This past year I had the opportunity to be part of the Center for Global Studies team. During this year I had the privilege to attend events related to sustainability, ethical leadership and global studies. I even attended events on topics I didn’t even know I was going to find interesting, like most of the CGS Brownbag Series, where I was able to listen to research from graduate students and renowned scholars.
The CGS did not only give me the opportunity to be part of a great team that works to support global research in the university, and to be on the audience for all the interesting events that they sponsor, but it also gave me the opportunity to make my own events.
During my first semester I was able to organize a talk for International Education Week about Venezuela’s current political situation. This gave me the opportunity to educate Penn State students on what is currently going on in my country, which despite being a relevant topic does not receive enough coverage from the American media.
This semester I had the opportunity to present as a Brownbag speaker on my research. My research was focused on expatriates and what can U.S. multinational companies do to get the most of the people they send to perform such international assignments. Not only was I able to share my research, which is something I am very passionate about, but also I was also able to practice my public speaking and even received feedback from the audience regarding some extra topics I could cover on my final research paper.
An opportunity that also took me to places I wouldn’t have gone otherwise was World Stories Alive. I was in charge or organizing the whole series, find the speakers, do the publicity and manage the interns so that they could help me put the whole series together. In this process I met people from all over the world (Kazakhstan, Japan, China, Rumania, etc.) Not only did I meet these people but also I was also able to listen their languages, learn typical music and poems from those countries.
Finally I learned people management skills. This was the first opportunity I have ever had when I am not the youngest in the workplace, or the intern. This time I had interns to manage. At the beginning it was hard, because I wanted to be their friend but at the same time you have to draw the line and make sure you are giving the precise tasks and remind them if they are not meeting deadlines. I was lucky to have great and collaborative interns both semesters, but it was still challenging to learn how to be a supervisor.
Overall I am infinitely grateful for this opportunity, I met wonderful people, learned about infinite topics related to sustainability and ethical leadership; and culturally and professionally, this experience definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone and made me grow and enhanced my professional skills, preparing me to enter the workforce.