Student Hopes to Turn Campus Job Into Career
While studying abroad for a semester at the University of Malaga in southern Spain, Lindsey Hery ’09 received an e-mail from Dr. Jon Crawford, director of international education, that would change her life. Crawford was searching for students interested in a position in the Office of International Education. Hery applied with interest and enthusiasm, not knowing that the job would lead her down a completely new and exciting career path.
Hery, an international relations major, is currently a student assistant in the international education office, a position that endows her with enormous responsibility. This is one of the main reasons, however, that she chose to apply. She determined that most student jobs would not be as demanding and saw an opportunity to have a greater influence on campus. Her assumptions were accurate, and Hery’s first year in the office has been “a lot of work, but also a lot of fun.”
While in the office, she is often multi-tasking, especially when helping to plan major campus events. However, she enjoys this aspect because it “makes you realize that you are not only capable, but willing to do the work.”
Hery works alongside Crawford planning study abroad fairs, composing slide shows and scheduling speeches. She also helps Lorraine Fleck, international student advisor, plan events and trips for the international population on campus. Along with organizational work, Hery helps promote programs such as the Virginia Program at Oxford or Roanoke College in Wittenberg, Germany, as well as guides students through the study abroad application process. In fact, Hery is a direct link between Crawford and program applicants. In addition, Hery gets to promote the study abroad program itself, which she believes is “one of the unspoken benefits on campus.”
Hery truly enjoys informing students about the program and helping them in their decisions because of her incredible experience abroad. Her time in Spain helped her become a more confident, independent person and allowed her the chance to experience larger cultures, an opportunity she believes “is key in a globalized society.”
Hery wishes that all students would take advantage of the study abroad program because it is unique and life-altering. As she puts it, “You will learn more in six months abroad than you can ever learn in a book. There are simply some lessons that can’t be taught in a classroom.”
Another reason Hery enjoys her work is that she gets to work alongside Crawford. He is “more enthusiastic than anyone about international education, which is great motivation.” In addition, Crawford has gone “above and beyond” to help Lindsey with her career goals. He has assisted her with a thesis paper, sends her weekly email messages about job openings and invited her to go to a National Association of International Educators conference with him in May, which will be a great networking opportunity. Crawford also has written graduate school recommendations for her and has informed her about the top programs in his field.
As a result of Crawford’s guidance, Hery now hopes to have a career in international education. She claims that her experience in the office was “the first time I’ve ever actually been able to visualize my career path and decide what I would like to do.” Hery hopes to one day have a position similar to Crawford’s, but realizes that attaining such a position would mean incredible dedication. Yet, with Crawford’s help, she is taking the necessary steps. Hery is reassured by knowing she “can always rely on his guidance and support in future endeavors,” and looks forward to pursuing her goals after graduation.