International Internship Opens Eyes to the Real World

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Like many students, sophomore Maggie Crawford ’16 planned an internship as part of her college experience. Unlike most others, her internship was also an international adventure—in India.

India_2Maggie, who is studying international marketing, an individually planned major, worked as a structural advisor for the Mysore Resettlement and Development Agency (MYRADA). In her role, she was responsible for counseling on operations and organizational improvements in MYRADA’s programs that benefit disadvantaged populations.

Maggie found this opportunity through Oglethorpe’s Atlanta Laboratory for Learning (A_LAB), which helps students to put their classroom learning into practice by combining “real world” experiences in professional development, global education, civic engagement, and/or undergraduate research.

India_4Internships abroad can be very different from those in the U.S., which Maggie found out firsthand. “You get to find out what it is like to work somewhere else and learn about the culture of their work,” she says. “By combining travel abroad and internships, you just get a better sense of why you’re there.”

Maggie also faced challenges in acclimating to a different culture. “First, there was the language barrier,” she says. “When I went, I learned a couple of words in Hindi, but I learned that they actually speak something called Kannada. So, it wasn’t actually helpful at all. And, they’d never seen an American where I went, so they were always looking at me.”

India_1Maggie now uses her international internship experience to inform her contributions to classroom discussions. “It has shown me different perspectives,” she says. “We were studying the temples in India in ‘Art & Culture.’ I actually got to see those, firsthand.” Overall, she says her global experience “has made me more aware of the people around me.”

Next on the Maggie’s itinerary is China, where she hopes to add to her repertoire of real world professional experiences around the world.

Study Abroad Awesomeness

Autumn Wright 4I’ve heard plenty of excuses why students don’t want to study abroad. They don’t want to miss out on a semester. They’re afraid they’ll get behind. Perhaps there’s an internship they want to do, or a concert they want to go see. Maybe they think that it’s too difficult to put all their friends and family behind them and run away for a year.

Let’s get this straight: study abroad is not always the glamorous life depicted on the glossy brochures in front of Dr. Collins‘ office, where a politically-correct diverse range of students stand in front of An Important, Easily-Recognizable Monument and flash their Photoshopped-white teeth at the camera on a perfect spring day.

But sometimes it is.

Autumn Wright 3The Road to Cultivation 128There are moments that feel perfect, those once-in-a-lifetime sparks that imprint themselves on your mind. Standing on a bridge over the Seine on New Year’s Eve at midnight while the Eiffel Tower lights up and fireworks flash over the Parisian skyline. Climbing to the top of some ridiculously tall, ridiculously old cathedral so you can catch a glimpse of the city from above. Lying on the grass with new found friends from all corners of the globe, the taste of the pastry you bought at the nearest boulangerie still on your tongue. And, feeling like the world’s biggest bad ass for navigating London’s winding roads and underground on two hours of sleep.

Autumn Wright 2Study abroad will lead you to places that you never pictured yourself going. For example, even though I’m studying in France at the moment, I’ll be going to England in a fortnight with my job. I have an internship this summer through my school here in France that spans across three different countries, taking me all the way from Amsterdam to Paris. (Which seriously rocks. If I’d stayed in Atlanta, I would probably have some cookie cutter internship that would have involved making copies and using my honed barista skills to brew pots of coffee.)

Autumn WrightSeriously. Study abroad is one of the best experiences of my life. College is one of the only times where you can take a semester or two “off” and just go somewhere and it’s perfectly acceptable. If you try doing the same with your boss in a couple years’ time, I doubt they’d be too thrilled to let you go adventuring across Europe. Study abroad now, or else regret it later.

Autumn Wright, an Oglethorpe University junior majoring in French, is studying abroad and interning in Lille, France.

Communications Interns Step Into the Real World at PR Conference

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Twain Carter ’14, Leslie Peters ’15, Christie Pearce ’15 and Kai Street ’14

Interns in Pegasus Creative, Oglethorpe’s student communications agency, recently attended the annual Real World PR Conference for college students, hosted by the Public Relations Society of America in February.

During the all-day event, the students were able to learn more about PR careers and to ask questions of industry leaders from Chick-fil-A, Georgia Aquarium, Delta Air Lines, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Georgia Power, Cox Enterprise, and CNN, among others. Panelists gave helpful tips and anecdotal advice about a wide range of topics including personal branding, the HR perspective of interviewing and the fast- paced environment of entertainment PR.

