STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Nearly Landing Her Dream Job in International Education Months After Graduation with Joelle Leinbach
Meet Joelle! She joined GPI in the Fall of 2020 and is currently serving as the Marketing and Promotions Volunteer at Travel Unity!
Read more about her story below!
What do you do in your role?
I am putting together the marketing and outreach strategy for Travel Unity's certification programs. Before this, I was volunteering with Carpe Global, building and running their blog and creating a coordinated marketing approach between the blog, podcast, and social media accounts.
What were you doing before you joined GPI and how did you become interested in global education as a career?
Like so many of us who work in international education, I studied abroad and was absolutely blown away by the transformative power of intercultural immersion and friendship. I studied theatrical costume design in college, but I realized by graduation that a career in international education would be more fulfilling. I love helping more students have access to the kinds of experiences that I was lucky to have.
How did you discover Inside Study Abroad and the Global Pro Institute?
Inside Study Abroad was included in a list of useful resources that I received while doing informational interviews.
What inspired you to enroll in the Global Pro Institute?
I graduated just as the pandemic was beginning, when so many things were uncertain. Since I hadn't studied in a field related to international education and wasn't very familiar with the field, I knew I was going to need to learn a lot if I was going to have any chance of landing a job, especially when the job market is so difficult due to COVID-19. The Global Pro Institute was the perfect opportunity to get to know the field of international education, take stock of what I have to offer, and determine the steps I needed to take to get to where I want to be.
How has the program helped you to launch or grow your career in international education and meaningful travel?
The internship portion of GPI program gave me an amazing entry point into the field, in terms of both skills and networking. The modules helped me to better understand my place in the field, and gave me lots of practical knowledge as well as a much-needed confidence boost! My resumes and cover letters improved dramatically as a result of GPI, and since completing the program, I have begun landing interviews I never would have been able to get before.
What has been your biggest setback, and how did you overcome it?
The pandemic has been, and continues to be, my biggest setback. So many organizations have had to pare down their operations, so competition is even fiercer than usual, and there are many unknowns for the future. I am still working on overcoming this hurdle, but with vaccines becoming more accessible and travel beginning to pick up again, I am confident that I will find my place before too long.
What’s your best piece of advice for others trying to launch and grow a career in IE?
Network as much as you can without burning out, and take advantage of opportunities that come along. And as much as I hate to say it, unpaid work can be an excellent way to build up a strong resume and get your foot in the door.
Looking back on your international ed career journey, what is something you’re most proud of?
Within a few months of finishing GPI, I was interviewing with my dream company! I made it to the final round of interviews, and while I didn't ultimately get the position, I am now on their radar and am in a good position to reapply next time they are hiring. Considering I didn't think I would have a chance with them for at least another five years, getting so far in the process was a huge deal!
What’s your favorite tool or international education resource that you recommend to others? Why do you love it?
SECUSS-L is a great way to get a sense of what is going on in the field, as well as an excellent place to find jobs to apply for.
What is one of your favorite non-fiction books that you would recommend to other professionals and why do you love it?
I really enjoyed Social Justice in International Education, edited by LaNitra Berger and published by NAFSA last year. It is full of wisdom regarding the role of international educators in promoting social justice, and raises awareness for a variety of identities that are often overlooked abroad.
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