Graduating from Lehigh University was an exciting time in my life. I couldn’t wait to move past the dorm rooms, final exams and group projects and begin my journey as a young professional. By August, I was off to England to work as a teacher for youth girls lacrosse at a school outside of London. I was ecstatic to take an opportunity where I could go abroad for the first time in my life and continue to play and teach a sport that shaped a majority of my youth and college days. My experience in England was eye opening, but when it was all said and done, I came back to the U.S. a little lost as to what to do next.
When I took my first internship in publishing, I hoped to gain on-the-job training and valuable experience to put on my resume. A job offer was in the back of my mind. Even though I wanted to improve my prospects of employment in the future, the opportunity to gain skills was my main motivation. But for me (and all interns), these benefits are not a given; you only get as much out of an internship as you put in. To that end, here are five tips for how to maximize an internship you might pursue. Learn your industry. As a novice, the burden is on you to educate yourself in your field. As a working writer, I read everything from trade magazines to websites and blogs relating to issues about newspapers, publishers, the literary community, etc. (everything related to my field). It makes me more confident in my work to [...]
When I decided to first go abroad, I was 17 years old and entering my freshman year of college. I walked right over to the student activities fair on the quad at Syracuse University and picked up two study abroad pamphlets from the table: Florence and London. The idea of leaving the U.S. for the first time and traveling the land across the pond was so exciting and imminent on that first day of classes. Fast forward to junior year, and I never made it to that study abroad experience. I stayed on campus to become a resident advisor, and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Although the idea to travel never left my mind as friends went off to have their adventures. Like many college graduates, I left campus and moved on and into New York City for my first job working at a talent [...]
America’s students today face tremendous financial challenges across the board when it comes to their education. Yet, the opportunities to go abroad are still there for the taking, despite financial constraints. I’ve always believed that true learning comes from the global classroom that is the world around us, not just within the walls of a classroom. The nearly half-dozen international programs in which I participated during college convinced me that only through first-hand experiences could I truly understand the world’s challenges. Through programs in Germany, Italy, Greece and Guatemala, my time abroad guided me toward the perfect major (international studies), exposed me to the tremendous challenges of marginalized groups, helped me develop skills to carry out ethnographic research, and reminded me that some of the greatest teachers on Earth are the people we meet on the street.
I want you to ask yourself a question. What does it mean to you to have a college degree? Some may say that it means they will have a better job or that they will be making more money. Others simply go because it was what was expected of them. Maybe to even attend the same school their elders did to keep with traditions. But genuinely, deep down, what will having a college degree mean for you and your life? Having a college degree does not guarantee a job, nor good pay. Especially not in this day and age, during which applicants are removing their well-deserved master’s degrees from their resumes to obtain entry-level positions. If this is what the economic downfall of the decade has in store, what is really the value? The truth is, I am writing an essay for a college course, and I came across an [...]
That’s right, I’m back for one more installment of the Teach For America series—first we took a look at the overall organization and all sides of the related controversy. Next, I talked to a former TFA teacher to get her take on her experience working for the organization. Now I’d like to share the perspective of Molly Burke, who studied sociology and education at Occidental College, where she also earned her MA in teaching.
In order to gain insight into the Teach For America debate, I talked with a friend who worked as a TFA teacher in a Los Angeles middle school for two years.
Teach For America is an extremely popular program with soon-to-be college grads. So what makes it so controversial?
Three weeks ago my cousin and uncle from Chicago came to visit my family in Los Angeles. Yet, this was no ordinary, visit. They were on a mission to check out five Southern California colleges in five days. That’s doable, I thought to myself. Each night, I would ask my cousin what he thought about the school he visited that day. During one conversation, he shared that his tour guide opened up the tour by stating that there are “dreamers and doers” and that on this particular campus, students who identified themselves as “doers” thrived. The next night, he shared how the tour guide began his tour by boasting to all prospective students that last year’s senior class entered jobs where the average starting salary was around $70K. While I am unsure if my cousin has any remote idea what he see himself doing five years from now, his observations made [...]
The ankle butterfly. A Chinese symbol (which may or may not mean what you think it means). Everybody’s favorite barfly bulls-eye: the tramp stamp. You know you’ve thought about it. You’re 18, you’re out of the house and now that a tattoo is a legal option, it seems like a good one. That’s college. The world is laid out before you, waiting to be claimed. Surrounded by optimism, idealism and freedom, it’s easy to feel invincible. It’s a time when we begin making plans for the rest of our lives to define who we are and where we want to go. But the paradox of the college experience is that we are expected to know who we want to be before we really know. Society gives us the impression that at this age we should know, so we often convince ourselves that we do. We make choices that later on, [...]