PLEN Showed Me the World is at My Fingertips

Hannah Kinsley headshotHannah Kingsley, Sophomore, St. Lawrence University 

“Attention: Global Studies Majors- Women in Global Policy Conference”

When I first received an email from one of my professors with the subject line written above, I was instantly intrigued. As a liberal arts student majoring in English and Global Studies, the thought of spending an entire week in Washington, D.C. with fellow women that were passionate about global issues sounded like great way to kick off summer vacation.

Looking at the schedule from the past years, reading PLEN blog posts, and looking at photos from previous events made this conference seem better and better. Learning that I had been accepted into the program encouraged me to look further into different sectors of governmental departments with a focus on global policy and current events.

Prior to attending PLEN’s Women in Global Policy Conference I had not viewed myself as a future governmental employee. This was not because I did not want to work in this field, but rather because I did not understand the multitude of options available. I had previously assumed that working in policy (and for the government in general) meant that employers expected you to directly go to Washington, D.C. after completing your bachelors degree and immediately begin a specific path to a “dream” job.

However, PLEN has taught me that there is no one perfect path. After talking to multiple women who were all successful in various careers, it became clear that there is not a way to guarantee yourself a job by simply taking calculated steps. It was straying away from the beaten path that helped many of these women reach the positions that they now hold today. In fact, some are now working in departments that did not exist when they began working in Washington, D.C.

Now, going into my junior year of undergrad, I have a new perspective on how I can incorporate global policy into my future. Whether I choose to work at a location in the United States or abroad, I know that the world is at my fingertips and that the variety of options available to me will continue to expand.

Thanks to PLEN I have made wonderful new friends, met successful women, and been taught about the ways in which I can play a part in global policy. I am so thankful that I decided to open my email.