STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Pursuing an International Education Career During a Global Travel Freeze with Ally Rudolph
Say hello to Ally! Having recently joined the GPI Program this Spring (2021), the job hunt is still in motion for her, but there is no doubt that much valuable knowledge and experience has been gained through the program but also through her current International Ed. Internship! Read her story to find out what those are and how it's helped her get experience in the field in the midst the COVID-19 Pandemic.
What were you doing before you joined GPI and how did you become interested in global education as a career?
My interest in international education began, like it does for many, while studying abroad. At the time I was studying to become a high school science teacher and although I loved the field of education, I didn’t feel that teaching high school students was the right career for me. I began exploring other careers in the education field. Studying abroad showed me that education is so much more than a textbook and a classroom. I became fascinated with people, culture, language, history, and geography. My experiences abroad introduced me to the world in a way that education in a classroom at home never could. I decided that I wanted to use my knowledge and skills in education to help students experience and understand the world beyond the four walls of the classroom and their own culture.
How did you discover Inside Study Abroad and the Global Pro Institute?
I discovered Inside Study Abroad and the Global Pro Institute in the Summer of 2020. As a recent graduate in the middle of a pandemic with no direction on how to pursue a career in international education and no mentors in the field, I began searching for resources. I found the Global Pro Institute by searching for podcasts on international education and that is how I found Inside Study Abroad.
What inspired you to enroll in the Global Pro Institute?
As a recent graduate in the middle of a pandemic with no direction on how to pursue a career in international education and no mentors in the field, I did not know where to start. After discovering Inside Study Abroad and learning about the Global Pro Institute through podcast episodes and webinars, I felt confident that the Global Pro Institute had a lot to offer me. I had never held a job in international education so I didn’t know what the field was like. Financially, I was not ready to pursue a master’s degree, and I didn’t know which program to pursue or school to attend. The Global Pro Institute promised a peek inside the field, mentorship on defining my brand and launching my career, advice on pursuing further education, an opportunity to gain experience through an internship, and an opportunity to connect and network with like-minded people in the field. I had been feeling stuck and I couldn’t resist!
How has the program helped you to launch or grow your career in international education and meaningful travel?
As a recent participant in the Global Pro Institute and Internship Program, I am still currently interning for the organization I interned for through GPI. I committed to a 3 month internship and may potentially commit to another 3 months. GPI has provided me with the knowledge and confidence to begin my career in international education. GPI helped me clearly define the knowledge, skills, and experience I already have and the type of work I am interested in doing in the field. I now have a growing network of mentors and colleagues to learn from, lean on, and support.
What has been your biggest setback, and how did you overcome it?
My biggest setback has been graduating from college in the middle of a pandemic and wanting to pursue a career in international education while travel was on hold. I am still working through this setback, but I am using this challenging time to continue learning, growing, and gaining skills and experience in unique ways.
What’s your best piece of advice for others trying to launch and grow a career in IE?
As someone who is still trying to launch their career in IE, my advice would be to network and seek mentorship. Launching a career in this field can be tough, but doing it alone makes it much harder. I would also say don’t be afraid of free work, if financially possible. Volunteering or interning can teach you a lot, and you will gain experience and possibly great mentors as well.
Looking back on your international ed career journey, what is something you’re most proud of?
I am not far into my journey, but so far I am most proud of offering my time and skills for free to organizations whose missions I believe in. I’m proud to be a part of these organizations and I’ve learned more through these experiences than I ever thought I would in such a short time.
What’s your favorite tool or international education resource that you recommend to others? Why do you love it?
These are not tools specific to international education, but my favorite organization tools are Notion and Google Calendar.
What is one of your favorite non-fiction books that you would recommend to other professionals and why do you love it?
Atomic Habits by James Clear. If we want to make any changes in our lives, it starts with our habits. I’m a highly organized person and I love to plan, but sticking to positive daily habits is where a lot of the magic actually happens!
3 Secrets To Build Your Study Abroad & Global Education Career...
Watch our free workshop on launching and leveling-up your career in global programs - and learn how I went from intern to executive in just 4 years!