A career in outreach programs
I am currently studying architecture and learning (or attempting to) multiple language. I want to one day join an outreach program where I can use these skills to help people (both in USA and international). What are suggestions of steps to take to enter an outreach program professionally? For example, a possibly minor that would compliment this, or what these programs look for. #minors #outreach #international #career
There are so many different ways you can share your expertise with the world. I love that this is something that you are aspiring to do! First things first, you should study hard in your architecture courses and also get internship opportunities for maximum career exposure while you're in school. This will go a long way when you start entering the workforce! While you're in school, if you have the time and opportunity to, I'd take a few international affair courses so you have an understanding of the core theories, key historical events and players. Very good move with the language lessons as well! One suggestion I have for you is to hone in on a region of the world. A good starting point is with the language you are studying. For example, I studied Mandarin Chinese for quite some time. I focused my studies on East Asia because of this and my personal interest in the region.
Here are a few ways that you can share your expertise with the world.
Government: In my previous position I worked in the diplomacy field. I saw firsthand what the US Department of State was doing to foster people-to-people connections, build capacity across all industries and regions, and promote better relations between countries through their many outreach programs like the International Visitors Leadership Program, which brought emerging leaders from all around the world to the US to meet their counterparts at the national, state, and local levels. I had a couple of friends who managed these types of programs at other Departments like the US Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of the Interior. They worked with subject matter experts (SMEs) within their departments, universities, and other private citizens and brought this type of expertise to countries that needed help with specific projects. You could be on either side of this coin! You could be a SME that gets invited to such projects OR be a part of a government agency that provides this type of support.
Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs): There are so many fantastic organizations that are working alongside, independent, and in partnership with the government on capacity building initiatives all around the world.
Individual: There are so many organizations that offer volunteer abroad opportunities! Instead of a vacation, think of a travel opportunity where you can explore a new culture and part of the world WHILE DOING GOOD.
Best of luck!
Getting to know yourself and how your personality traits relate to people involved in various career opportunities is very important in your decision making process. During my many years in Human Resources and College Recruiting, I ran across too many students who had skipped this very important step and ended up in a job situation which for which they were not well suited. Selecting a career area is like buying a pair of shoes. First you have to be properly fitted for the correct size, and then you need to try on and walk in the various shoe options to determine which is fits the best and is most comfortable for you to wear. Following are some important steps which I developed during my career which have been helpful to many.
Ken recommends the following next steps: