Middlebury Institute students in the International Education Management (IEM) degree program share how they have overcome challenges to continue their professional development during a global pandemic.
Many IEM students took advantage of the lower cost to attend conferences as they were held virtually this year. Several students participated in the NAFSA Region XII conference. IEM Practicum Representative Aleena Yunuba Hammack MAIEM ´21 hosted a flash Zoom event where she shared tips and strategies to make the most of the conference. Students learned about the different conference platforms and session types, how to network, how to strategize which sessions to attend synchronously or view recordings of asynchronously, and tips on how to stay engaged.
During the week-long conference, some IEM students were assigned mentors. Students also took the initiative to attend other virtual NAFSA conferences outside of their regions. These events provided students the opportunity to network on a national level, which in turn, allowed students to research practicum placements,
“It’s been interesting and valuable to connect with people across the country,” shares Angela Luedke MAIEM ‘21, who took advantage of free admission offered by many NAFSA regions this year. ”I’ve heard from schools who have in-person classes, different solutions they’ve found to ensure they keep their jobs, and how one Education Abroad office was able to safely send a couple of students overseas this Fall 2020 semester. I’ve really enjoyed it!” Luedke hopes to do more informational interviews with professionals in the field whom she has virtually crossed paths with.
Grace O’Dell, an advisor in the Center for Advising and Career Services at the Middlebury Institute, has also offered biweekly workshops on career management to IEM students. Topics include laying out your career map, how to build your brand, crafting your resume, writing your cover letter, and more. These workshops not only aid IEM students in professional development but also allow for community engagement with their fellow classmates. Together, students discuss their professional goals in addition to reviewing one another’s resumes, e-portfolios, LinkedIn pages, and sample cover letters.
Aside from conferences and workshops, publications are also underway. During her practicum semester, Sayre Weir MAIEM ‘20 submitted an article to Case Studies in International Education, edited by IEM Program Chair Dr. Katherine Punteney. Weir observes that at the Middlebury Institute, “Professional development can be more than just the traditional idea of going to conferences” and that “contributions to a publication like this are a really fun and collaborative way to develop writing, publishing, and analytical skills that are very relevant to our field.”
Professors, advisors, and students work collectively to continue building their professional brands. At the Middlebury Institute the opportunities for professional development are endless, even amidst a global pandemic.
In the fall semester of 2020, 34 Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey students will participate in semester-long immersive learning programs, working virtually with organizations around the country and the globe.
MIIS Students in the International Education Management program (IEM) spend their final semester working with organizations in the international education field. We spoke with Aleena Yunuba Hammack ‘20 who is participating in a practicum with Camp Fire, a nonprofit organization with a 110-year history of inclusive youth development.
Middlebury Institute students Beth Magyar MAIEM ’20, Kathryn Murata MAIEM ’20, and Thi Nguyen MAIEM ’20 joined International Education Management professor Katherine Punteney to lead a workshop at the NAFSA Region 12 Conference in Pasadena, CA in November 2019.