Monthly Archives: September 2016

Bienvenue, Bienvenido, and Welcome!

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My name is Emily Bickle and I will be serving as a CGS intern this semester. As part of my internship, I will be blogging about our department, as well as my hectic life and many endeavors. I am a junior at Penn State University and I am delighted to be working with the fall semester Center for Global Studies interns. I am majoring in Global & International Studies and French & Francophone Studies as well as pursuing minors in Spanish and Business & Liberal Arts. In order to introduce myself and the expectations I have for the internship, I want to share three important characteristics I use to define myself.

First, I am adventurous and love tackling mountains, literally. Over the summer, I led a group of ten incoming Penn State Freshman in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Throughout the hike, I experienced moments when I questioned my abilities. When we reached the summit of this beast of a mountain, Mount Eisenhower, and the clouds blew out of sight  revealing the endless beauty of New Hampshire, I felt endless possibilities. In the same fashion I tackled that mountain, I plan to tackle this internship. I plan to have moments of doubt and yet continue taking step after step forward to achieve change and growth in myself and our community. I am looking forward to taking on the challenge of organizing and leading an event this semester that will encourage others to learn more about our world and then teach others about what they learned.IMG_1684

The second thing you should know about me is I value compassion. I want to devote my life to helping people. I have spent countless hours over the past five years volunteering at several places in the State College community. I want to continue this same kind of work in hopes of benefiting our shared planet. This internship will help me explore volunteering through education. I believe my work with CGS will be valuable practice for future careers where I will continue trying to educate people on different global issues and helping everyone reach their potential as global citizens. As I grow through this internship, my main goal is to teach others the role they play in contributing positively to society. My career goals, while not completely defined, are highlighted under the realm of non-profit work. I most simply put want to give back to the world and lend a hand where I can.

Lastly, I am curious about the world and I want to discover more. I am hopeful this internship will provide an outlet for me to connect to the larger world through working with guest speakers and other interns. I am looking forward to learning from their vast knowledge while sharing some of my own insight. I love a good challenge. I expect this internship to allow me to explore my curiosity within the world of global studies. The best way I can describe my curiosity is to tell a about when I was in England over the summer. I visited Stonehenge on a tour bus with 40 other students. Upon my arrival, I was intrigued and captivated instantly by the mystery of these huge rocks. My first instinct was to purchase a book and read about the theories people had created to explain these thousand year old rocks. This internship and my life in the future will be driven by the same curiosity I demonstrated on that sunny day under the rocks. I will always be asking questions, researching, engaging in conversation, and digging deeper to satiate my curious tendencies.

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Throughout this internship, I promise to be adventurous, compassionate, and curious. I have high expectations for this internship, myself, and my future career. Keep checking into the CGS blog for more information on the internship and my progress throughout the year!

 

My Letter to IRIS

Dear IRIS,

When I was introduced to you, I was frightened.  You are every new interns’ nightmare and I was no exception.  You are complex, demand details and specifics, and were thick. I pictured the days sitting and staring at you for hours with no pleasure.  However, I covered my emotions with a smile and look of gratitude when I saw you.

The first night I sat with you, I’ll be honest, it was rough, I doubted myself and kept going back to check and make sure you were perfect.  As I’ve mentioned, I am a new intern and I did not want to mess up in the first month.  After the first hour past, things miraculously began to change; I started looking at what you were saying and not that you were just oozing with words.  You were teaching me about ways to transform my major into a career, informing me about varying disciplines that work in global studies, and showing me a behind the scenes look into the Center of Global Studies.  All the professors, independent consultants, staff and students that you told me about inspired me to look at the world in a new light.  You told me about Gai Nyok, a “Lost-Boy” from Sudan who turned his past struggles into a career at the U.S. State Department as a foreign service officer, made me think about the deeper meaning of photography and how it serves as a weapon against cops, and so much more.  After hour two I was impressed with you and how your silence opened my eyes to a new world perspective.  No, you did not give me all the information, but you gave me the foundation to begin research.  That is when I became grateful to you because you were not just any old task.

