Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Always On the Go

by Delana S., Panther Blogger

Let me start by saying that the fast-paced lifestyle of D.C. can be a bit overwhelming!  This past month, I have had a lot to do whether it's in class, my internship, or my work-study position.  Sometimes I do not see my room until 10:30 p.m. after starting my day at 8 a.m.!  It's not that different from just going to regular classes, but at the same time, it is a lot more work.

When it comes to my internship, I love it more and more as each day goes by!  My supervisor is really nice, the rest of the office staff is always asking me about my day, and the other interns have become like a family to me. This past month, we had about five to six events that were back to back, so we were non-stop busy inside and outside the office. I had the opportunity to meet representatives from the state department, embassies, and high-profile professionals from the DC area.
It always intrigues me how these professionals always take a vested interest in what you want to do with your future and what you are studying. In one instance, I met a dean from John's Hopkins who was impressed with a question I had asked and then who proceeded to talk to me after the event about my future. He even introduced me to one of his fellow colleagues.  Just seeing how some of the people go above and beyond continually impresses me and makes me feel so privileged to be able to meet them on a personal level and hear from their experience. 

One requirement of my program is that we have to interview a professional of our choice who has a career that we are interested in pursuing.  I interviewed a Public Relations / Public Affairs officer from the Embassy of Egypt.  We had met her when we first went to the embassy to learn about the status of Egypt with the Deputy Chief of Missions (DCM) and later on, I got in touch with her and asked her a million and one questions about her career, how she chose that path, advice she had for me, and whether or not I was on the right track to be qualified for the job.  It was nice to have that one-on-one experience with her and it helped me figure out that I do want to pursue that type of career!  I want to work for an embassy, and it is all a matter of figuring out how to successfully graduate from college, go to graduate school, and then get started with the career.  That is easier said than done, but I have met so many people who want to help me that I can't believe that this is my life right now!

To go along with that statement, I have had the opportunity to celebrate many cultural festivals in DC that you cannot see anywhere else in the United States. I have bought so many mementos that my parents are going to need a bigger vehicle to transport them home when it is time for me to leave!  Of course, everything will not be going back to Ferrum with me, but a good portion of my favorite items will. 

So far, I cannot name my favorite festival that I have encountered, but each and every one of them has brought something interesting to my life and I get to share all of these experiences with my roommate, Yumi.  Yumi is from Japan from a town near Okinawa.  This is her first time in the United States and she has had a blast so far!  During our fall break, Yumi came home with me to Virginia Beach and got to see an American football game, go to the beach, and get to know my family and best friend. She even received a few mementos from our trip and started calling my parents "mom" and "dad."  Being able to share these experiences with her and showing her where I live have been unique opportunities because I know where she is coming from and it is easier for her to be herself and be reminded of home. That is definitely true about my house, which is filled with Japanese and Italian culture.

I can honestly say that I have changed and grown more as an individual through these experiences.  It may seem like I am no longer the same person, but that is not true. I am just a little more conscious of who I am and who I want to be "when I grow up."  It makes me laugh when I think of that statement because when I talk to my parents about everything that I am doing and what I have learned, they are always amazed about what I have to say and the passion that they see me have for my studies and my pursuit of mentors who help me reach my goals. Things are still pretty hectic with having to complete a simulation, writing a conflict-resolution report, and completing my duties for my internship, but I would not have it any other way!

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