All posts by Newcomb College Institute

PLEN: Women in Global Policy

Meet Paige Montfort! Paige majors in Political Science-International Development and Public Health. She is interested in a career in human rights work. Thanks to a grant from Newcomb College Institute, she attended Public Leadership Education Network (PLEN)’s Women in Global Policy seminar. Read about her experience below:

Describe yourself and why you wanted to attend the PLEN conference:

I am a rising sophomore double majoring in Public Health and Political Science-International Development. This past year at Tulane, I discovered the field of global health policy and thought it sounded absolutely perfect for me, but I didn’t quite know what the next step to take should be. When I heard about the PLEN Women in Global Policy Conference, I knew I had to attend it. I was looking for advice, mentors, information about the field and about jobs and internships, and networking opportunities. The PLEN conference provided each of those things and more and was the perfect springboard for my academic and professional careers.

Site visit to ONE Campaign office

What were your favorite parts of the conference?

The people were, without a doubt, the highlight of this conference for me. From the nearly sixty incredible college-age women hailing from Tulane and a number of other schools across the nation to the powerful female diplomats, foreign service officers, and more—I could not have dreamed a better week for myself. I created a nation-wide network of friends and began to sink my roots into the Washington DC bubble. I am incredibly excited to grow and develop those relationships over the next few years. The women that I met over the duration of the PLEN conference inspired me, encouraged me, and assured me that there are women in important places in Washington who, if I continue to be passionate and hard-working, will be by my side throughout my career and my life.

Highlight a speaker or a job site you visited:

I loved every single one of the panels I had the opportunity to listen to at PLEN, but one that was exceptionally memorable was the panel called “Diplomacy in Action.” Four incredible female ambassadors (Constance Morella, Lisa Gable, Marie Carmen Aponte, and Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley) spoke to us at this panel and their stories were all unique, inspiring, and exciting. I was able to see the humanity and normal-ness in each of these women who, before this conference, I would perhaps have thought of as powerful, influential figures with no personal lives, problems, families, etc. They spoke candidly, stayed afterword to speak with us individually, and really made me believe that I can do whatever I put my heart into. The best advice from this panel included the following:

  1. First listen. Then learn. Then finally, lead.
  2. Diplomacy is all about understanding people—their feelings, cultures, and motivations. I have to be not just perceptive but also extremely considerate and articulate in this field.
  3. I, as a female especially, must SPEAK UP at meetings, briefings, and events. I need to make my voice heard and amplify those of other females in order to demonstrate my knowledge and capabilities among sometimes louder, but not necessarily more educated or experienced, voices.

Tulane girls with Ambassador Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley

Tell us what you learned that you hope to never forget:

I kept a journal throughout the week to jot down all of the useful and unique tips that I received regarding academics and my future career path. One insight that was consistently shared at almost every panel—that I DEFINITELY don’t want to forget—is the value of REAL experiences. Many speakers encouraged us to take a year or a couple of years before graduate school or law school to attain some work experience, go abroad, or intern somewhere. I will never be so free to do this again, I now realize, and I need to take advantage of this time in my life. Furthermore, I learned the great value of simply getting up and talking to a speaker after an event. I became more confident in my ability to do this throughout the week and by the end had compiled a long list of amazing contacts in the DC area with whom I intend to maintain relationships and perhaps work one day. Finally, I learned a number of very practical, tangible things at the PLEN conference that will be helpful to me right now. One bit of advice that was especially important was that I should include a fun, unique list of interests at the end of my resume because it is the last thing employers see. They want someone with whom they WANT to work—someone with hobbies, insights, and a friendly personality. In addition to these points, I have an entire notebook filled with other suggestions, stories, internships, and contacts—all of which I owe entirely to PLEN.

Visit to Capitol Hill

Why should other students attend a PLEN conference?

