Fall Career and Internship Fair

On Wednesday, September 17th, I went to the Fall Career and Internship Fair in the Ohio Union to fulfill my Professional Development requirement. Before I attended the fair, I worked on and added to my resume and did some research on who I wanted to talk to while I was there. Firstly, I looked at Applied Optimization, a business located in Fairborne that works with space technology. I was interested primarily in computer science internships that they offered. I also looked at the NSA and CIA and the vast number of opportunities they offered, and I was excited to see that both of my majors would fit into the potential internships. Lastly, I looked into Immuta, which is a software company that allows people to get secure data. With all of these companies in mind, I felt confident to talk to the people at the fair.

On Wednesday, I budgeted my time between classes to head over to the Union. I was most interested in talking to the CIA, mostly because it fit into what I wanted to work on in the future– cyber security. I was able to talk to a representative at the booth, who told me about the internships I could get as an undergraduate. Internships with the CIA are a semester long and require full-time work in Washington D.C. The internship positions are highly competitive, with the summer semester being the most competitive. There are positions for almost every major, and I could definitely find a position that would appeal to me. The representative recommended that I apply for a business-centered internship, as many of the positions within this department are looking for people with Computer and Information Science experience. After learning more about this potential opportunity, I definitely became more interested in applying for an internship there in the future. Although I certainly wanted to talk to other employers, I actually ended up staying at the CIA booth for a while and ran out of time to explore other companies.

This event can certainly tie back to international affairs, as the bulk of the work that is done at the CIA is internationally focused. Being able to learn more about the inner workings about the US’ global intelligence agency gave me more insight to how our national government operates. Hopefully I will be able to have the experience in national security with the CIA sometime during my undergraduate years, and gain further insight into international issues and politics. 

 

Student Wellness Presentation

On August 27th I attended the Student Wellness Center Presentation to fulfill my Academic requirement. As a college student, I feel as though many aspects of my health and well-being are overlooked, especially when school, work, and extracurriculars take up a large part of my time. I wanted to attend this event in order to learn what ways I could improve myself and find balance within my life. 

The presentation began with an overview of the many services and programs the Student Wellness Center offers– which ranges from alcohol and drug prevention groups to nutritional coaching. One resource that I found particularly interesting was The Body Project, which aims to help students practice self-acceptance of their bodies and focuses on body-positivity. I was previously unaware of this service until the presentation, and as someone who relates to this topic, I was glad to find out that there was an on-campus organization that was helping students with these issues. 

The main focus of the presentation was on the nine dimensions of wellness and how these different dimensions are all interconnected. Some of these dimensions were rather surprising– for example, creative wellness was one of the dimensions. Creative wellness meant appreciating the world around you, expressing yourself, and synthesizing multiple perspectives surrounding a topic. The presenter also mentioned that usually when you put all your energy to only a few of these dimensions of wellness, the other forms of wellness are often lacking. For example, as college students we put a lot of energy into intellectual wellness; however, this often affects us in financial, emotional, or physical wellness. It showed just how difficult it was to truly succeed in all forms of wellness, and how closely interwoven these different dimensions are.

At the end of the presentation, we were asked to talk about our own wellness and where we feel we were lacking. We then created goals to improve upon our wellness in a specific dimension. I personally chose career wellness, and my goal was to get an internship at the Language Lab at COSI next semester. I left with a greater knowledge of what I should work to improve in my own life, as well as a list of resources that could help me improve.

Although it doesn’t seem completely obvious how a discussion of wellness could relate to international affairs, I believe that having a better understanding of a person’s needs allows us to better understand those around the world. All countries in the world have people who are lacking in health and wellness– in many different kinds of dimensions. Having the ability to understand these kinds of troubles and allows us to better help these people. Goal setting is also an important ability to have in all aspects of life. Internationally, it can help us create and enact certain global initiatives, or take part in such initiatives. Working on our own wellness allows us to be better individuals, and only then can we better the wellness of the world.

