A spring internship with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)
in Washington D.C. allowed Sara Head to experience many interesting opportunities.
As an External Relations intern, she was surrounded by influential leaders such as
General James Jones, the National Security Advisor, and Sarah Palin, the governor
of Alaska. Palin was interested in hearing about students’ internships and experiences
in Washington D.C. She worked among international leaders, such as the Chinese, Canadian
and Great Britain foreign ministers.
Another unforgettable experience was an all-day seminar at the Embassy of Sweden. The seminar covered international economics with the keynote speaker, Paul Krugman, a columnist for The New York Times and the 2008 recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics. Head says, “I learned a lot and was exposed to different perspectives on the economy and financial crisis in the United States and worldwide.”
Head spent time on Capitol Hill where she visited the Raven Building to hear a CSIS expert testify on the current military conditions and strategies in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Her everyday duties taught her useful skills as well. She prepared for CSIS events; developed relationships with the media, government and community; researched and monitored media; handled media crews; took notes at events; compiled databases and examined marketing strategies. Her experience prepared her to think critically and step outside her comfort zone. She says, “My internship sparked new interests and gave me valuable insights into career options for the future.”
Looking toward the future, Head, a native of Fredericktown, Mo., plans to graduate in May 2010 with the idea of pursuing a master’s degree at Southeast. Head is among self-motivated students who are always yearning to learn more. During her sophomore year, she was a resident assistant and lists the experience as her favorite time at Southeast. Head comments, “Although very challenging, the position was also very rewarding. I made close friendships with staff members and residents and learned more about my own strengths and weaknesses.”
Her busy schedule includes attending classes, serving as Student Government senator for the Donald L. Harrison College of Business, and on the All-University Judicial Board, volunteering at the Humane Society, and working on campus in the Department of Public Services/Publications. Yet she still managed to take a trip to Madrid, Spain accompanying Professor Merget and students from the Department of Foreign Language and Anthropology. The two weeks in Spain earned three credit hours to help complete her Spanish minor. They traveled to Toledo, Segovia, El Escorial, Avila, Seville, La Granja and Aranjuez. Madrid was her favorite destination because of the shops, cafes and museums. She says, “Studying abroad is an amazing experience that would benefit all students, regardless of their major. It gives you a better sense of your surroundings and challenges. You will learn more about the culture and yourself.” At Southeast, studying abroad is possible for every student because of the many opportunities and helpful faculty.
In addition to being involved on campus, Head enjoys various activities in Cape Girardeau. She says, “I like to walk to Capaha Park with my friends and feed the ducks. My favorite place to eat is Broussard’s Cajun Cuisine on Main Street where I always order the shrimp Creole.”
“Southeast offers the knowledge and resources to succeed, but it’s the responsibility of the individual to take advantage of everything Southeast has to offer. You may discover a perfect opportunity when talking with a professor or student. Don’t be shy, network!”