This post is part of the Career Center’s bi-weekly roundup of alumni success stories. Check out Anna’s story below, and find more SuCCess Stories here!
8 Questions with Anna McCreedy ‘13
Major: International Political Economy
Grad Year: 2013
Current Job Title, Organization: Intern at Berkeley International Office (BIO)
What did you do after graduation?
AM: I had studied abroad in China multiple times at CC, so I knew I wanted to do something China-related. I ended up applying to the Colorado China Council, and through them I went to teach English at Sichuan University for a year. I really enjoyed working in education, and loved working with the students themselves, but after a year decided that teaching wasn’t my calling. From there, I looked into the administrative side of international education, and ended up at St. Mary’s School, an international high school, in Oregon where I spent one year as a Resident Adviser and another as Director of Residential Life.
What are you up to now?
AM: From my work at St. Mary’s, I knew I wanted to continue in the international education field, with the goal of working in higher education. To pursue this goal, I enrolled in a Master’s program at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, where I’m pursuing a degree in International Education Management. This program consists of a year of courses, and then a half year of practicum in which we study while working in the field. Just recently, I accepted a practicum offer with UC Berkley’s International Office, and am so excited to be working with them to complete my studies.
Please describe your current position:
AM: As a BIO intern, I’ll be working largely on programming for international students coming to study in the US. I’ll also be assisting with SEVIS operations, which is the federal database that tracks international students in the US.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
AM: What has always drawn me to international education is the amazing experiences that I’ve had myself of traveling and learning in another country. I was a scholarship student at CC, and they made it very possible for me to have study abroad experiences throughout my college career. In fact, I made it a goal to study abroad once a year while I was at CC, and I’ll always be grateful to have been given those opportunities. To be able to work in the international education field and give those same incredible experiences to students is a dream come true.
What does your typical day look like?
AM: At BIO, no day is the same. Because international offices have such a variety of tasks, the people working in those offices typically have to wear a lot of different hats. To add to that, the time of year greatly influences what the office needs to work on. The variety in day-to-day life is another thing that drew me to this field!
Has your career path changed at all from graduation to now? If so, how?
AM: Mostly my career path has simply focused down to a more specific area. While at CC, I knew I wanted to do something international, but really had no clue how to translate that into a career. Through various work experiences and the very specific Master’s program here at the Middlebury Institute, I’ve really been able to narrow my scope.
What are the transferable skills you took from your liberal arts education?
AM: The ability to perform in a variety of roles was something that was always emphasized at CC, and has served me well in my current field where I need to adapt to so many different situations. I feel like liberal arts educations may not be as specific, but they provide a very strong base to build off of. My writing skills also greatly improved while at CC, and that is something that continues to serve me well today. Lastly, CC always sought to foster a sense of adventure, and I think that this, more than anything, may have pushed me out of my comfort zone and set me on the path that led to international education.
What advice would you give to students looking to find a job in your field?
AM: I would definitely recommend getting plenty of international experience so that you can better understand your student’s’ journey. It’s also something that employers like to see on your resume. Language skills are always a plus, and while a Master’s degree is not required, it does help get your foot in the door in what is a pretty competitive field.
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