A Different Type of Experience

In my last blog I reflected on the experience I was gaining from working as an intern at the Center for Global Studies. Networking, creating press releases, and beginning to plan and carry out my own event for Penn State’s International Education Week all speak to the invaluable professional development the Center has to offer. I’ve even learned a lesson or two over territorial disputes when it came to paying my intern dues and hanging flyers around campus.

As another month passes, however, I’ve learned that I’m gaining a less obvious type of experience through my work with the Center for Global Studies. When I began my senior year this fall, I was faced with the daunting terror of still not knowing what I wanted to do with my life. Instead of monsters under our bed, senior college students most often fear L.A.D (Life After Graduation). How can you find a job if you don’t even know what interests you most?

This is where I find I owe my thanks to my internship, and why I signed up for another semester. The lectures, film-screenings, and discussions that CGS sponsors and co-sponsors around campus have become my favorite activities to participate in. Often times the speakers that we host at Penn State are highly accomplished individuals who love what they do and have worked hard to get there. To listen to their stories and backgrounds, and then witness the careers they’ve made for themselves first hand, is an opportunity that all Penn State students should take advantage of more often.

I recently interviewed Dr. Prajit Dutta of Aicon Galleries and Aicon Funds, and I was inspired by how he created a career for himself that combined art and economics in a way that didn’t compromise his interests, while still making a difference in the world. Soon after, I attended Dr. Dru Gladney’s lecture on “Globalizing China’s Uyghur Problem,” which related directly to my studies as a Chinese major. I learned I was fascinated by Dr. Gladney’s work with minorities in China and the experiences he gained throughout his lifetime abroad.

With each event I attend, I’m learning something new about myself. I’m discovering what fields I’m interested in, and learning about new career paths every day. In our lives we’re often told that jobs are cut and dry. You can be a biology major and become a doctor, or you can be an English major and become a writer. I’m learning that our careers are what we make them. While they may not know it, the Center for Global Studies is providing excellent career services for a lost student like myself, and that is a type of experience that is proving more beneficial to me than the type you can put on a resume.

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