Event Reflection #3

I watched the “Getting Ready for Law School” Zoom recording from April 2nd at 7-8 PM on my own on May 1st, which was an Academic event. Layla Khalid, the fourth year IAer who led the meeting, discussed the process of declaring pre-Law as a freshman in undergrad through to her senior year’s application process. She then explained the details of the LSAT exam’s components; tips for letters of recommendation, personal statements, and application essays; and additional resources we would want to utilize during the process. I am going to seek a graduate degree, and am thinking about becoming pre-law, so this is useful information to keep in mind. I have attended a few law school information sessions in the past, each contributing a variety of information. I plan to go into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict but have not yet decided which avenue I want to pursue this, which affects which graduate degree I choose (Masters or JD). I may decide to work for a non-profit to negotiate peace or for a government institution from more of an official diplomatic route. I was not formerly very familiar with the details of the LSAT exam itself or the typical application process, so I was very appreciative of the breakdown Layla presented. The event relates to the topic of international affairs because the options one can pursue with a potential law degree are tremendous, from international law to immigration law, which is what Layla said she preferred.

Spring 2020 Event Reflection #1

I attended A Day in the Life of a Harvard Law Student featuring Samantha Harris, my former RA, and an IA LC member. The January 16 event in Hagerty Hall Room 180, fulfilled the Academic category, taking place from 5:30 to 6:30 PM. The video chat was casual, with her answering a handful of pre-arranged questions, and then opening up to the audience to see if we wanted to hear anything she had not yet addressed. I had been to one of her events last year about the law school application process and specifics about the LSAT. Now that she is halfway through 1L, it was great to hear a follow-up of particular aspects of the academic rigor and activities in which she participates. I considered law school temporarily, but I do not think that it is the environment for me, as I do not have any current plans of practicing law – more just using the degree for the knowledge and future application elsewhere. The talk did not change my beliefs, as I knew little about how law school operated in the first place, never mind Harvard, so it was very enlightening personally. The event relates to the topic of International Affairs because of the original inquiry and academic enrichment aspects of the IA values, as she mentioned the potential career paths many of her peers follow, from judges to partners at law firms, and the like – impacting the world around them in countless ways. If I could ask her a question after attending, I would ask if Harvard was not her dream school or she did not get in, how would she have gone about choosing which university she would commit to for law? The scholarship money, academics, location, etc.?

Event Reflection #3

I attended the Second-Year Transformational Experience Program (STEP) Expo in the the Archie M. Griffin Grand Ballroom of the Ohio Union on November 20, 2019, from 4:30-5:30 PM. I viewed five posters at the Academic event.

The first was a study abroad trip to Rwanda, studying life before, during, and after the 1990s genocide. I liked that the group also toured the country in their free time, seeing all it has to offer ~25 years later—it is so much more than just the violence! I would love to do a similar project, as I am incredibly interested in studying conflict. It relates to IA in the worldly perspective, studying other cultures and the conflicts that plague them too, not just American or Western problems.

The second was a semester-long study abroad trip to France. The presenter was a French major, so the language immersion sounded priceless for their fluency! I really appreciate those who want to make the effort to connect with those they want to better understand, living amongst them rather than about them. I would consider doing a similar kind of project, though I technically already have with my past study abroad. It does relate to IA because of the language and correlating culture focus.

The third was a summer Canadian Parliament internship. The presenter was a political science major, so real world experience inside of a national government was key into determining their passion for the field. I think it was a cool program as an idea, though I do not personally want to go into politics, so it would not be for me to do as a project. It does relate to IA because of what the position entails, engaging Canada with other countries, for better or for worse.

The fourth was a Europcar internship in Portugal. I thought the connection was so interesting, as a car rental company would not usually be someone’s first thought for business internships, but it is a business and it sounded great! I do not really enjoy economics or business, so it would not be a project that I would do, but it sounded super interesting. It connects to IA because of its international focus, operating primarily in European countries.

The fifth was a Global May Uganda study abroad trip. The presenter lived amongst locals, studying their culture and conflicts, while also participating in activities. I think Uganda is such a cool country and have always wanted to see it, and the presenter only made me want to go more! So I would consider it as a project! And the global aspect, just like with the rest, connect the presentation to IA.

