Monthly Archives: February 2016

Organized Chaos

Well, the semester began and once it started it continued to barrel like a runaway snowball. Each week the Center for Global Studies has taken on a new task. Interns, graduate assistants, and advisors alike have all kept themselves busy with World Stories Alive, the Brown Bag Series, and even beginning some research on new opportunities for CGS (to be revealed next semester!) After officially making it halfway through my final semester here at Penn State (and almost to Senior year Spring break), I’ve taken away some very valuable lessons.

Lesson 1: Communication, communication, and more communication. This has been our ultimate downfall this semester. Between coordinating our busy schedules and a multitude of various communication channels including Facebook, Groupme, e-mail, and text, our organizational skills have been lacking luster to say the least. That being said, we’re learning from the mistakes. Excel will your best friend if you let it, and sometimes you just need to call an emergency all hands on deck meeting. Let’s face it, the easiest way to get things done is by handling it in person.

Lesson 2: GO TO THE EVENTS. I cannot stress this enough. You can’t judge a book by its cover and you can’t judge an event by its title. Last month, in a pinch to write an article for our monthly newsletter, I attended a talk on religious freedom and its impact on a global and local scale. While this isn’t usually a topic that would have me setting my alarm at 9am to go to, I found myself sincerely engaged and interested in the implications of Dr. Finke’s research. I left the lecture wondering why more people haven’t taken an interest in these topics. Which leads me to my last lesson.

Lesson 3: Publicize. The Center for Global Studies offers so many enriching events, conferences, and opportunities to attend, but we can only educate the people who show up. We’re working on finding more creative ways to get the word out to the public (a process that has been greatly facilitated by the presence of our new marketing intern, Lauren). Whether it’s by flyers, social media, or mass e-mails, publicizing our events will always be one of the most important factors in successfully promoting global education.

With two more months to go I hope to finish out the internship on a strong note. I hope these lessons learned through CGS continue to make me a more well-rounded and educated student. I’ve come to learn so much about global studies, and plan to gain as much experience as I can in my remaining weeks here.

New Semester, New Goals

Spring semester has arrived and with it has emerged a whirlwind of new events and projects! As the year continues to progress, I find that my internship with the Center for Global Studies has shifted towards new goals and different expectations. Where before I was focused on events around campus that aimed at educating students in a diverse array of international topics, now I’ve moved towards learning how to educate the community.

Our outreach spreads to many public corners outside of the college, including k-12 schools and the local library. Probably the biggest impact we make through CGS is our sponsored World Stories Alive program. Each Saturday we volunteer to educate children of the community on different languages and cultures. To me this is one of the most important events we hold.

Pennsylvania does not have the type of global opportunities that states like California are so commonly known for. It’s important to inform children at an early age that our world extends beyond the reaches of what we can see. Through World Stories Alive we can promote an understanding of diversity while teaching the children valuable skills and the basics of new languages.

I hope that this program continues on and can be successful with the help of the determined people from the Center for Global Studies. Throughout the rest of the semester I plan to further develop my skills as a promoter of international studies. There are many events that are waiting to be attended, especially my particular favorite, the Brown Bag Series! I love being able to see the work that graduate students dedicate their studies to, and it’s encouraging to see the process of research.

I encourage every one out there to get involved in one way or another. Our events are always open to the community and you never know what you can learn. I look forward to what the semester has to offer for myself and for CGS. To be continued PSU…

Semester Expectations

This is the first semester I am doing an internship with The Center for Global Studies at Penn State.  So far already within the first month, I have been a part of attending and/or organizing many enriching events. I’ve created flyers, worked with presenters, participated in the World Stories Alive event held at Schlow library with children and their parents, and also contributed to our monthly newsletter.

I think the most rewarding thing of all is that I started running my own club concerning Chinese Mythology and Folklore at YSCP charter school for children in Kindergarten through second grade.  I held my first club meeting last week and I taught the children about a traditional Chinese New Year legend. The kids were a lot to handle, but they have vast imaginations and an admirable willingness to learn and share. I am really looking forward to spending time with them throughout the rest of the semester.

Because I want to teach English to children in China after I graduate this semester, working with these kids will be extremely beneficial and a wonderful learning experience for me. I am grateful to the Global Studies program for creating these events and giving their interns a great deal of opportunity to get involved and gain more exposure in our respective fields.

Additionally, I am planning to organize an Asian Language day for all of the students learning Asian languages offered at Penn State. It is an opportunity for everyone to get together, share cultures and language, sing songs, and build a deeper connection and understanding with countries outside of their focus.

With my experiences as a Global Studies intern, I aspire to gain more skills in communication, time management, networking, and event planning and organization skills. I hope to keep doing more events like this throughout the semester and I can’t wait to see what the future of the Global Studies program holds.

Learning the Ropes

Although I’ve only been working here for two weeks, I feel as though I’ve already gained a lot of career experience. When I said I loved adapting and challenging myself to new situations on my resume, it is clear to me how useful those qualities I have are impacting this internship.

I have had to already do an array of different things this semester, from press releases to organizing a newsletter. Because I am new to the field of public relations, this has all been very challenging for me. However, despite the challenges, I can honestly say that I have really enjoyed the work I have been doing, especially seeing the final products we create.

The hardest challenge I had to date was the Call for Papers flyer. It was challenging because there was a lot of necessary information that needed to go onto the flyer and I had a hard time weighing “visual appeal” and “not being too busy.”

I wanted the flyer to be aesthetically pleasing so I spent a long time finding an image I thought was interesting and professional. When I had thought I found the perfect image, I immediately went into action making it fit into the flyer. However, trial after trial, the image could not seem to work with the amount of content the flyer needed. The image was large and had too many components to fit with the style of the flyer. It became a flyer that was too overwhelming for someone to read.

Eventually, Sarah decided to take a different approach and try an image that was less distracting. The image conveyed the message of interconnectedness like mine did however, it did not take away from the content. In addition to the new image, the grey and black textboxes were taken out. These textboxes made the flyer look busier than it already was. By taking them out, even with the new image, the flyer looked cleaner and more professional.

The second and third additions to the flyer included changes to the font and adding a resource to the image. The reason for adding the resource is obvious: so the image wasn’t illegally copy written. However, the reason for the text change is a little less obvious. It was done was so that the flyer could have more visual appeal and allow the readers eye to be more inclined to look at different words on the poster.

The flyers purpose was to make people read it. With a flyer that had an image that was too distracting, too many dark colored boxes, and hard to read text, no one would read it. The current flyer looks clean, professional, and visually appealing. There is nothing distracting the text so the viewer is more likely to read it. In the future, I think I will not get so attached to an idea and not be afraid to try something new. When Sarah said the flyer was too distracting from the content, I should’ve immediately rethought the idea of the image and the flyer as a whole instead of trying to fix something that was obviously not going to get less “busy.” On future projects, I will set my own ideas aside and take advice better to create more professional content.

Even though the flyer was challenging, I enjoyed the process of working out the problems and trying to improve it. Other things in the internship have however gone more smoothly. The newsletter I organized was executed very well so I was happy to be reassured I had good organization and communication abilities. Even though the task had been described as “very tedious” to me, the other interns were relieved to hear I actually liked putting it together. Although this internship has been challenging so far, I love a good challenge and will continue to work my hardest to improve myself. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for this semester and see how much I grow as a professional.

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