Student Spotlights on Experiential Learning Opportunities
In March of 2019, I traveled to Corozal, Belize with my service learning class. We spent our time there teaching healthy lifestyle topics to children in the school as well as completing a few building projects.
The most valuable lesson I learned was that in order to truly help a community, you have to understand what that community needs, not assume what you think they need.
Service learning is incredibly important for all Global Studies students. We spend so much time learning about these concepts and studying areas that are greatly impacted by service projects, but it is difficult to understand intent versus impact without experiencing it yourself.
I had the opportunity to intern at the Idaho Democratic Party. This was a perfect fit since I was interested in politics and wanted to learn more about how political groups and parties functioned. Public service played a direct role in my internship experience since much of the job had to do with reaching out to community members to answer questions that they may have had, calling community members about donations, and informing the public with information about any upcoming elections.
The Global Studies program and experiential learning opportunity played a large role in helping me narrow down what career path I wanted to follow. Since I learned a lot from the political and financial aspects of the internship and still am interested in international affairs, my goal is to work for an international organization where I can apply the skills that I obtained in my internship.
I was able to intern in the marketing department of the Idaho Youth Ranch. The title of my position was “Organizational Dynamo,” It was my responsibility to organize the company T-drive within various departments of social enterprise and marketing. From there, my supervisor was flexible and wanted to give me the experience I needed to develop post-grad skill sets. Skill sets like supply chain systems thinking and application, knowledge of e-commerce, procedural documents, and organization, and working with others on current store projects, like the opening of a new store in Post Falls.
This experience allowed me to further advance in my personal and academic goals. Having the opportunity to apply what I am learning in economics to the real world was such a great experience. Knowing how one system impacts many others through micro and macro lenses became applicable within my internship. I continually applied my writing and communication skills. The fact that I can walk away from this internship with a multitude of new skill sets and an enhanced understanding of how global contexts apply at a local level speaks volumes.