Event Reflection #2

I attended “How to Teach About Islam in the Age of Islamophobia,” a Campus lecture hosted by the Center for the Study of Religion. The event took place on Thursday, October 17th, from 4 to 6 PM in the Faculty Club North Dining Room. Edward Curtis, the lecturer, is an author and a professor at Indiana University, focusing his studies on Islam and Muslims living in the United States. His talk on Thursday enlightened me on issues Muslims face in the years following the attacks on September 11th, 2001, and the implications of the aftermath. Though not Muslim himself, his love of Arabic and the culture surrounding the language in the Middle East materialized in the 1-hour talk, 30-minute question and answer session, and the following 30-minute informal chat over snacks the Faculty Club provided.
I learned the methods people have designed to have proper, respectful dialogues, specifically the inter-group dialogue model developed by the University of Michigan and appreciative inquiry by the United Religions Initiative. I thought that his statement that one must learn how to have respectful conversations about religion was interesting. He also noted the distinction between the liberal and radical narrative concerning the politics of his teaching Islam. The issues have been briefly mentioned in some of my Arabic and Arabic culture classes, but nothing this specific, so it was nice to hear someone delve into it more.
The event impacted me personally by helping me broaden my horizons, expanding my understanding of a subject I am not well-versed in. However, I thought that it was interesting that it came from, again, a non-Muslim, as he does not live that experience as a Christain at all. But at the same time, I think that these kinds of conversations should not only come from and be directed toward the group discussed. Most sitting in the room were Muslim or were required to be there for a religious studies class. I believe that a cause, in general, is stronger when supporters include those who do not identify with that group. For example, seeing men at a women’s rights march and seeing a man’s passion for gender equality gives the movement so much more validity. But since I want to work with this field, I hope that this will help me professionally, as well. I hope to work in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and understanding the stereotypes and misconceptions and how to dispel them properly is crucial to making any headway. I would love to work for the government, specifically the FBI, but I will see what the future holds for me. Though discussing Islam in America, this event still relates to the topic of International Affairs because it speaks of an originally foreign culture and the role it plays in the American melting pot.

Event Reflection #1

I went to the “Navigation Job Fairs & Landing an International Internship – A Panel” led by four International Affairs Scholars former interns on Monday, September 9, 2019, from 7-8 PM in the Glass Classroom inside of Smith-Steeb Hall. This panel was assigned to the Professional Development event category. The event shed some light on the possibilities out there for me to intern, which is something I plan on doing this summer to boost my experience, knowledge, and resume. Panelists spoke of the application process, how they discovered the program, daily activities (both at work and outside of it), and their workload and its intensity. It expanded my options, introducing me to opportunities I had not considered before. The panel relates to the topic of International Affairs because all four panelists were either abroad (and embracing the culture and dealing with the issues those countries face daily) or in the United States, with a focus on another region of the world and the correlating American foreign policy. I gained a better personal understanding of what employers will ask of me when I am their intern. Academically, I learned about how I can incorporate my internship into my studies, potentially earning college credit. Professionally, I realized how many connections Ohio State has made over the years that I can utilize in networking in my field. This panel relates to internships I heard about through my research, inside the class from professors and guest lecturers, and through communication with friends.

If I could choose any internship, I would like to participate in the FBI Honors Internship Program. I would be working in one of the Bureau’s field offices around the country, alongside current agents in a ten-week paid program. I want to work in counterterrorism, specifically within the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and so this would be right up my, and international affairs’ alleys! I am studying Arabic for this very reason, with hopes that it can help me in the future. Making connections within the intelligence community early on could only boost my chances of making my dream a reality. I aspire to assist in ending the conflict after it has plagued the region with violence and distrust for almost a century.

Spring Event Reflection #3

I attended Ohio State University’s Spring into Service on March 23, 2019, from 7:45 AM to 1:15 PM. The university centralized the sustainability-based service event at the Ohio Union, where we were bused to the Olentangy River to help an environmentalist group remove invasive species from the banks of the river. Invasive species are non-native to the area, take over, and harm the existing ecosystem by depriving animals and plants of their required nutrients. The club intends to plant non-invasive species in their place eventually. I attended Ohio State University’s Spring into Service on March 23, 2019, from 7:45 AM to 1:15 PM. The university centralized the sustainability-based service event at the Ohio Union, where we were bused to the Olentangy River to help an environmentalist group remove invasive species from the banks of the river. Invasive species are non-native to the area, take over, and harm the existing ecosystem by depriving animals and plants of their required nutrients. The club intends to plant non-invasive species in their place eventually.

Our group had no idea what we were doing that day, not told until we were at the Union, preparing to board the luxury buses filled with kids headed to other parts of Columbus. However, our small group still had a great time, and we were proud that we could see our progress made in action. I did not previously know that invasive species plagued Ohio to such an extent and appreciate the opportunity to learn about my temporary home.