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For senior Kai Street ’14, the conference proved to be a compass for his professional path. “I came out of the conference with knowledge, a new network of people, and a new direction to take in terms of my professional career,” said Kai, who  participated in the conference’s career fair, which offered internship and networking opportunities and was “a great place to put one’s name out in the public and connect with professionals.”

Twain Carter ’14 found that the conference gave him a renewed confidence in what he is learning in the classroom, confirming that “once I graduate, I will be prepared for anything thrown my way.” But for Christie Pearce ’15, the conference offered a clear detour sign. “I wanted some guidance on the direction I should be going for my communications career and indeed confirmed that PR is not for me,” she admitted.

Similarly, I also now have a better sense of what a PR career might entail, but I’m not sure that being a part of the fast-paced world of PR fits who I am and my career goals–something good to discover sooner than later.

“Regardless of whether a student plans to pursue PR or not,” said Christie, “the panelists had a lot of insight about professionalism, interviewing, and career etiquette that is valuable to everyone.”

National Society of Leadership and Success Chapter Launched on Campus

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Oglethorpe chapter President Barry Rowan ’14

In the Spring 2014 semester, Oglethorpe University welcomed the newest chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success, Sigma Alpha Pi. The society is dedicated to helping in its members’ personal growth and development and community development and leadership. In the society’s words, “We Build Leaders Who Make A Better World.”

According to President Barry Rowan ’14, the initial goals of the chapter include establishing a leadership success networking group that can define the personal, professional, and academic goals for members, and providing a network of support in achieving those goals.

Since 2001, Sigma Alpha Pi has sought out academic leaders who are dedicated to community action, volunteerism, and exemplary leadership within their university and society. Sigma Alpha Pi doesn’t have a professional majority within its constituency, but rather focuses on encouraging fraternization amongst students of various academic and social backgrounds.

National Society of Leadership - Sigma Alpha PiTo become a member, there are four main steps in the semester-long process: (1) Students must attend orientation. Orientation allows students to get to know their executive board members, while also giving students the opportunity to learn more about the central tenets of the society. (2) Students must participate in Leadership Training Day, a seminar on how to become leaders within social groups. (3) Students must attend at least three of the live broadcasts regularly given by the National Office. (4) Finally, students are randomly selected and grouped into Success Networking Teams to provide students with peer leaders with whom to bounce off ideas and set personal goals.

In addition to President Barry Rowan ’14, the inaugural members of the executive board are Vice President Donald Warden ’16, Secretary Luise Hessing ’16, Treasurer Matthew Roberson ’16, and Success Networking Teams Coordinator Ty Murphy ’16. Dr. Danny Glassmann, associate dean of students and director of residence life, advises the society.

Sigma Alpha Pi has been enthusiastically received on campus and currently there are 120 members working towards induction, with some having already met the requirements. The expected induction date for the newest society members is set for late April 2014.

Sophomore’s Photography Exhibit First Step in Dream Career

Shannon at her exhibitionIn fall 2013, I was lucky to have my photography exhibited at Land of A Thousand Hills coffee shop in Roswell, Ga.

I got the opportunity by emailing them a few samples of my work, and they loved them! My photos were exhibited the next month and the opening night was one of the proudest moments of my life. The work I displayed was mostly nature shots, but I had a few portraits and photos from France and downtown Savannah as well.

Having my work in a coffee shop gallery taught me more than you might think. It taught me to take both criticism and praise, and it also helped me understand what my Oglethorpe photography professor meant by teaching us to arrange photos in a pleasing and easy to understand order. What I learned in my Compositions in Photography and Introduction to Digital Photography classes with Professor Sigrira Perret-Gentil helped me choose and create the most technically correct, universally appealing, and yet personally striking and meaningful photographs.

Adirondack On The Quad

Adirondack On The Quad

Even though most of my background is in nature photography and working with posed subjects, my dream is to be a photojournalist and capture real-life situations that cannot be re-created in a studio. I want my pictures to tell a true story. And I want those stories to challenge the ways people think about my subjects. Ultimately, I want to be a photojournalist for a non-profit that works for animal welfare.

My internship with Pegasus Creative in the Spring 2014 semester is teaching me to take pictures in the moment that will preserve those moments forever in Oglethorpe’s history, and to express myself in a visual way through photo essays— something that I could not have done before.