Unfortunately, you were not perfect, you upset me more than once.  You told me about the number of people who came to each event that the CGS sponsored or co-sponsored last academic year.  I was immediately disappointed because the events sounded incredibly interesting and relevant.  Then, the light bulb switched on, I was one of those students who did not attend the events.  In my defense, I had no idea what the Center of Global Studies was or that it hosted events that correlated with my major until this past summer.  As an intern, this is something I would like to see change this year; promotion and awareness needs to be expanded. We need to get the word out about these events because there could be people like me interested, but unaware. 

IRIS, you are more than an International and Foreign Language Education database system that required 11 hours out of my life.  You were a lesson that taught me patience and helped me see my internship in a new light. 

Yours Truly,

Rana Mohamed

P.S. I hope the next Intern who meets you appreciates you as much as I did. 

The Start of My Journey

I have always strived to be a seeker of adventures, a learner, and a doer.  As a sophomore at Penn State, I’ve already begun to see just how quickly four years in college can go by.  I’m no longer a freshman– my timidness and intimidation by such a large university has left me.  Now, I have started to explore the countless array of options available to me at this amazing school.  When I stumbled upon the Center for Global Studies’ internship application, I was instantly intrigued and began to research the center more and more.  I quickly realized that this internship position would be an amazing opportunity that would have the potential to open doors for me down the road.

As an International Politics and African Studies major,  I have the utmost respect for foreign cultures and global identities.  I believe that through better cultural understanding and awareness, the world can change for the better.  From my studies so far, I have realized how ignorant I really was of the world, and how much still I have yet to learn.  I think one of the main reasons I was drawn to this internship opportunity was for reasons similar to those above; the center, with its goals of the innovative studies of of globalization, outreach programs, and increased awareness for global issues are all things I feel strongly about.  In our increasingly globalized world, programs like those that Center for Global Studies brings to Penn State are truly extraordinary and inevitably helpful to the future awareness and growth of the students and the region.

I interned at a Development Office this past summer, and I felt limited and held back by the amount of busy work I was required to do.  While I know that someone must do these things, and I had no issue at all with doing it in moderation, there were many days where I would do mindless work of shredding paper and scanning documents.  I felt like my skills and mind were not being utilized, which frustrated me.

I have already been thrilled with the work I have done at the center in just two or three short weeks.  Whether it be writing a press release for a renowned visiting scholar, making a poster for advertisement, or managing the center’s social media pages, I have felt challenged and involved in many aspects of the center’s work.  I am truly happy with my decision to pursue this opportunity.

With this just being the beginning of my journey with the center, I have huge hopes for the future.  I hope to take on bigger responsibilities and challenge myself, but most importantly, I hope to learn more about myself and the world that I live in during my time here.

The Start of my CGS Story

        “In every day, there are 1,440 minutes. That means we have 1,440 daily opportunities to make a positive impact,” by Lee Brown.  As a CGS intern, this is exactly what I want to do; I want to leave my mark on the world starting with Penn State. To do so, I will continue the Center’s mission of educating Penn State and the local community about globalization.  However, this was not the main reason I applied for this internship.  As a sophomore, I have no idea what I want to do after graduation and it petrifies me.  I am majoring in International Politics and Global and International Studies and that literally means a million things.  I could choose to work in one of thousands of government jobs, or one of millions of NGO’S, non-profits, and who knows what else global studies can do for me.  This is why I applied for the CGS internship; I wanted to help narrow down my post graduation plans.  Then, things changed.  As I was preparing for my interview, I read all the intern blogs and became really excited about the opportunity to put all my previous experience into one practical work environment. Not only that, but I will be interviewing professionals in fields I am interested in, blog (which I secretly love to do), work in a collaborative setting with two other interns, the Associate Director Sarah Lyall-Combs, and Mary Price along with other things.   

This is my first internship and I have a lot of expectations based on the stories I read from previous interns and what I already know about internships. 

My expectations are:

    • Gain valuable work experience to help boost my resume for future internships or careers
    • Learn more about this field and different paths I can take
    • Network with professionals in fields related to my major
    • Learn how to analytically think and solve problems in this field
    • Gain exposure to challenges of working in global studies
    • And have FUN!!!

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In the short week that I have been working for the Center, I wrote my first press release for the brown bag series.  When Sarah asked me to write it, I was naturally nervous, but I said yes because this is why I am here.  I want to learn in anyway that I can whether that be how to conduct a formal interview or write a press release.

I am confident that as the weeks go by I will be challenged in ways that will make me grow as a professional and a person.