Women in Conservation

On May 8th I attended the Women in Conservation Event held in the Union to fulfill my non-IA requirement. This event focused on the contributions and successes of women in the field of environmental science across the nation and globe, as well as the steps young women today can take to become a part of the movement. There were three main speakers during the event. Firstly, there was Michelle DePass, whose main accomplishments are working in the EPA during the Obama administration, helping with international environmental treaty negotiations, and creating the Office of International and Tribal Affairs. She talked about the intersection between social justice and environmental science, and how there cannot be true freedom within any country if the environment is not at the forefront of our public policy and discussion. She also mentioned how her spark to become an activist began when she learned that her home country of Jamaica had been badly contaminated with garbage, and she sought to restore it. The second speaker was Frances Beinecke, who is the former president of the Natural Resource Defense Council. During her time as the president of the NRDC, she helped in making a staff in China to create stronger environmental policy within the country. She was also appointed by President Obama to help with the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. She talked about how collaborative efforts led by women have been extremely successful in beginning and sustaining environmental efforts, and discussed many modern influential women such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her Green New Deal, Greta Thunberg, who is combating climate change in her home country of Sweden, and many others. The third woman who spoke was Heather Taylor-Miesle, who is located in Ohio. She works for the Ohio Environmental Council and has twenty years of experience in advocating for environmental change through working with large companies on becoming more sustainable and holding key positions in the NRDC and on Capitol Hill. She led much of the discussion between the three of them and asked the advice of both Michelle DePass and Frances Beinecke. Many common themes during the evening centered around a need for young people to become involved in environmental and sustainability initiatives, and how the unique mindset and skills of women often lead to a very open and collaborative environment that allows for a great deal of change within the community. DePass especially urged environmentally-driven people to begin their work in the government, so they can understand the processes needed to get initiatives working in communities and gain expertise in their respective field. As a woman myself, it was inspiring to see the passion and determination these female leaders had for their work, and how they had used their strengths to aid in something much larger than themselves. It was also incredible to learn all of the small ways I can impact and advocate for the environment, and what steps I could take to become a strong female leader in an often male-dominated world.

Volunteering at Taste of OSU

On Friday, February 15th I volunteered for an hour and a half at Taste of OSU in the Ohio Union. I used this event to fulfill my service requirement. I was a part of the green team, so I helped make sure that everything was clean around the dining areas. I also helped direct some of the food booth workers to where they should deposit the tickets they had earned throughout the evening, and I helped direct the people attending events to the places where tickets were sold. My shift was near the end of the event so I also aided in the final clean up of the area. It was nice to know that my work helped Taste of OSU run more smoothly, and it was interesting to walk around and observe some of the different booths set up for the countries.

Although the work I did does not relate directly to international affairs, I was still able to learn about the event and watch some of the different performances. Before my shift began, I went to a couple stations and tried some of the foods, and I was able to view some of the dancing performances going on. Many of the dance performances I saw were Korean pop groups, although I also saw an all-male Indian group and a traditional Chinese group.

Overall, I had a great time at Taste of OSU and I was glad to help out with the event. I hope I will have the chance to attend the next couple of years.

German Night

On Thursday, January 31st, I attended an informational at the German House to fulfill my academic requirement. Kate Greer, a fellow IA Scholar, gave a presentation about German history, politics, and a brief overview of ways to go abroad to Germany. I found the presentation interesting, since I had only had a true of understanding of German history from the year 1871. However, Kate described history dating back way before the year of German unification, going through the Holy Roman Empire years, the Reformation, the French Revolution and Napoleon, until reaching Otto von Bismarck’s leadership.

Kate also gave an overview of 20th century Germany. She spoke about WWI and its consequences for the country, leading to hyperinflation and heavy reparations. Post-WWI, other countries tried to quell the power of Germany, which had been a common theme throughout the country’s history. However, these setbacks for Germany sparked the second World War, which is naturally one of the most important events to happen in modern history. While the recounting of history was certainly intriguing, what I found perhaps more fascinating was how the country’s history continued to affect its modern society. Kate explained how some of her German friends were baffled by common American holidays and occurrences, like soldiers marching for a parade or the displaying of American flags. In Germany, this kind of blatant patriotism is almost unheard of, and this based directly on the country’s past actions.

Yet, there are still parties gaining traction in Germany that challenge this modern society. The AfD, for example, is the third-largest party in the country, and it holds far-right views. The party is often described as “nationalistic”, “xenophobic”, and in some aspects comparable to neo-Nazism. I have studied the AfD and other German political parties in many of my past classes, and I find it interesting that such a party is on the rise in a country like Germany.

