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Selena Duvivier

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'18g International Affairs, '18 International Politics | AmeriCorps VISTA, National Housing Trust | Washington, D.C.
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Selena Duvivier

Liberal Arts Majors: International Affairs ('18g) and International Politics (B.A.)

Liberal Arts Minors: Spanish and Latin American Studies

Hometown: Philadelphia, PA

Current Location: Arlington, VA

What enrichment activities did you participate in as a student?

I completed a summer internship at the International Department for the Ministry of Energy in Santiago, Chile. I also completed work study with Global Connections, a local nonprofit organization.

What was your first job after graduating from Penn State?

After graduating from Penn State, I interned for the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA).

What was your favorite class?

My favorite classes were related to the history of the United States and Latin America, and how that has impacted modern-day society.

How did your liberal arts education and skills prepare you for your life after graduation?

My liberal arts education was defined by the hands-on experiences I had. From a degree like international affairs, the traditional classroom setting would not and could not have prepared me for the lived experiences of the topics in which I was studying. My international experiences, internships, and various jobs related to my degrees definitely contributed to my education and skills obtained.

What networking advice would you share with current students?

Networking is essential to my career. Particularly as I start my career in D.C., not having a strong network of connections would deeply limit the opportunities available to me. My advice to current students is to stop thinking of networking events as a one-sided relationship, with the goal of obtaining a job. It really doesn't work like that and will make networking into this big monster that you avoid, when in reality it should be an opportunity you run to. Not only does continuous involvement in networking events allow you to practice that "elevator speech" with various people, but it also allows you to practice advocating for yourself and building a network of smart, experienced individuals. Singularly, one person may not lead to a job, but combined, multiple individuals can point you in the direction of your next opportunity.

What role have mentors played in your career progression?

Mentors have been key to my career progression. I'm someone who doesn't make decisions easily, so getting the advice and perspective of those I consider my mentors have been incredibly helpful in professional and personal growth. Mentors, like those in the Career Enrichment Network and supervisors in my current role, have been amazing in helping to build my career confidence and support me in my career "spiral."

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