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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


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Ken’s Answer

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:

It is very important to express your appreciation to those who help you along the way to be able to continue to receive helpful information and to create important networking contacts along the way. Here are some good tips: ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-informational-interview-thank-you-note-smart-people-know-to-send?ref=recently-published-2 ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/3-tips-for-writing-a-thank-you-note-thatll-make-you-look-like-the-best-candidate-alive?bsft_eid=7e230cba-a92f-4ec7-8ca3-2f50c8fc9c3c&bsft_pid=d08b95c2-bc8f-4eae-8618-d0826841a284&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily_20171020&utm_source=blueshift&utm_content=daily_20171020&bsft_clkid=edfe52ae-9e40-4d90-8e6a-e0bb76116570&bsft_uid=54658fa1-0090-41fd-b88c-20a86c513a6c&bsft_mid=214115cb-cca2-4aec-aa86-92a31d371185&bsft_pp=2 ##
Locate and attend meetings of professional associations to which people who are doing what you think that you want to do belong, so that you can get their advice. These associations may offer or know of intern, coop, shadowing, and scholarship opportunities. These associations are the means whereby the professionals keep abreast of their career area following college and advance in their career. You can locate them by asking your school academic advisor, favorite teachers, and the reference librarian at your local library. Here are some tips: ## https://www.careeronestop.org/BusinessCenter/Toolkit/find-professional-associations.aspx?&frd=true ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/9-tips-for-navigating-your-first-networking-event ##
Next, when you have the results of the testing, talk to the person at your high school and college who tracks and works with graduates to arrange to talk to, visit, and possibly shadow people doing what you think that you might want  to do, so that you can get know what they are doing and how they got there. Here are some tips: ## http://www.wikihow.com/Network  ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/nonawkward-ways-to-start-and-end-networking-conversations ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/4-questions-to-ask-your-network-besides-can-you-get-me-a-job?ref=carousel-slide-1 ##
The first step is to take an interest and aptitude test and have it interpreted by your school counselor to see if you share the personality traits necessary to enter the field. You might want to do this again upon entry into college, as the interpretation might differ slightly due to the course offering of the school. However, do not wait until entering college, as the information from the test will help to determine the courses that you take in high school. Too many students, due to poor planning, end up paying for courses in college which they could have taken for free in high school.

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yoonji’s Answer

Hi Tatiana,

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!

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