice to a Would-be Intern”. You can access the post at: http://growingleaders.com/blog/?s=Summer+interns .

In this post, Elmore advises employers and students to treat an internship as a 12-week interview. Students need to understand that they will continue to be evaluated during the internship to determine their potential for permanent employment. Likewise, students should evaluate their work environments and decide if these are the type of situations they would like for future jobs.

In addition, Elmore says, since many interns have minimal professional experience, his firm looks for interns with the right “attitude, rather than aptitude.” The qualities that demonstrate the right attitude to him are: teachability (hungry to learn), initiative (will look for what needs to be done), responsibility (will take care of their assignments), and high energy (passionate about the company’s work).

Elmore’s post is very applicable to my mentorship. I hope at the end of the year that I will have made such a good impression and contribution, that my mentor will be willing to be a referral for me. I plan to contact my future college’s Global Studies Center for a work-study job and a positive recommendation from my mentor would help secure a position.

There are a number of actions I can take to create a good impression. First of all, I want my mentor and co-workers to know that I am reliable. I will demonstrate this by showing up to work on time and doing what I say I’m going to do (such as completing tasks by or before deadlines). Also, I want to be known for high-quality results, so I will double check my work for accuracy. And generally, I want to be viewed as someone who is easy to work with and always willing to help out.

It is a slight attitude adjustment to view an internship as an interview. What if we take that adjustment one step further and look at our jobs as continuous interviews? To stay competitive, we should always look for ways to keep improving. We might as well get in the habit now!

The Importance of Communication

Communication is key in the workplace and in life. We are now living in the digital age, so our way of communicating informally has gradually changed, becoming more text-like in nature. People are prone to shout out abbreviations such as: lol, tbh, etc. And when discussing topics with friends, there is absolutely no need to be formal. Slang is acceptable and one does not need to form complete sentences. However, if one is talking with family (especially an elder) or an employer in this manner, one would likely be given a piece of soap to suck on or (on a more serious note) lose a job opportunity.
Expectations form the way we talk. To communicate effectively, one must talk in a way that coincides with the listener’s expectations. In the workplace, an employer would expect concise, polite, and professional communication. While at home, the expectations are different. One still should maintain a polite form of speech; however there is no pressure to be professional or concise (as that may be considered stand-offish).
In my mentorship, I have maintained a polite and respectful persona. I am still new and, as expected, listening is very important. It’s also important to ask questions to clarify. Right now, I am planning events for International Education Week. I will be relying on my communication skills to email, interview, and call prospective presenters.

“Getting Ready for Your Mentorship” Article Summary 8/20/15

I just read this amazing article on internships by Juliette McDonald entitled, “Making the Most of Your Internship or Co-op”. McDonald discusses the dos and don’ts of the mentoring relationship.
Here are some tips to make a good first impression: be responsible, show up on time, and observe your job environment (to learn what other employees wear, how to address superiors, interactions between co-workers, etc.)
In addition, demonstrate you are a professional by: being enthusiastic, immersing yourself in the industry, reading training manuals, taking initiative, networking with people at all levels in your organization, and building your career portfolio (collect projects, presentations, or other documents that would be pertinent to a future job).
Remember to conclude your internship on a positive note! This includes: personally thanking your mentor for the experience, finishing all projects, leaving contact information (for future job opportunities), returning any company property, and mailing a formal thank you letter to your mentor.

JD Russo’s Talk and Personal Statement 8/13/15

The following is in reference to JD Russo’s talk:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zarli7__Su8     and how his message applies to our upcoming mentorship.

This mentorship is an amazing opportunity. It allows us to experience what our future jobs may be like and how we may impact our community. This is our time to explore the job market and discover our potential roles in it. Russo raised an excellent point when he said that awareness is not enough. As we gain new skills through these mentorships, we must not waste them. I believe that this mentorship will give me the power to make a difference in my community.

Personal Statement: My goal is to encourage international communication and exchange. I will find adventure in the everyday and art in the ordinary to promote cross-cultural understanding. This will be accomplished through insane curiosity, savage creativity, and colossal compassion!

First Steps

This coming year, I’ll be participating in a mentorship program through a local university’s global studies center. The Center manages study abroad programs, international events, and coordinates foreign student and professor visits to the campus. It is also responsible for the Federal Service Language Academy, Military International Programs, International Internships, and International Partnerships. I find it fascinating that such a small college is able to connect with areas from all over the world!

The Center’s mission is to engage with the world to benefit the university’s students, professors, and local community. I also want to engage with the world, as I plan to major in international business and minor in foreign languages.

From this mentorship, I hope to increase my knowledge about study abroad/internship programs and meet international students. I am also excited to gain professional experience so that I may work at a similar job in the future.

Now, the first priority for me is to get off on the right foot! I will start with an introductory email to the Center’s Associate Director this week and attend a staff meeting next week. Should I bring muffins to the meeting or would baguettes be better?

I’m looking forward to learning more about cross-cultural business etiquette!