Kate concluded her presentation with opportunities in Germany, including study abroad and internships. As a German minor interested in working abroad in Germany someday, I found these resources incredibly helpful. I thought the CBYX program sounded fascinating, and I will definitely be looking into it and many of the other opportunities for my future.

While I have learned the history, politics, and nuances of the country of Germany many times before, I thoroughly enjoyed Kate’s presentation. Besides giving a holistic view of the country, I could tell just how passionate Kate was about everything she presented. I have not yet visited Germany yet, and already I have fallen in love with the language and culture. However, Kate showed me how much more I could come to love this place, and how I can use my knowledge in a practical manner. I am looking forward to many more years of learning about Germany and its vast history and culture.

Zoo Lights

On November 16th I went to the Columbus Zoo and donated canned goods to fulfill my service requirement. We gave cans to the Mid Ohio Food Bank, an organization dedicated to giving food to the hungry. According to their website, they give out around 155,000 meals per day to people in need, and last year they provided 70 million pounds of food. Their priorities are to make sure that the food they give out is affordable and nutritious, so to provide maximum benefit for the recipients.

While donations account for some of the food the Mid Ohio Food Bank receives, they also work with other organizations such as the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and food manufacturers. Their partners allow them access to food that is nutritional and can be given to families in need. The Mid Ohio Food Bank also created their own initiative, called the Urban Farms of Central Ohio, in which they create urban farms in unused or vacant places. Besides giving more access to food, this initiative also allows communities to work together on a project.

For the Zoo Lights donation truck, the Mid Ohio Food Bank partnered with Kroger. They also work with Kroger to provide a Kroger Community Food Pantry. This is run by volunteers who work to help families pick out food items in the pantry, work at the help desk, and help to stock grocery items. I actually visited one of these pantries back in high school. They gave us a tour of the warehouse, where they store all of the food. We helped to package and stock items. They also showed us how they help people pick out certain food items and how they help people make healthier choices. Each person or family gets a certain amount of items based on how many people are in their family, and on special occasions such as birthdays people get an extra dessert. The people who get items from the pantry also receive a paper when they walk in telling them exactly what sort of items they can choose and how many items they can choose. The woman who led the tour said that going to a food pantry, especially for the first time, can be extremely emotional for some people. She talked about one couple who had just fallen below the poverty line, and the first time they came into the pantry the wife started crying. Yet, she said she saw this same couple months later in a Kroger, and they had gotten themselves out of poverty. They thanked her for all she had done for them and were incredibly grateful that she had helped them in their time of need.

Although I didn’t truly volunteer at the Mid Ohio Food Bank, I’m glad to know that my donation will be helping families and providing sustenance for those in need.

Peace Corps

On Monday October 22nd I attended the Peace Corps Informational Session in Hagerty Hall to fulfill my non-IA requirement. I’ve been interested in joining the Peace Corps or some equivalent for much of my high school career; in fact, I remember trying to convince my parents to let me volunteer abroad instead of attending college. As a linguistics major, I’ve always been interested in teaching English and working with other languages. I was very excited to learn, then, that our presenter, Laura Joseph, actually volunteered as a language teacher in Benin, West Africa. She told us that language teachers are the most sought-after volunteer work for the Peace Corps, and there are many opportunities available for language teachers. As she described her own experience in her small town, I tried to picture myself in her shoes. Could I put in all the work and effort needed to help a community? Would I feel isolated from others? Would I be willing to open myself up to the people around me and truly try to understand their culture? While I’m not sure I have the answers to these questions yet, it was interesting to delve into her recollection of her experience. She truly abided by the principle that the Peace Corps is “the toughest job you’ll ever love”.

I’ve always been interested in working and volunteering abroad, but I was never sure what the next step would be after such an experience and how I would adjust back to a “normal” life. Luckily, the Peace Corps provides aid for veterans (or PCVs), such as money to use when you return, student loan deferment, and programs that help PCVs get into graduate school or a job. One benefit of Peace Corps that especially stood out to me was the ability to gain my TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) Certificate after completing my volunteering abroad. I have looked into becoming a teacher and perhaps working as an ESL teacher in other countries as a possible profession. Also, gaining such a certificate would allow me to be more competitive for graduate schools and in the job market.

