I found out about the PLEN program through the Women’s and Gender Studies department at University of North Texas. I was excited to learn about a program designed to prepare women for the professional world. I had friends in the department who attended past seminars and they raved about their experiences. I decided to apply for the Women & Policy in the Global Community because I am interested in going into a career in public policy and needed some professional guidance. The PLEN seminar met all of my expectations and more. The program was packed with excellent panels where I heard from a diverse group of women about their career paths and current work, as it related to policy. I was overwhelmed (in the best way possible) learning about different career possibilities and receiving professional advice.
PLEN taught me that it’s important to utilize the skills that I have. This bit of advice made me realize that I do have unique skills and experiences that I can bring into any job. Having confidence in your abilities is important in order to be successful and I love that PLEN emphasizes this! I left the seminar having a greater sense of confidence and I definitely feel more prepared for my current job hunt. I had a lot of questions going into the seminar and even more at the end of the week. The seminar really showed me that a lot of different jobs and issues intersect with policy, both domestically and internationally. This seminar made me want to really narrow my focus of interest so that I can apply for the right kind of jobs, to be the most effective in the work that I want to do. I also realized that I have many interests I am passionate about, so it might be good for me to explore different career options and paths related to policy.
I want to thank my scholarship sponsor, Mary Moore Hamrick, for making it possible for me to attend this PLEN seminar. I cannot wait to share my experiences with other young women!
BlakeLee Kaiser-Mendes attended the 2015 Women in Global Policy seminar as a graduate student at the University of North Texas. She received a scholarship sponsored by Grant Thornton to attend this seminar.