I attended PLEN’s Women in Global Policy Seminar the summer after completing my junior year at the College of Saint Benedict. As soon as I entered a room full of diverse intelligent women, I knew all the sacrifices made to complete the funding for attending the seminar had been worth it. Every single one of the speakers were incredibly inspiring. Hearing them talk made me feel empowered and supported. The policy making that they are involved in and their shared experiences made me excited to pursue a career in those fields. Listening to some of their stories also made me realize that there are some careers that I thought I would like to pursue in the future, but knowing more about them, makes me think that I would not enjoy them as much as I thought I would. Attending Women in Global Policy, a field that I have always been interested in, really encouraged me to think what it is that I am most passionate about and how I am planning on accomplishing a career in that field. As a Global Business Leadership major, I have always wondered how my major would help me start a career in the government sector with policy making. Many times I felt like I had chosen the wrong major until I came across PLEN and I found out that not everyone in global policy making majored in political science or international relations.
Another incredible opportunity that I will always be thankful for was the networking event organized by PLEN. As a Minnesota resident who will be looking for internship and job opportunities in D.C., this is extremely important. It is hard to know about all the different organizations and their opportunities when you are not in the area, which is why going to such events has such a big impact. I met a few people there who are part of organizations that I had never considered before, and that now I keep in touch with and who could possible serve as future references when I am looking for a job. I also appreciated the resume review workshop we had on the last day of the last day of the seminar. It was great to be able to get feedback from accomplished women, and learn about what employers are looking for and listen to their advice on how to make yourself stand out through your resume in such a competitive place and time. Additionally, I really enjoyed all the site visits we had; I had never thought I would have the opportunity to visit the State Department or the QED Group. However, since our PLEN group was too big, we had to split into small groups and not everyone got to go to all these amazing sites such as the embassies. Other than that, I appreciated how the seminar took place at different locations, and we were not in a small room all five days.
Lastly, I am truly thankful for the women empowerment that PLEN creates. I just loved meeting many amazing women leaders coming from different backgrounds, with different perspectives and many incredible ideas. I always felt welcomed, supported and listened to. The PLEN Women in Global Policy seminar was truly a group of women global leaders preparing to run the world.
Mariana Urbina attended the 2017 PLEN Women in Global Policy seminar as a junior at the College of Saint Benedict.