I have done similar service projects in southern California, where I am from. In both cases, the humans had actually brought the plants to the location, without realizing the harm they were inflicting on the environment. Current activists are attempting to correct the previous wrong and remove the plants and replace them with either native or non-invasive, non-native ones. The members of the organization were quite passionate about the subject and told us a variety of facts about the two species we were targeting, Honeysuckle and Callery Pear. Both plants are of Asian origin, and we used loppers and handsaws to cut down the trees. A professional used a chain saw for larger trees. The trees ranged in size from resprouting seedlings to ten feet tall. We, a motivated group of six, carried off the branches to overflowing piles and stuck a small red flag in the spot we chopped. The “non-lopping” members of the organization walked around with brushes and cans of herbicide to prevent regrowth, returning the flags to the bucket to be used again by the rest of us moments later.

The event relates to the topic of international affairs by emphasizing the effects of globalization and the impact of the actions of humans on the environment. As the world continues to “shrink” through the improvements of technology, such as the Internet and methods of travel, people need to realize the extent of their activities and fix the mistakes made. Humans have altered the environment more in the last 150 years than nature has in millions of years. The planet will soon be uninhabitable for all species unless we correct those wrongs, and quickly. Even something as seemingly small as removing some plants can make a difference.

Event Reflection #2

I attended the Current Events Conversation with Sam S. on Monday, March 4, in Smith-Steeb’s Glass Classroom. The event was an Academic event. Sam created a PowerPoint, and showed us several videos, to enlighten the group on numerous subjects currently in the news. The discussion covered a wide array of topics, including providing updates on the escalating situation in Venezuela, the again growing tension between India and Pakistan, the political progress and financial implications of Brexit, and the new world record for the smallest baby, among others. When explaining what was going on, Sam also discussed the backgrounds of the subjects to give the group a more well-rounded perspective. This was exemplified when she expressed the religious significance and role played in the long-lasting problem with India and Pakistan. The event directly relates to the topic of International Affairs by focusing its attention on issues pertaining to the whole world, not just America. Several of the stories I had not yet heard about, such as the Brexit progress and updates on Venezuela, since I am so drawn to American news and it is unfortunately so easy to ignore what is occurring elsewhere. I am therefore gaining personal knowledge, which can help me professionally in my field (of intelligence on the federal level) where staying up to date on global news is pertinent in order to address the country’s stance on particular issues, such as what the proper course of action is to pick a side to each conflict. I also plan to be a World Politics minor, so understanding current world news is beneficial academically, as well. Speaking of academics, my Terror & Terrorism class relates to Monday’s discussion. We had recently studied the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and relations between the British and the Irish before, during, and after the conflict. Brexit caused us to briefly wonder how their relationship and their peace agreement could change since the borders will be forced to alter dramatically. This question will also be explored in my conflict resolution study abroad program this summer in the countries of Ireland, the United Kingdom, and Jordan. I would love to follow up on each of the subjects we talked about in the discussion in the future, with more updates!

Spring 2-19 event reflection #1

I attended Sam Harris’s event regarding law school and its application process. The incredibly insightful non-IA event took place on January 28th in the Smith 8 common area. She explained in detail the process of studying for and taking the LSAT, along with the extensive application process to law schools. I did not know much about the subject overall and was eager to learn more. I attended Sam Harris’s event regarding law school and its application process. The incredibly insightful non-IA event took place on January 28th in the Smith 8 common area. She explained in detail the process of studying for and taking the LSAT, along with the extensive application process to law schools. I did not know much about the subject overall and was eager to learn more. This event helps me academically to step back and reflect on my options for graduate school. I was not originally thinking about a professional school, but recently have begun weighing my possible choices. I was told by several people that I should look into it after telling them about my final project for my Religious Diversity in America writing class last semester. Through a podcast, I presented my research on the legality of evangelical politicians, focusing my attention on Vice President Mike Pence. I started with his upbringing and his transition away from being a Catholic Democrat to an Evangelical Christian Republican. I then looked into some of his policies and statements made as a representative of the supposedly secular government. I ended with my analysis of legal precedents that could be used to find the entire concept of evangelical politicians to be unconstitutional, as the politicians show a preference for their religion over others in the legislation they compose. Since receiving the advice, I am now considering law school, keeping the idea in the back of my head for future reference. I do know that a law degree would help me get a job in a wide variety of fields, whether consulting or working in a firm, becoming a diplomat or joining law enforcement. I know it would also help in my future field of intelligence in the United States government and America’s relationship with other nations. My dream job is working in counterterrorism with federal intelligence agencies. I want to work on the large-scale, using Arabic, which I am currently learning, and my previous knowledge of Hebrew to specialize in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Perhaps the event itself did not focus as much on international affairs, but the event could potentially get me there, working with two groups that have been incessantly clashing. I am most intrigued by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s and the Central Intelligence Agency’s programs. I am interested in studying constitutional and government law should I pursue this career. This degree would not only help increase my competitiveness when applying for the said government positions but could provide a genuinely more thorough understanding of the country’s legal stances and one’s limitations. I also want to ask Sam if she knows of any schools that excel in particular types of law, or if she believes that if the school is known for their program, it is because the entire law school is spectacular overall.

