My CGS story has been a long one of one and a half years with the Center. Totaling three semesters of work it would seem like I should have the routine down and be a pro at the work, but that is one thing that makes CGS so unique. I don’t know if in my time working there I have ever done the same task twice, or if I have, never more than that. It is a work that is constantly changing and always something new.
It has been a great experience of professional as well as leadership development for me. Because there are so many unique tasks, the CGS takes up a bulk of my resume. Since I have been able to work on so many different projects this does make it hard to describe what I do on a daily basis during interviews, but I am very thankful for the fact that I feel I can tailor those experiences to almost any field if I wanted to. It has been very interesting to see the behind the scenes work in academia. One of the biggest things that I have learned while at the Center is that communication is the key to making things run smoothly. It was apparent that when things went awry, communication was lacking. It was also a good lesson on communicating with a diverse group of individuals because, for the most part, interns were changing by semester and we would be in contact with professors and guest speakers from other countries, add in the communication with children under the age of 9 and that is a lot of different techniques used. I definitely feel comfortable writing “experience working with a diverse group” on my resume!
Another great thing I got from my time at CGS was some sort of direction in where I want to go in my future career. Before interning I did not really know what I wanted to do with my International Politics degree. I got to see so many different options and talk to so many different people that I began to see what I would like to do or not do at all. I also learned about so many options that I did not even know existed beforehand. Two of my favorite
experiences with CGS were getting to interview people with unique experiences, one was a career counselor for the School of International Affairs and the other was a visiting professor from China. Their insight and advice was so helpful and it was great to be able to get face time with them. From this experience, I have realized that I really enjoy working with kids and that am interested in how schools are run. I am now looking into non-profit organizations that work with education policy.
I am glad that I have been able to learn so much from the many different people that I have worked with during my time here and I will certainly take what I absorbed with me. I can only hope to find a position in the future that is as flexible and always evolving. I re-read some of my blogs and reflections from my first semester at CGS and I titled one of my last ones, Full Circle. It defines my time at CGS perfectly after going from intern, to lead intern, back to intern and doing World Stories Alive! twice and after-school clubs three times. I am glad to have gotten this valuable experience while at the university that I love and it is definitely a memorable one. I am going to miss all the people I got to work with throughout this process and I have made lasting bonds with fellow interns. I feel that I have gained mentors in Sarah Lyall-Combs, Molly Appel, and Matthew Hoffman and they are always willing to offer advice or just recount what their experiences have been. I am excited to see where we will all go next but even more excited to see how everything I learned while at CGS will help me along the way.
First semester at CGS
(L-R Matthew Hoffman, Kate Milliken, Sarah Lyall-Combs, Casey McAlpin, and me)