The International and Area Studies Department at the University of Utah hosted its Going Global Career Panel on March 27. Several distinguished guests were invited, including U alumni, to speak to students and answer questions about global jobs while offering advice on networking and working internationally.
Hewson Baltzell, CEO Sorenson Impact Center; Lalani Craig, CEO CommGap International Language Services; Alexx Goeller, Refugee Federal Program Specialist, Utah Department of Workforce Services; Riley Greenwood, Expeditions Program Director, CHOICE Humanitarian; Mel Moeinvaziri, Attorney at Law, Perretta Law Office; Jonathan Nellermoe, Program Manager, U Center for Global Surgery; and Angela Dunn, State Epidemiologist, Utah Department of Health were guests on the panel.
The Going Global Career Panel focused largely on students’ concerns about finding a suitable career post-graduation. When asked about what helped them during their time in college, many panelists answered that they used campus resources such as the U’s Career and Professional Development Center. Moeinvaziri spoke about how incredible the Hinckley Institute of Politics is. She said, “There were a lot of people that knew about the U because of the things we do abroad.”
Nellermoe said, “I am so inspired by the resources here at the U. Please, please take advantage of those.” He continued by advising students to try different things in college. “I really wished I had incorporated higher levels of math and science into my humanities focus … be interdisciplinary. Learn to think in different ways. The problems in our world are too severe to just stand by.”
Other panelists talked about how much of an impact a study abroad had on them and wished it had lasted longer. Dunn said, “If you’re studying abroad, interact with the population there and not just your American friends … learn from your peers [here]. Learn about their family and where they come from.” Baltzell said, “A gap year can be really useful … it affected my worldview later in life to have traveled a lot.”
Moeinvaziri also said, “Don’t underestimate the value of your professors. Make connections with your professors and maintain those relationships because you never know when that will be beneficial.” She mentioned that she still has good relationships with some of the undergraduate professors that helped her in her career.
Avery, a U student studying international relations, mirrored many students’ concerns by asking how to narrow down what you want to do in a career. Dunn replied, “Figuring out what you don’t like is just as important as figuring out what you love. If you don’t like something, then stop no matter what point of your life you’re in so you can move onto something better. Just don’t be stagnant.”
Craig remarked that she had planned on going to law school but ended up doing something else she loved. She said, “You’ll know when you get there.”
Nellermoe said, “Don’t be ashamed of your wayward journey,” meaning there is more than one way to get to a certain position or career because everyone is different.
When asked for advice about networking, many panelists mentioned that students shouldn’t be afraid to follow up with someone who they have met, whether that be via email, LinkedIn, Handshake or a phone call. Baltzell said, “If you meet someone at a conference, it’s not a connection yet until you do something to turn it into a connection like adding them on LinkedIn or sending them an email. Make the steps to turn it into something because it will just evaporate otherwise.” Greenwood advised that students should “talk to everyone because you never know who that person knows,” even if it’s not someone they initially think they would want to talk to. Others said that asking a person how they got to where they are or getting them to talk about themselves are both good strategies.
In addition to the panelists, the “Going Global Career Panel” hosted networkers from Catholic Community Services, English Skills Learning Center, US Translation Company, Comunidades Unidas, inWhat Language, Peace Corps, Fulbright, the International Rescue Committee and more.