Following the Path Toward My Future Career

Caitlin FlynnCaitlin Flynn, Recent Graduate, University of Wisconsin – Madison

I attended PLEN’s Women in Global Policy seminar days after graduating from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.  As I consider my post-graduation plans, it was both very valuable and inspiring to hear about the unexpected twists and turns in the career paths of the panelists. The panelists came from a variety of educational and professional backgrounds and spoke about their experiences with international affairs, professional development and work – life balance.  Nearly all of the panelists attended graduate school and, as I am currently researching graduate school programs, it was great to learn about the wide array of graduate programs and fellowships that the panelists participated in. Furthermore, the panelists offered great career advice including the importance of language learning, good writing skills and on the ground experience abroad.  After each session the panelists were very approachable and willing to answer additional questions and offer advice.

It was great meeting the other seminar participants as well and learning from their experiences. The participants came from various educational and geographic backgrounds as well which made for great and dynamic conversations. I was consistently impressed with the level of engagement from all of the participants. They asked interesting questions in every session and were fun to explore the city with.

I am incredibly grateful to PLEN for providing me with a scholarship to attend the Women in Global Policy seminar. Through the seminar I learned how to negotiate a salary, how to remain calm during networking and how to create your own board of directors/mentors. I especially was grateful for my site visit to the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP). I was able to speak with two women currently working on educational and gender policy at USIP (fields I hope to one day work in). Our group also received a tour of the building, which included a beautiful overlook of the national mall.  All of my expectations of the seminar were surpassed and I would highly recommend others to attend any event  or seminar run by PLEN.