Author Archives: Bridget T Adduce

My Final Post

As my internship slowly comes to an end, I can honestly say I’m sad to have to go. I have gained so many enriching experiences through lectures, movies, presentations, and good ol’ fashioned hard work. I will miss eating my salami and cheese sandwich during the Brown Bag Series every Wednesday, and (believe it or not) I will miss waking up early on Saturday mornings to attend World Stories Alive. Throughout the course of one short year I have become a well-rounded “young professional” complete with a whole new set of valuable skills (feel free to read about said skills in my CGS Story or previous blogs). Most of all, I will miss the staff.

Our advisor, Sarah Lyall-Combs, is the person who taught me the majority of these skills. She has sat patiently with every intern as we went through multiple drafts of newsletters, and tried desperately (and failed) many times to coordinate all of our schedules, but she also taught us how to do all of these things on our own. For the first time in my college career, I don’t feel afraid of the “real world” that all seniors talk about and dread because I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to learn the necessary skills to succeed.

I want to thank the Center for Global Studies for giving me the confidence I need to start the next journey of my career. I especially would like to thank Mary Price, who has given genuine support to all of us as we cope with the daily struggle of being a college student. To Lauren, Kayla, and Loredana, I wish you all the best of luck as you continue to work towards your dream careers. I’m looking forward to seeing how my fellow strong, independent female interns move on to make a difference. Whatever my own future has to hold for me, I can only hope that it treats me as well as the Center for Global Studies has treated me this past year.

My favorite picture from my year with CGS

My favorite picture from my year with CGS

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…

Conquering Mount Everest

As the semester comes to an end I’m finally able to take a step back, take a breath, and reflect on the battlefield behind me. In 3 ½ short months I’ve accomplished more in developing myself than I have in the past couple of years. The Center of Global Studies has helped me to achieve this goal.

I’ve already spoken on press releases, newsletters, weekly events, and flyers. Now it’s time to discuss the end goal. As a sort of “final project” for the internship, each intern and graduate assistant was tasked with planning, coordinating, and managing our very own global studies event on campus. The project is meant to put into practice the accumulation of skills we’ve gained throughout the semester.

For my event I chose to screen the movie, Young and Restless in China, a documentary that follows the lives of 9 young men and women in China as they learn to live in a rapidly changing economy and society. I created a press release and flyer for the event, and even spoke with a few teachers to ask them to incentivize their students to go. The end result was magical: there wasn’t an empty seat or dry eye in the room!…Just kidding. Only 6 people showed up.

Although some people might count that as a loss, I’m personally very happy with the results. The event was a valuable learning experience and it taught me how to successfully plan for the future. I now know that planning an event a few days after Thanksgiving break and two weeks before finals isn’t the most ideal time. I also know that the event should be promoted earlier so students have time to fit it into their schedules. When it comes time to plan my next event, I’ll be ready for the challenges. Now I can say I have the experience under my belt.

This is the way we learn. We try and we succeed or we try and we fail. Either way it’s the process that counts.

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.

Beginning My Partnership with CGS

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.