As a social work student, I have mostly been exposed to practice in the field and working directly with individuals. I chose to attend the PLEN seminar to learn more about the world of policy, as it relates to the lives of the individuals I serve. I was able to see how things work on a larger scale and what it takes to get things done. Although the focus of the seminar was on international policy, throughout the week I began to realize that I am committed to continue to make change right at home, in Milwaukee.
The greatest thing that the PLEN Women and Policy in the Global Community Seminar provided me with was confidence in myself. As a student and young professional, it is easy to doubt yourself, to wonder if you are on the right track, or compare yourself to the achievements of others. The stories of the panelists’ career paths and the professional development presentations helped me to realize that I am doing just fine. Each of the women on the panels had their own story of how they arrived at their current position and the plans they have to continue along their path. The professional development presentations, such as resume building, interviewing, and building a Linkedn profile, gave me the opportunity to reflect on my academic and professional career so far. I learned that it is okay to not know where I am going and to work my hardest to learn from every opportunity I am given. These also inspired me feel good about what I have achieved so far, and what I will continue to achieve in the future.
I am grateful to Ms. Mary Moore Hamrick for giving me the opportunity to attend this PLEN seminar. I learned so much throughout the week and enjoyed learning and growing with the other PLEN students. I loved being able to navigate through the city of Washington DC, and I was inspired to return home to have the confidence to pursue my passions.
Amber Bloom attended the 2015 Women in Global Policy seminar as a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She received a scholarship sponsored by Grant Thornton.