I recently had the opportunity to attend Women in Global Policy PLEN seminar. I am currently attending Tulane University and was able to learn about PLEN through the efforts of the Newcomb College Institute (NCI), which has its roots in what was formerly Tulane’s all women’s college. NCI does a variety of work on campus to promote programs and events that both empower women and connect students to resources. Through NCI, I was able to both learn about PLEN and apply for a grant that covered the majority of the costs associated with attending the seminar.
I decided to attend the Women in Global Policy seminar in order to learn about potential career options that would combine my academic and personal interests. I am a rising senior double majoring in International Relations and Middle Eastern Studies and minoring in Arabic. Furthermore, I am interested in conflict resolution, diplomacy, multilateral institutions, and research. I would love to find a job post-graduation that combines my passions for research and diplomacy with lots of opportunity to travel in the national and international level. Going into the seminar, I had a clear vision about what my career objectives are, but needed to gain further insight as to the steps I should be taking to meet those objectives. I hoped that PLEN would give me the opportunity to network and learn from women who had already been successful in similar fields of interest within global policy.
Having now attended the PLEN: Women in Global Policy seminar, I can honestly say that the seminar exceeded all of my expectations. I was able to learn from so many amazing women in a wide variety of career paths, hear about opportunities I had never before been exposed to, meet other college aged women pursuing similar career paths, and feel empowered to continue to pursue an eventual career in global policy. Prior to attending the seminar, my future felt so much more abstract with goals that seemed unattainable. However, after attending the PLEN seminar, I know that so many other women have felt as I do now and that the resources and knowledge I now have will help me to be successful moving forward. The greatest takeaway I feel now having reflected on the seminar is that all career paths are unique, yet similar in the fact that they are nonlinear. Keeping this in mind, I know that there is no perfect formula to achieving success, but will attempt to stay true to myself and my interests as I pursue various job opportunities in the upcoming months.
As I mentioned previously, Women in Global Policy seminar is truly an empowering experience. Prior to attending the conference, I had previously considered a career as a Foreign Service Officer working for the U.S. State Department, but had eventually concluded that the process would be terribly difficult and that I should set more realistic career goals for myself. However, having heard from women currently working at the Department of State, I was motivated to seriously reconsider a career as a Foreign Service Officer. The career option aligns perfectly with my interests, and if I do not qualify the first time, I will try again. I definitely feel that, as women, we sometimes try to be realistic with ourselves to the point that we sell ourselves short and really take ourselves out of the running for certain opportunities. One of the panelists even brought up that women are much more likely to not apply for a job because they feel like they do not meet the minimum qualifications while men apply for jobs despite meeting the listed qualifications or not. I know I have been personally guilty of this and moving forward I refuse to diminish my qualifications and/or take myself out of the running for a position or opportunity that I am genuinely interested in pursuing. If nothing else, I have left the PLEN seminar with an increased level of confidence in myself and my abilities.
Sophia Angeletti attended the 2018 Women in Global Policy Seminar. She is a rising senior at Tulane University double majoring in International Relations & Middle East Studies with a minor in Arabic. She is planning to graduate from Tulane University in 2019.