In school, we learn about all this terminology and how “in theory” it will apply to the real world or our futures. But who actually knows what we will use and what we will not? I think that actually have discussions with people in different fields is so great because it is our chance to figure out just a taste of a new career option, a different major, or see someone successful in a field of interest and actually learn some tips of the trade. So, it was really neat when IES set up a panel workshop specifically catered to our favorite potential majors. I went to the panel centered around politics, economics, law, and NGO’s with a particular interest in the politics and NGO speakers.
I have always had an interest in education, since I was little I wanted to be a teacher just like my mom. The dream has always been to go teach in developing companies with an organization like the Peace Corp. This is why I interned with the Fulbright, to see if maybe I wanted to work in a different side of education, a more administrative side with more of a focus on politics or NGO’s. Working on this flipside to teaching has been so interesting, and I was fascinated to see what these successful, young people working in NGO’s and politics had to say. Their types of careers have always held interest for me that I toyed with as a possible career in addition to education. The panelists did not disappoint. They work fascinating jobs in unique fields like Cancer Research Fundraiser and Senior Advisor in the Department for Exiting the European Union (Brexit).
What was so cool to me about these people was that they were in our shoes less than 10 years ago. They are all young, successful people who understand exactly what we are looking for in a panel because not long ago they were us. Plus, they had a lot to say about both their fields and some tips of the trade. They spoke to us at length about confidence: go out on a limb and ask supervisors what you want to know or how to get experience in a specific field of interest. Of course, it is reassuring to hear from them that networking pays off, always keep building your resume and skillset, and you do not know what you have to do with your life right this very second. For example, Michael Reda, an economist, started off teaching in Ecuador after university. Teaching English in a developing country is a bit different than his current occupation, being an economist for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. But it is as he told us, “what you want to do will come to you somehow”. So, in his case it was an epiphany in Ecuador, but another speaker, Will Savage, knew from the get-go what he wanted.
My time in London has been full of some unique opportunities to network and speak with extremely professional and successful young men and women in this country. This panel event was just another very nice way to solidify everything we have been learning throughout the summer.