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Parish students gain global insights
Posted 12/09/2015 01:23PM

Half a dozen members of Parish’s Academy of Global Studies recently had the opportunity to look at career opportunities that go beyond Texas. They attended International Career Day at the University of Texas at Arlington on December 2. The World Affairs Council (WAC) event hosts 850 students from 40 North Texas high schools and is aimed at giving students a head start on their future plans. Students visit with professionals in international fields such as diplomacy, business, law and education.

“I was actually dreading going at first… I didn’t want to miss a full day of school,” said Caroline Haga, Class of ’17. "But, oh boy, was I wrong. Each and every one of the speakers was engaging and interesting. Not only did they give background on their companies/organizations, but they gave insightful personal stories. My favorite was a female military helicopter pilot.”

WAC organizers and educators hope those personal stories will resonate with students and offer them a global perspective when it comes to college plans and career ambitions.

“Globalization is more than a buzzword,” said Frederick Hotz, Director of Academy of Global Studies at Parish. “It is a term that describes our contemporary world of complex economic, political, cultural, ideological and environmental forces.  International Career Day offers students the opportunity to go beyond a narrow focus by hearing from professionals on the front lines of globalization.”

The regional event falls in line with the AGS goal at Parish to produce a corps of globally-attuned graduates prepared to be the impactful international leaders of tomorrow.

“One of our very best examples of this commitment can be seen through our partnership with the Dallas Fort Worth World Affairs Council,” said Hotz.

Paris Bland, Class of ’17, says the WAC has always been incredibly helpful when it comes to reaching out and showing students the possibilities for involvement in the world.

“I've never thought about spending a semester in college abroad, but after talking to someone who completed the same major I plan on pursuing, I realized I should highly consider it,” noted Bland. “My major will most likely be in international relations, so the ability to pursue my goal internationally seems attainable now,” she added.

It is “real world” advice and perspective that students can use as they make decisions on the paths they’ll choose for college, careers and in life.

“I always thought the Peace Corps was for people exiting college, but because they have no age limit, a volunteer can be middle aged or retired. I never considered applying, but after learning about the freedom I would have going in later in life, it started to seem like a possibility,” said Bland.

“I was pretty shocked when a retired FBI agent got up and spoke,” said Haga. “He told us a lot of statistics and what it takes to be in the FBI, but he was also funny. One of the students asked if he went through training at Quantico and if it was anything like the new TV series. He laughed, shook his head then said to the girl, ‘Honey, the only thing that is ever remotely the same is the name.’”

Parish students will have another opportunity to learn from professionals during the AGS Distinguished Speaker Series.

The Winter Speaker - scheduled January 27 - is Brian Bowler. He is the Malawi Ambassador to the UN; former High Commissioner to India; former ambassador to Switzerland, France, Luxembourg, Holland, and Belgium; lead trade negotiator between the EU and the Eastern and Southern African economic bloc; and founding trustee for the National AIDS Commission.

The Spring Speaker - scheduled March 30 - is Somini Sengupta. She is the United Nations Correspondent for The New York Times and a 2003 George Polk Award recipient for foreign reporting.

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