12.02.2008

Blonde Equals Brainy (Only In Cambodia)

H.E. Samrang Kamsan, the adviser to the student senate, approached me yesterday and told me I will be giving a presentation on internships this month. "The President Dr. Kao said this would be a good idea," he said. That's about as much detail as I got.

Apparently having blonde hair and blue eyes in this country alludes to more than the fact that you pay more for a BBQ dinner or a t-shirt from the market. It means your an expert on random bits of everything.

I fished around for some answers such as date and how long I'm expected to talk (7 minutes), but my topic is still very open. Internships.

Since many dear readers know me through internships (ahem, KBrock and Crys), perhaps you and others could help me brainstorm ways to approach this topic. His excellency suggested I talk about why it's important in Ohio to get an internship, but that is not relevant to students in Cambodia nor do I feel qualified to speak on behalf of everyone in Ohio. I was thinking about talking about the sorts of internships I've had and where they've gotten me. (Although, maybe the students won't be impressed that I ended up in their homeland doing absolutely nothing related to those work experiences.)

I suppose I have time to think about this. Everything in Cambodia is last minute, so I guess I shouldn't worry about what I'm going to be saying three weeks from now.

On another topic, I also became an expert on graduate school admissions today. The administrative office sent a girl over to me because she wants to attend grad school in the States. Sure, I can answer questions about the weather in this state as compared to that and what school has a good football team, but please don't ask me the best U.S. schools for nursing and if you need to take the TOEFL.

I think the poor girl thought I had connections that could get her into Ohio University. Little does she know that I am an island that has broken off the mainland and is floating aimlessly about the big wide ocean. (I need to work on my metaphors.) I'm a year and a half out of school and I ain't connected to nobody. I pointed her to some websites, though, and wished her best of luck. Of course I'm always here to answer questions about the weather.

4 comments:

Em said...

Maybe you could speak about connections. In my experience, it's not about what you do during your internship. It's more about the people you meet. I got a job out of my internship. You met plenty of people with connections. And, while the GLC was not an internship per se, it worked like one because you've landed a job in Cambodia. It's all about getting your name out there.

Crys said...

I'll try to sit and brainstorm tonight. But I think maybe a good focal point could be that internships give you experience in actually doing the jobs you'd like to pursue over just studying them at college.

Example:
My internship at the Detroit Zoo (PR & Marketing) gave me the chance to write press releases and how to correctly contact other establishments.

KBrock said...

I'd focus on what you think you achieved personally through the internships. You may not have gotten many direct work connections through Contiki, but it did let you experience other cultures, meet other people from around the US, and share ideas with your peers about culture and travel in general. Plus it gave you some public speaking experience (which in this case seems relevant) and made you more open to trying new things? You can also talk about how internships are almost necessary in the US to get jobs and to go post-undergrad, which your audience may not be too familiar with.

Hope those help! I'll let you know if I think of anything else.

Rachael said...

Thanks! These are all good ideas to consider.