Every student should attend a PLEN conference! There are so many different programs covering a wide range of fields and topics. PLEN conferences are empowering, exciting, and incredibly helpful. For younger students, they are a great way to begin to meet people and to decide on a path. For older students, they are opportunities to meet potential employers and to gain important contacts in Washington DC. I spent evenings talking with the other attendees about their goals and dreams over Ethiopian and Salvadoran dinners, explored the rich history and way of life within Washington DC (including becoming a pro at the Metro!), and received invaluable advice. I hope to attend more conferences in the future, and I certainly encourage every other college-age female to do so as well!


Does this sound like something you might be interested in? Tulane undergraduate students can apply to NCI for funding to attend PLEN conferences. Email Betsy Lopez at elopez@tulane.edu for more information.

Responses have been lightly edited for length and clarity.

 

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PLEN: Women in Global Policy

Meet Kayden McKenzie! Kayden majors in Political Science and Philosophy and minors in History. She is interested in a career in human rights work. Thanks to a grant from the Newcomb College Institute, she attended Public Leadership Education Network (PLEN)’s Women in Global Policy seminar. Read about her experience below:

Describe yourself and why you wanted to attend the PLEN conference:

I am a rising senior majoring in Political Science and Philosophy and minoring in History. I have been fascinated with global policy since the beginning of my academic experience, but I was unsure of how to pursue my interest professionally. I wanted to attend PLEN so that I could discover ways in which to begin a career working in global policy. Moreover, I am constantly thinking about what I will do after I graduate, and I believed that attending PLEN would allow me to have a better idea of my plans.

This summer, I will be interning in Washington D.C. at the State Department. I knew that attending PLEN before beginning my internship would be valuable for me because I could make connections in the area and hear advice about how to make the most of my summer in D.C.

What were your favorite parts of the conference?

My favorite part of the conference was the connections that I made with people. I met students from universities throughout the United States who had their own unique interests, but we all shared a passion for global policy. Moreover, I conversed with women who worked in all realms of global policy, whether it was in the non-profit sector or governmental work. I was pleased by how genuine all of these women were and how willing they were to give advice to other students. My favorite speakers were the group of Ambassadors because they had fascinating backgrounds and were extremely prominent in global policy, yet they were enthusiastic to converse with us and give us advice when we asked.

Highlight a speaker or a job site you visited:

We were able to spend one whole day at the State Department. First, we heard from a panel with a Foreign Service officer, a political appointee, and a woman who worked in the Civil Service. Then, we heard from a panel of senior level women who worked at the State Department. All of these women highlighted that there was an ideal job for every kind of person at the State Department, and it was interesting hearing about all of these different careers that are possible. However, despite these differences, all of the women on the panels discussed how much they loved their job. Their passion and energy kept me engaged, and I am now seriously considering pursuing a career at the State Department after my internship there.

After the panels, we participated in a diplomacy simulation. We were assigned to a country or a non-governmental organization and divided into groups to negotiate a dispute with each other. Essentially, our goal was to find a solution to a complex international issue that all parties favored. Participating in this activity allowed us to see a more simplified, classroom version of how diplomacy works in action.

Detail what you learned that you hope to never forget:

I learned that I should form connections with people, even with those who might not necessarily share my exact interests. It is important to have relationships with people if I am going to succeed working in global policy. I also learned that I should seek out people who interest me and maintain contact with them.

In addition to my relationships with other people, I learned about the importance of my relationship with myself and my career. I should always check in with myself about once a month to evaluate whether I truly enjoy where I am at in my life or if I should pursue a different path.

I learned that a career path is not always linear and that I should apply for all opportunities that interest me, even if I think that I am underqualified for them. I should find a specific area of work that I am passionate about and just go for it.

Why should other students attend a PLEN conference?

