On Oct. 22, 37 students had the unique opportunity to tour the United Nations and mingle with alumni in their major.
The International Relations Department and International Relations Undergraduate Student Association co-sponsored an annual trip to New York City.
This year, the trip involved visits and briefings at the Soros Foundation, Columbia University’s School of Public and International Affairs and a briefing and tour of the UN. The day concluded with a reception and dinner with 15 Penn alumni who studied international relations.
The trip was primarily targeted toward IR majors but was open for anyone to attend, costing $60 for majors and $70 for out of major students. The IR listserv e-mail indicated that non-major students would initially be waitlisted for the trip.
According to IRUSA Vice President and College junior Meghan Hussey, students of various majors were welcome to attend, and some did, including freshmen and sophomores who have not decided on a major.
Since the trip is planned by IRUSA and the IR Department, Hussey said this was the reason IR majors were given a small discount.
Many who would have been interested simply did not know enough about the event to attend. College junior Kelsey Ferguson, a communication major, only heard about the event from a Facebook invite.
“I think since they advertised it as an IR event, I just sort of skimmed it and then ignored it,” she said.
Ferguson said that if the event had been more marketed to her and her major, she would have contemplated attending.
“Penn has a lot of things like that. Great trips, but the name sort of discourages you from joining because it’s targeted at a specific group or major,” she said.
College sophomore and Politics, Philosophy and Economics major Megan McGlynn had not heard about the event, but would have considered going if she had.
“I definitely think other people who are also studying what I’m interested in like Political Science and History would be interested in going,” she said.
McGlynn said that given more information, she would seriously contemplate attending in the future.
Hussey called this year’s trip a “great success,” due to high turnout from students and alumni.
“The most valuable aspect of the trip is the exposure IR students get to the range of opportunities that exist for them after they graduate from Penn,” she said.
Along with the events planned that day, Hussey said the alumni dinner at the end of the day is an “amazing” opportunity not only for the networking possibilities but because students get valuable advice from alumni who are working in various international relations-related professions.
“It is a good dose of the ‘real world,’” she said.
Assistant Director of the IR Department James McGann said the annual trips to New York in the fall and Washington D.C. in the spring are “designed to expose International Relations majors to the key issues, institutions and careers in the field of international affairs.”
IRUSA President and College senior Leah Charlesworth said the event was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and that “the event also does a great job mixing an educational perspective with a social base.”Comments powered by Disqus
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