Life After Lehigh: International Opportunities, Careers and Scholarships
By Kathryn Suma, ‘14
The Life After Lehigh event entitled International Opportunities, Careers and Scholarships,
provided students with ideas for possible international paths after graduation.
Many students attended the event, all with different interests and experiences they hope to add on to
in the future.
“I studied abroad in Paris, France in the spring of 2012,” said Marcela Delgado, ’13. “I attended the lecture because I wanted some advice and guidance on how to market my international experience, especially since I am a senior and am actively looking for jobs.”
The event began with Donna Gold from the Career Services office, and featured a panel comprised of various staff members from international departments.
Gold stressed the importance of LUCIE and how students can select the box on its site to specifically search for international opportunities. She also wanted students to know that they can always come get help if they are having trouble finding what they are looking for.
“Do not hesitate to come talk to one of us,” said Gold.
She explained that LUNET is another site students can use to connect to a network of about 30,000 alumni who have volunteered to help students in their career aspirations. Students can also make an appointment with her to reach out to the other 60,000 alumni that are not included in this system. Dr. Richard Barsness, Director of the Office of Fellowship Advising, was the first featured panelist. Barsness spoke about the nationally competitive scholarships and fellowships available to students after graduation. A few he mentioned included the Mitchell scholarship to Ireland and the Fulbright program. There are many programs available, but the majority of them require students to be at the graduate school level. Another great program he discussed is the Boren program for undergraduate and graduates in strategic languages that are not commonly taught in schools. Anyone who is interested in exploring these opportunities should get in touch with Fellowship Advising Office.
Tim Cauller, Associate Director of English as a Second Language, spoke about his program as an opportunity that encompasses everyone and works for all majors.
“A lot of times this is a process of discovery…many did not start out with this in mind,” said Cauller. “There is a lot of need for English teachers around the world.”
However, this opportunity requires student to have some sort of background in teaching English as a second language. Lehigh offers classes such as ENG 310, which will be offered in the Spring 2013 semester, to help students learn how to teach English in a foreign country. This course, along with ENG314 Practicum, puts the student halfway to a College of Education certificate in teaching English as a second language.
Bruce Whitehouse, Ph.D., professor of anthropology, joined the Peace Corps about three years after he graduated from college. He spoke about his experience and why the Peace Corps is a great international opportunity for students after graduation.
Whitehouse stressed the fact that volunteers are usually given a very brief job description and little structure to the program. Therefore, they must be comfortable to create their own paths while in their assigned countries. “It’s a job that requires a lot of self-motivation…you can set your own goals- that lack of structure is a rewarding process,” he said.
Volunteers undergo a 12-week training program and then volunteer in their assigned country for two years, receiving a stipend for living expenses.
Whitehouse told the students in attendance that this incredible experience divides one’s life into two phases, before and after the Peace Corps.
Bill Hunter, Director of the Lehigh/United Nations partnership, was the last panelist featured at the event. Hunter suggested students be ‘global-ready graduates’ and even use this term on their resumes. He explained how this is a term increasingly important to all kinds of companies, and can really help in the job search process.
Many students have always been interested in UN jobs, but he wanted students to know that it takes time. He also discussed the highly sought-after internship at the United Nations that allows students to work in various positions for 6 months without pay. This position generally leads students to different opportunities, and many alumni who have received the internship have gone on to do incredible things, including employment at the UN.
Hunter is also involved with the Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship. He can help students who are interested in this competitive scholarship with research, language and history components. Students should contact him to see if this is a good option for them if they hope to pursue a graduate degree overseas. After the panelists finished their speeches, students were able to ask questions and learn more about their specific interests.
“I thought that the most helpful part of the Life After Lehigh presentation was the many different perspectives that were given by the panelists from a wide range of departments,” said Erin Cook, ’13. “This variety of options for pursuing careers and scholarships appealed to the majority of students who attended.” Delgado agreed, and was also very impressed with the different perspectives of the panelists.
“I thought the most helpful part was the representatives from the different organizations that were there,” she said. “I think that the lecture definitely gave me a place to start in terms of looking for international work opportunities.”