After interning at the Center for Global Studies (CGS) for about a month now, I am finally able to reflect on my first impressions and experiences with the organization. At first glance, the internship can be daunting. On our first meeting sitting down together with all the interns and our advisor, Sarah Lyall-Combs, I was assigned the task of writing a press release for an upcoming talk at Penn State.
Naturally, I had no idea how to go about making a press release or quite honestly, what a press release even was. I instantly became anxious and proceeded to have a minor panic attack that maybe I wasn’t as qualified for the job as I thought I was. To my relief, however, Sarah is accustomed to new interns. She anticipated my concerns and showed me several examples of last year’s press releases. Together we made several drafts and the finished product even made it to the Penn State news website.
Since then I have successfully conquered a number of projects. I can now (somewhat) confidently create a press release. I have designed flyers for upcoming events, and more importantly, I have learned how to communicate with professionals. I am slowly mastering the ever-so-delicate art of corresponding formally via e-mail, and at the end of this week I will even be interviewing a professor from Columbia University.
All of these skills are those which are meant to prepare us for a professional career outside of college. I call the internship a partnership because although we are working to assist the Center for Global Studies in daily events and programming, we are simultaneously gaining experience in areas directly related to our fields of study. Sarah encourages us daily to make connections with what we do in the office to what we want to do after college.
Currently, each intern is tasked with planning and coordinating an event for Penn State’s International Education Week. We all have the liberty to relate the event directly to our studies. Personally, this is one of the most exciting assignments of the internship for me. As a Chinese major, there are very few opportunities around campus that relate to learning Chinese culture. I’m really looking forward to being able to share such an interesting and unique culture to a campus whose exposure to China is very limited.
Each day I continue to learn something new at CGS. I think I’ve collectively asked Sarah more questions in the first month of this internship than all of my classes combined, but her patience with us has yet to run out! Although it has only been a month, I have been introduced to a whole new world of community outreach and global education. I am actually planning to attend a few of the Arabic and South Asian film series film nights not out of obligation but because I want to. I’m a movie buff at heart and I think the cultural film series is one of the most interesting events that CGS has to offer.
I’m happy to say that my experiences so far with the Center for Global Studies have been completely positive. I’m eager to plan and carry out more events throughout the semester and hope to be able to report back on a new set of skills and experiences. I’m grateful to CGS for the opportunity to not only improve myself and my knowledge of global education, but also to be able to share these experiences with the rest of Penn State.