Other students should attend the conference because meeting strong and successful women who work in the area that you are interested in empowers you and motivates you to pursue what you are passionate about. These women also have gone down different paths that they took to reach this point in their careers, so it is interesting to evaluate these paths and decide which one might work for you. You also receive information about professional opportunities that are available and not well publicized. Additionally, you have a network of people from your PLEN conference who have a shared interest in public policy and leadership, and it is always beneficial to have an additional group of connections and women to build each other up.


Does this sound like something you might be interested in? Tulane undergraduate students can apply to NCI for funding to attend PLEN conferences. Email Betsy Lopez at elopez@tulane.edu for more information.

Responses have been lightly edited for length and clarity.

 

 

PLEN: Women in Global Policy

Meet Natalie Strauber! Natalie majors in and is interested in a career in International Relations. Thanks to a grant from the Newcomb College Institute, she attended Public Leadership Education Network (PLEN)’s Women in Global Policy seminar. Read about her experience below:

Describe yourself and why you wanted to attend the PLAN conference:

I have always been interested in international affairs. I wanted to learn about ways that I can break into this highly competitive space. I wanted to learn from successful women—their best practices and how they successfully navigated through their careers to get to the point where they are today. This program seemed to be the absolute best way to do this, and as it turned out, it was.

Describe your favorite parts of the conference:

I particularly liked my site visit to the Embassy of Spain. Because the women were so kind. Spain is the country I am most interested in. I am going abroad to Spain this Fall and I was very happy I got to meet these esteemed diplomats and ask them questions about the relationship between Spain and the United States.

Highlight a speaker or a job site you visited:

Kaylee Cox-Cybersecurity and Privacy lawyer.
She talked about things I learned about in my law class and she appeared to me to have the job that I aspire to. I am looking forward to connecting with her in Washington in the future.

Tell us what you learned that you hope to never forget:

The fact that a career in global policy is attainable if you are diligent and focused. The conference has taught me to never feel awkward to reach out to people in the industry. 

Why should other students attend a PLEN conference:

To be informed about their career paths. You don’t need to have everything figured out right now, but you can get a closer look at the industry and be better qualified to judge whether it is the right path for you to continue on.


Does this sound like something you might be interested in? Tulane undergraduate students can apply to NCI for funding to attend PLEN conferences. Email Betsy Lopez at elopez@tulane.edu for more information.

Responses have been lightly edited for length and clarity.

 

PLEN: Women in Global Policy

Meet Sophia Angeletti! Sophia majors in international relations and Middle Eastern studies, and minors in Arabic. She’s interested in a career in Middle East research and diplomacy, and thanks to a grant from Newcomb College Institute she attend Public Leadership Education Network’s Women in Global Policy seminar. Read about her experience below:

Describe yourself and why you wanted to attend the PLEN conference:

I am a rising junior studying International Relations with a focus on the Middle East. Since beginning my education at Tulane University, I have been interested in conflict resolution, diplomacy, multilateral institutions, and research. I have also narrowed my focus to the study of the Middle East through studying abroad in Israel and Jordan as well as conducting research on the region. I wanted to attend PLEN: Women in Global Policy to learn about career options that could potentially combine all of my interests. Specifically, I am interested in both diplomacy and research and would love to find a job post graduating that combines the two. Furthermore, I wanted to attend PLEN in order to increase my general knowledge of careers in global policy and use the conference as an opportunity to network with women who have already been successful in the field.

Sophia Angeletti

What were your favorite parts of the conference?

My favorite part of the conference were the site visits. Specifically, site visits to the Embassy of Afghanistan and the U.S. Department of State. At the Embassy of Afghanistan, I was able to meet with a female Afghani diplomat and learn about her journey from living under Taliban rule to becoming a diplomat as well as U.S.-Afghani foreign relations. At the U.S. Department of State, I was able to hear from a variety of current female U.S. Foreign Service Officers about the career options available through the State Department. The State Department visit concluded with a diplomacy simulation that allowed participants to take on the roles of diplomats attempting to negotiate a compromise to a potential nuclear crisis. Both of the site visits helped me to envision a career in global policy as a more obtainable career objective than I had originally imagined.

