Iris Cao was a member of the 2013-14 cohort, and later served for two years as an executive board member from 2014-16. Currently located in Arizona, she will soon be relocating to Boston. This is what she has to say about GLI’s impact:
As a graduate of the Global Leadership Initiative program at The Ohio State University, how has GLI impacted you, and what has changed for you?
GLI has been the best experience I could ever ask for in college. Professionally, through GLI, I was able to discover my passion in student development and intercultural interactions, which ultimately led me to a career path in Student Affairs in Higher Education. During my 3 years of involvement and leadership experiences within GLI, I have taken away so many valuable professional and personal skills, which continue to benefit my work daily. Personally, my interest in traveling and culture has been furthered through GLI. Being able to form deep and meaningful relationships with people of diverse backgrounds has been one of the best parts about GLI. I have grown to be more culturally curious and open-minded, which are so critical in today’s global community. Last, but not least, here’s a fun fact- I also found my husband-to-be through GLI.
What are you up to this summer and what do you plan to do in the future?
I have been working as a coordinator for student organizations after my graduate program. Luckily, my work during summer has been a lot slower because most students are on break. This is great because I was really able to take some time to reflect and strategize for ways to further enhance student engagement moving forward. Personally, my fiancé and I are relocating to Boston, MA. This means that most of my summer will be about searching for a new job and, most importantly, exploring what this amazing new city has to offer. I am beyond excited about spending my summer this way, and I believe that GLI has provided me with foundation and strength to make transitional and transformational life decisions like this one.
GLI has taught me to be brave and bold with my decisions by being open to possibilities, and believe that I will strive to bloom wherever I am planted. With this philosophy, I cannot wait to continue to do the work I love by helping to internationalize more college campuses and provide more holistic and global experiences for all students.
Best of luck, Iris, with your endeavors in Boston and beyond!
Connect with her on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/iriscao/