I’m happy to announce I’ve secured a position with my alma mater’s N.U.in program as an international student advisor. It serves as an alternative for admitted freshman students with a January start date to spend their first semester abroad instead of, well… doing nothing I suppose. It is a unique opportunity for students to mature outside of their comfort zone and engage with the culture of their host country through service learning and college level courses. I’ve been assigned to the London program with the Foundation for International Education partner institution.
I’ve known about it for a while, but I had reservations and mulled over my decision to accept the opportunity. Given its temporary nature, fear of missing out on opportunities within my field took over. (This feeling is described in short as ‘FOMO’ © Dena Cox) During my deliberation, I continued to apply for full time employment and hoped for a sign that would point me back to my degree and experience in journalism. Needless to say, that didn’t happen and I’m only days away from embarking on my own alternative path to full time post-grad employment.
While I waited for the journalism job gods to get back to me, there were more signs from the higher ed field that revealed themselves. My involvement with Northeastern’s International Co-op department and extensive global education experiences scored me an invitation to the launch of the university’s newest and most ambitious fundraising initiative entitled Empower: The Northeastern Campaign.
Administrators, faculty, students and friends of the university experienced the power of philanthropy firsthand. Donations sponsored the lavish celebration of student and faculty innovation. Guests participated in interactive exhibitions that included a game station, marine life petting zoo, a veggie truck entrepreneurial venture and a global lounge, along with exhibits of various departments’ research and accomplishments. The event required guests to engage, ask questions and leave with a better understanding of the concepts, similar to what Northeastern demands of students.
Attending the Empower launch gave me a meaningful glimpse into various successful and rewarding careers in higher education. From development officers forging a path for the next generation of students to achieve their goals, to event and business staff coordinating event logistics, to the various academic advisors and directors parading their departments’ initiatives and achievements.
Starting my post-grad journey with a program like N.U.in is as exciting as it is unnerving. It’s frightening to think that I’ve spent a mortgage on a degree in a field I may not end up in. However, this position will allow me to explore global education, student affairs and advising while developing professional skills and networks. I’m also beginning to realize that I didn’t just earn a degree; I left Northeastern with much more. Apart from a first-rate education, I graduated with valuable personal and professional experience, a global perspective and a vast network of accomplished professionals and pioneers to tap into at a moment’s notice.
Northeastern has inspired and empowered me to abandon my fear of failure, embrace opportunity and think beyond self-imposed and physical barriers.
Whom or what inspires and/or empowers you?