In This Issue:
During the last week of September, it was as if the world convened in New York City for the annual Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) 2012 annual meeting. Started by former U.S. president Bill Clinton, CGI works to put ideas that will benefit our globe into action. During the annual meeting, government officials, business people, dignitaries, activists and others came together to discuss such issues as providing reliable and safe energy for those in need, improving global food systems and advancing women-owned businesses in the developing world. Speakers hailed from the U.S., Mexico, Cambodia, Malawi, Nigeria and all corners of the globe. Jack Andraka, a high school student from Maryland, spoke about the novel paper sensor he has developed to detect cancer.
Soon enough, you may have your place among this community of global leaders as you embark on your chosen career. Globalization, which involves politics, economy, culture and society, defines the modern world. As a result of factors like the Internet, every day we are more aware of, and more connected with, people in other parts of the globe. You may have heard of a little song and video called “Gangnam Style,” which gives us a fun taste of Korean culture—just one example of the global influence in music and culture.
While you may live in a small town, now’s the time to start thinking beyond your backyard. Get to know other places by asking questions, exploring the Internet and reading about other countries. Go to the Clinton Global Initiative website, listed in the Resource Corner below, and research the people and places that contribute to this worldwide effort. Many industries and related companies in New Jersey have global operations (think finance, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing and technology), so you may well work in the state, but deal regularly with international markets. Globalization is a reality: embrace it!
At the end of September, New Jersey lieutenant governor Kim Guadagno announced a new statewide program to help small export businesses gain better access to foreign markets. Companies that export typically make products in New Jersey and ship them to customers overseas. “The New Jersey State Trade and Export Promotion program will equip small businesses with better knowledge and provide opportunities to promote their goods and services in the global marketplace,” said Guadagno.
The import-export business is part of international trade and involves both bringing products into the country to sell, as well as shipping them to foreign markets. Students who focus on this area of business study the global economy and cross-cultural communications. The import-export area of study often falls under an international business degree. Earning a degree in international business and global management includes studies in such areas as international trade laws, emerging and developing global markets, international marketing, international transportation and logistics, international business finance and international management and business decisions.
International development is another area of global studies. While it is often a masters’ level degree, it may follow undergraduate studies in a variety of areas, such as economics, social sciences and international business, to name a few. International development focuses on the economic, social and political progress of global cultures. Courses may include education and national development, conservation, urban geography and environmental politics. Related careers are jobs as government officials, policy directors and refugee relief organizers.
If you want to explore more about higher-ed related to globalization, check out schools that offer an International and Global Studies program for undergraduates, such as the College of Saint Elizabeth in Morristown. Also, visit the Rutgers Centers for Global Advancement and International Affairs, which is listed below in the Resource Corner. Most colleges also have a semester abroad, which expands students’ awareness of global perspectives. If this interests you, make sure your college choice includes this opportunity.
Read an expanded version of this article by visiting http://www.njnextstop.org, clicking on the Advice 101 column’s “View All” feature and selecting “International Studies.”
While college and career are ideal ways to explore the global landscape, some high school students choose a different first path after college. Few have discovered greater global awareness by the age of 25 than Maggie Doyne, who graduated six years ago from Mendham High School.
Maggie was prepared to go to college after high school graduation until, as she says in a video on her website, “I woke up one morning at 18 years old and had a scary realization. I went to a great public school, received one of the best educations our system has to offer. But, as much as I knew about the outside the world and all the facts I had been forced to memorize and retain on history and math, I knew very little about myself and what I wanted in my life. So…I packed up a backpack with very few belongings and decided to take a trip around the world. I had never traveled and never really left my country. I set off to travel, hike and discover.”
Maggie explored New Zealand, Fiji and Australia with Leapnow, an organization that leads gap-year (the year after high school and before college) trips and college semester exploration for young people. She did volunteer work and conservation work. “All of a sudden, my whole world opened up,” she says. “There was so much to learn and so much to discover outside of the walls of a four-walled classroom. I got my passion back. My passion to live, to learn and to be human on this earth.”
Ultimately, Maggie set off on an independent hike of discovery through an internship in northeastern India, ending up in a remote Himalayan village in Nepal, where she began raising over 200 children who had been orphaned as a result of disease and civil war. From there, Maggie founded and built the Kopila Valley Children’s Home and, a few years ago, the Kopila Valley Primary School.
Maggie’s journey has become quite high profile, winning her multiple press reports and contests, including being named the 2009 DoSomething $100,000 grand prize winner. At the end of September 2012, Maggie, who hopes to soon study international development, told Forbes magazine, “Many universities are tackling and addressing critically important global challenges. I am an advocate for education both in and outside the walls of a classroom, with diverse approaches and experienced based learning. In my case, I am not armed with a graduate degree—still, we have made significant measurable progress. My absolute highest priority has been creating a safe, calm, warm environment so the children of Kopila Valley Home and School may feel their own power, and ultimately grow to share that strength with their families, communities and the world.”
Some students don’t wait until after they have graduated to explore new cultures and climates. This past summer Helen Taylor, a senior at Montgomery High School in Skillman, joined a group of students from around the country involved in People to People Ambassador Programs to visit South Africa for two weeks. Helen traveled to cities like Johannesburg and Capetown, as well as bush camp, where she went on an African safari.
Helen embraced her first international adventure away from home, especially interactions with the people and the culture. “When we went to areas to do volunteer work, the kids in the orphanages (who were from age 1 to age 20) performed for us to say thank you. We were all crying. I honestly felt like it was the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me. It gave me a new perspective on Montgomery, where people get cars and take things for granted.”
Helen, who plans to study fashion next fall at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles, now has a hunger to discover more about the world in which we live—no doubt experiences that will enrich her career perspective and design aesthetic. “I definitely want to see what’s out there now. If you’re interested in exploring new places, my advice is to go for it and have your eyes open the whole time, take it all in.”
Where next? “I want to go to Ethiopia,” says Helen. “The culture interests me. It’s a really poor country and I feel like I could help in many ways. And it’s beautiful.”
Read an expanded version of this article by visiting http://www.njnextstop.org, clicking on Real People column’s “View All” feature and selecting “Helen Taylor.”