Of course, the main reason I would love to become a part of the Peace Corps is to serve others. I would gain many post-volunteering perks, but more importantly I would enhance the lives of others around me and become more open to new experiences. I am still continuing to look more into the Peace Corps and plan to apply after I graduate from Ohio State.

Stepping Stones into the World

On September 4th I attended the Study Abroad Expo at the Ohio Union to fulfill my academic requirement. As a prospective German minor, I was interested in the German language study abroad programs, especially the Dresden Summer Language Program. The Dresden Program would allow me to complete my minor and enhance my knowledge of the German language, and I would gain a cultural immersion that is unattainable here in the U.S. I also hope to move to Germany after I graduate college and work abroad, and this experience would be a perfect introduction into the German lifestyle. Ideally I would love to spend an entire summer abroad, but the Dresden Program lasts eight weeks. However, eight weeks is still a substantial amount of time to learn about contemporary daily life in Germany and hone my language skills.

Although I was initially drawn to the German language study abroad programs, I ended up at the Peace Corps booth. I have always enjoyed volunteering and helping others, and volunteering abroad has always interested me. The woman I spoke with had worked as an English teacher through the Peace Corps, and she told me that most volunteers work as teachers or help with projects in the community. As a linguistics major, working as a language teacher piqued my interest, as I would no doubt gain invaluable knowledge about language within the context of a culture. This opportunity would not only improve my academic abilities, but it would improve my entire character. I would learn to be more selfless, hardworking, and accepting than I am now, which would enrich not only my own life but also those surrounding me. The minimum commitment for the Peace Corps is two years, and while that is certainly a daunting amount of time, I can only imagine the amount of projects and goals I can accomplish while becoming a part of a community. Learning about the Peace Corps opened my eyes to all the ways I can serve the world, and perhaps sparked a new interest in me for my life past college.

Overall, I discovered new paths and directions for my future. I know that none of these opportunities would be possible without my education here at Ohio State. The International Affairs Scholars course has helped me to identify the multiple identities, crises, and cultures around the world, and the insight I gain in class could be applied to any of these programs. My goal is to understand the beliefs and cultures of those around me, and I hope these programs serve as a stepping stone into exploring and enriching the lives of others.

Year in Review

[ “Year in Review”  is where you should reflect on the past year and show how you have evolved as a person and as a student.  You may want to focus on your growth in a particular area (as a leader, scholar, researcher, etc.) or you may want to talk about your overall experience over the past year.  For more guidance on using your ePortfolio, including questions and prompts that will help you get started, please visit the Honors & Scholars ePortfolio course in Carmen. To get answers to specific questions, please email eportfolio@osu.edu. Delete these instructions and add your own post.]

G.O.A.L.S.

[ “G.O.A.L.S.” is a place where students write about how their planned, current, and future activities may fit into the Honors & Scholars G.O.A.L.S.: Global Awareness, Original Inquiry, Academic Enrichment, Leadership Development, and Service Engagement. For more guidance on using your ePortfolio, including questions and prompts that will help you get started, please visit the Honors & Scholars ePortfolio course in Carmen. To get answers to specific questions, please email eportfolio@osu.edu. Delete these instructions and add your own post.

  • Global Awareness: Students cultivate and develop their appreciation for diversity and each individual’s unique differences. For example, consider course work, study abroad, involvement in cultural organizations or activities, etc.
  • Original Inquiry: Honors & Scholars students understand the research process by engaging in experiences ranging from in-class scholarly endeavors to creative inquiry projects to independent experiences with top researchers across campus and in the global community. For example, consider research, creative productions or performances, advanced course work, etc.
  • Academic Enrichment: Honors & Scholars students pursue academic excellence through rigorous curricular experiences beyond the university norm both in and out of the classroom.
  • Leadership Development: Honors & Scholars students develop leadership skills that can be demonstrated in the classroom, in the community, in their co-curricular activities, and in their future roles in society.
  • Service Engagement: Honors & Scholars students commit to service to the community.]