Monday, February 23, 2015

Student Blogger: Liz H

We’re pleased to introduce Liz H., a new student blogger.  Enjoy!

Liz, we’re so glad to have you blogging for the Admissions Office.  Can you tell our readers a little about yourself? 
My name is Liz and I’m a second year student here at SAIS, studying international development. I spent my first year at the SAIS Europe campus in Bologna and now I am starting off my final semester here in Washington. 
I came to SAIS after living and working in China for three years. I have always been passionate about youth empowerment and education – in Beijing I worked for a start-up nonprofit organization which provides experiential education and leadership programs for youth. Ever since I was in high school I loved working with and mentoring young people. I grew up in North Carolina but spent my summers working as a camp counselor and supervisor at an overnight camp in North Georgia. I love spending time outside and I enjoy environments where you can learn and grow from those around you in a comfortable space.
I went to China for the first time as a high school student, and again to study abroad during my junior year of college. After college I knew I wanted to go back and explore the region more. I was fortunate to be awarded a Princeton-in-Asia fellowship to work in Beijing.  It was the best first job I could have asked for; working for a start-up gave me the opportunity to support the organization from all different angles and learn about how to effectively market programs, design curriculum and facilitate activities. My favorite project was directing a summer program for underserved American high school students who received scholarships through a State Department grant to study in China. 
Both working for an international nonprofit and seeing China grow and change around me made me interested in going back to school to study international development. While I am passionate about cultural exchange and youth development, I was interested in exploring other regions and considering career opportunities that focus on other critical issues in developing countries, such as inequality and corruption.
SAIS has opened my mind to so many ideas and opportunities. I feel confident that when I graduate, I will have the skills and confidence to take the next step in my career. 
–Liz H., SAIS Admissions Student Blogger