Invigorated. That is how I felt after attending the PLEN Women in Global Policy seminar.
I began PLEN mentally and emotionally exhausted. Having just finished my first year of law school, I was experiencing what is commonly known as “burnout” from academic stress, zoom fatigue, and the tireless presence of my own imposter syndrome. The virtual environment brought forth unexpected challenges. For example, I was increasingly internalizing the competitive nature of law school within the confines of my 500 square-foot studio apartment. It was easy to form unhealthy habits for the sake of productivity, but near impossible to acknowledge when I needed a break. Isolated and overwhelmed, I applied to PLEN when I needed support the most.
The seminar was truly built around the importance of connection, emphasizing the impact empowerment can have on professional and personal development. Not only were the PLEN students connected with public and private sector professionals in international affairs, but they were provided a platform of encouragement, understanding, and optimism while they explored what their future could hold.
The panelists we engaged with were completely earnest about their own unconventional paths to success and encouraged us to take advantage of every opportunity afforded to us. Each day at PLEN brought upon new lessons on personal and professional growth, and acted as a reminder that allowing ambition and passion to steer your life’s direction can create more opportunities for change, achievement, and happiness than one can imagine.
These female-identifying professionals demonstrated through their own storytelling how determination can play a key role in career development. What I did not expect however, was how engaging the conversations would be on careers in global policy. Panelists detailed the inner workings of international affairs, emphasizing the importance of three skills, communication, collaboration, and compromise. A career in international affairs would take relationship building, in-depth cultural understanding, and a lifetime of learning how to communicate effectively and efficiently to work for a common goal. That is when I knew I was hooked.
I left the Women in Global Policy seminar refreshed and eager to start my journey in international law. Since then I have been in contact with different panelists to explore potential legal careers and enrolled in summer classes at the University of Augsburg in collaboration with GW Law to learn international business law.
I could not be more privileged and honored to have had this experience and met so many outstanding students. PLEN is an organization that does work worth doing, bringing together individuals from different backgrounds and professional experiences to create a platform for female empowerment, and I could not be more proud to be a PLEN alumnae.
Jaclyn Corbo is a rising 2L at George Washington University Law School in Washington, DC. She has a Bachelor’s in History, with minors in Law, Politics, and Philosophy, and Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies from the College of New Jersey. Her interests include international law, intellectual property, and human rights issues. Connect with her on Linkedin here!