Event Reflection #3

I attended Societies Under Stress: Welfare and Penal Policies amid Rising Insecurity, a two-day conference on November 30th and December 1st at the Mershon Center for International Security Studies. I used this as my Non-IA event. I sat in on one of the sessions on the second day: Violence, Inequality, and Racialized State Failure in the Americas. Lisa L. Miller, a professor at Rutgers University, led it based on a book she wrote, with leading discusser Peter Enns from Cornell University. I was intrigued by the lecture and discussion following, which focused on gun violence in particular. The audience was composed of primarily fellow academics also speaking at the conference at some point. Some came from the Ohio State University, but the majority came from outside of the university and some from outside of the United States. Participants represented colleges including the University of Chicago, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, New York University, and the University of Southern Denmark. Miller referred to five decades-worth of data from researchers who collected from countries around the world, comparing the nations of the Americas with other continents. The group talk attempted to assess why the violence occurs and what the role the government plays in regulation over weapons based on some of this data. Unfortunately, I found that much of the conversation went over my head because I had not read the lecturer’s book nor had much familiarity with the subject from an academic perspective. Due to this, I struggled to gain much from it on an educational, personal, or professional level. However, from what I understood, it emphasizes the necessity for some form of regulation and the disparity between public opinion and senators voting records, which was something I was already vaguely aware of by following the news and gun violence in the media. I have never attended such a highly academic conference before, and the experience was quite enjoyable. I bet that if I had come more versed on the subject, I would find it to be even more pleasurable, and would have the ability to contribute to the conversation.

The event relates to the topic of International Affairs by focusing not just on America’s violence, compares America to other countries around the world. I was familiar with some of the terminologies from my Intro to Intelligence class, particularly regarding failed states, as I have been writing papers about failed states throughout the semester in that class. If I had the opportunity to speak to the lecturer, I would have liked to ask her what she believes the correlation may be between the kind of violence we were discussing, terrorism, and failed states.

Event Reflection #2

I attended the IA Mini-Involvement Fair from 5:30 PM to 7 PM on October 25th outside of Smith-Steeb Hall, a Service event. The event helped open my eyes to more personally relevant opportunities to get involved and network on campus. The exclusivity also provided more one-on-one time with the leaders of each club. The Involvement Fair at the beginning of the academic year was with the entirety of the Ohio State University student body – literally, tens of thousands of people spread out along College Road representing every club imaginable. The environment was a bit overwhelming and it was incredibly difficult to connect to club leaders. Having a chance to do it with only a few dozen students total and about a dozen clubs relevant to our learning community’s interests was a great idea.
The Fair is tied to International Affairs because it encouraged a more worldly and balanced perspective, ranging between a safe space for students to express their political beliefs and helping those in need in foreign nations. I was vaguely familiar with many of the organizations from the university-wide Involvement Fair, class presentations from club representatives, and had an understanding that the focus of the event was International Affairs related. Each club strives to make the world a better place in a different way, so attending did not change any of my beliefs or opinions on how beneficial they are to society. Both academically and professionally, I gained resources and networking opportunities by getting involved. I have the chance to see change happen firsthand and receive personal satisfaction working to improve humankind.
My major of Security and Intelligence (under the umbrella of International Studies) links to the event well. I am currently in an Intro to Intelligence class and am writing a paper on potential solutions to, what I believe will be, some of the most pressing concerns for the intelligence community over the next decade. Writing this paper provides excellent practice for me, as I aspire to enter the field of intelligence for a large federal agency, such as the CIA, FBI, or NSA. I would love to target my skills on the Arab-Israeli conflict in the Middle East, applying my soon-to-be Arabic double major and prior knowledge of Hebrew to my efforts. I want to help those around the globe, and intelligence is a route that I find to be the most up my alley. My career choice correlates to the International Affairs Scholar theme by focusing on the world around me and the United States’s place in it. After receiving my bachelor’s degree, I would like to attain a master’s, both for the interest in the subject and to boost my resumé. I am also aware that many post-graduation job offers are based on connections made through these types of clubs and their guest speakers. My previous conception that career options would be vast for this field was only solidified after attending the Fair. Other possible pathways may include diplomacy, public health, politics, law, justice, activism, among others.