Lehman Hosts Career Development Workshop for Study Abroad Students

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Lehman Hosts Career Development Workshop for Study Abroad Students

A college student's study abroad experience, no matter how life-changing, does not always translate directly into job prospects after graduation, which is why Lehman hosted Gilman Scholarship alumni for a workshop designed to turn their experience abroad into a meaningful career.

On Friday, June 14, 50 past recipients of the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship award convened on the Lehman campus for a career readiness workshop, one of three events to be held across the country this year. Lehman College was selected by the U.S. Department of State, which sponsors the scholarship program, to host the East Coast location.

"Gilman Scholars, whether through an internship or study abroad, gain critical skills to adapt and function in a cross-cultural environment," said Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Marie Royce. "We are pleased to support our outstanding Gilman alumni through these career-enhancing initiatives."

The Gilman Scholarship program focuses on diversifying the study abroad experience by supporting first-generation college students and those from underrepresented populations.

"By hosting the Gilman Alumni Career workshop, we hoped to showcase the amazing work taking place at Lehman College in supporting underrepresented students studying abroad and expanding our global partnerships and education abroad opportunities," said Sandra Cortez, assistant director of Lehman’s Center for Global Engagement, who organized the day’s events.

Lehman staff, Gilman alumni, and representatives from the U.S. government conducted sessions and panel discussions covering career advancement strategies, building a personal brand, and opportunities for employment in the foreign service.

Attendees also learned practical skills, such as how to make the most of their international experiences on resumes, in interviews, and while networking.

Michelle Augustine, director of Lehman's Office of Prestigious Awards, conducted an inspiring workshop on writing effective and compelling personal statements, which is a critical skill for graduate school and competitive job applications. Her strategy is to start with self-reflection, before any writing takes place.

"You have to understand the hurdles you have gone through, in order to get to the place where you can write a powerful personal statement," Augustine told the audience.

Lehman attendees July Torres, who studied in South Korea, and Sally Cabrera, who studied in Japan, were enthusiastic about the day's offerings. Cabrera noted that the opportunity to meet fellow Gilman alumni with similar backgrounds was an added benefit of the event.

The workshop attendees hailed from two-year and four-year institutions across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, including the University of Maryland, University of Maine, and Brown University, and as far away as the University of San Francisco and University of Puerto Rico. Local Gilman scholars included students and alumni of Sarah Lawrence, Rutgers, and CUNY, including two Lehman students.