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Yosra (Anna) Alterkawi

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’14 International Politics and Journalism | Assistant Vice President of National Development, USSA International | New York, NY
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Yosra (Anna) Alterkawi

Liberal Arts Major: International Politics

Other Major: Journalism

Hometown: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Current Location: New York, NY

What enrichment activities did you participate in as a student?

During my time as an undergraduate student, I completed two summer internships. The first was as a communications intern with the United Nations Development Program in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The second was as a research intern with the US-Qatar Business Council in Washington, D.C. Throughout the academic year, I took on different positions including being a teaching assistant for Penn State’s Race, Ethnicity, and Culture course (SOC 119), an assistant for the Bellisario College of Communications' photography lab, and an international student orientation leader for Penn State Global Programs. I was also an English language tutor for immigrant adults in the State College, Pennsylvania community through the federal program America Reads.

What was your first job after graduating from Penn State?

I was a graduate development professional with the global public relations agency FleishmanHillard in New York, New York. I supported reputation management projects for both public and private clients around the world.

Who was your favorite faculty member?

This is not an easy question for me to answer, but I think that is a testament to how wonderful the professors are at Penn State. One who really stands out to me is Professor Eugene Walton. He was evidently passionate about the political courses he taught, and his teaching style was engaging and memorable. We keep in touch until this day.

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

At a high level, I find that my liberal arts education collectively taught me to research and consume large volumes of information, comprehensively evaluate it, think critically to derive unique insights, and communicate my findings and recommendations in a clear, impactful manner. The value of this is that these are core skills required to be successful in most jobs. I credit my liberal arts degree for helping make me adaptable to work in different industries and dive into exciting roles with top-tier global organizations.

What networking advice would you share with current students?

Networking has shaped my career by opening my eyes to different career opportunities available and various paths one can take to land their dream job. My advice: Remember networking is only valuable so long as it is based on genuine mutual interest and authentic engagement. Avoid mass networking events and start naturally networking through your day-to-day activities.

What role have mentors played in your career progression?

Mentors have helped me navigate significant transitions in my career. They have encouraged me to pursue ambitious job opportunities, helped me set my career goals, and guided me on how to overcome challenging situations at work.

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