Highlight a speaker or a job site you visited:

On one of the nights of the conference, we were split up into smaller groups and had dinner with recent PLEN alumni. I had the opportunity to have dinner with Jennifer Ham, a Foreign Service Officer who is about to finish her first year of training in preparation for working in Turkey. Speaking with Jennifer provided greater insight into the steps to becoming a Foreign Service Officer from the perspective of someone just starting their career in the Foreign Service. After spending a few days hearing from panels of highly accomplished diplomats and ambassadors, it was nice to gain a different perspective.

Tell us what you learned that you hope to never forget:

Every panel and speaker eventually reiterated the same message: a career path is not a straight line, but rather more of a winding zig-zag. I feel that sometimes we are taught that if we do x, y, and z it will lead to a certain outcome, but that is often not the case. Every speaker came into her current position in a unique way. I hope to continue to work hard and do what makes me happy, acknowledging that I may not always have control over the events that befall my future.

Why should other students attend a PLEN conference?

It provides an amazing opportunity to meet empowered women, learn about opportunities and resources to be more successful in the future, and gain the confidence to be more successful in future endeavors.


Does this sound like something you might be interested in? Tulane undergraduate students can apply to NCI for funding to attend PLEN conferences. Email Betsy Lopez at elopez@tulane.edu for more information.

Responses have been lightly edited for length and clarity.

 

PLEN: Women in Global Policy

Meet Tatum West! Tatum majors in International Relations and is interested in a career in foreign policy. Thanks to a grant from Newcomb College Institute, she attended Public Leadership Education Network (PLEN)’s Women in Global Policy seminar. Read about her experience below:

Describe yourself and why you wanted to attend the PLEN conference:

Throughout my time at Tulane, I have been fortunate enough to gain work experience abroad, as well as an overall internationally focused education. The PLEN conference seemed like the perfect way to tie everything together and to start thinking about how to transfer my experiences to a meaningful career in global policy.

What were your favorite parts of the conference?

My favorite part of the conference were the speakers and panels. I found it very helpful to hear from accomplished women about their careers and how they got there. PLEN also provided for many opportunities for networking and engaging with the speakers which I really enjoyed because I like interacting with others and listening to the experiences of others who may be able to offer valuable advice.

Tatum West

Highlight a speaker or a job site you visited:

One of my favorite panels was the Female Ambassador Panel, which included the former U.S. Ambassadors to Malta, El Salvador, the World’s Fair Expo, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Every woman on the panel came from very different backgrounds and were role models who embodied values of leadership, service, hard work, and perseverance. It was helpful to hear from women who have careers to which I aspire, and it was fascinating to hear from the women at the top who have had exceptionally remarkable, unique, and impactful careers.

Tell us what you learned that you hope to never forget:

Every single panelist emphasized the value and importance of relationships. Being able to form, sustain, and utilize your network is key to navigating D.C. and the foreign policy and international development fields. Additionally, the speakers highlighted the significance of just simply being kind and always putting your best foot forward.

Why should other students attend a PLEN conference?

I would recommend PLEN to everyone! I honestly didn’t understand exactly how to (correctly) network prior to this conference. PLEN showed me that building a network and forming relationships are extremely important! Not to mention, it doesn’t hurt to have the opportunity to include so many amazing and accomplished women in your network. I would also say that PLEN does a really great job of including students from a variety of educational backgrounds. For example, there were many public health students and a couple of computer science majors and PLEN included a Global Public Health panel as well as a Cyber Security and Policy panel. There is something for everyone!

 


Does this sound like something you might be interested in? Tulane undergraduate students can apply to NCI for funding to attend PLEN conferences. Email Betsy Lopez at elopez@tulane.edu for more information.

Responses have been lightly edited for length and clarity.

 

PLEN: Women and Congress

Meet Izzy Haggar! Izzy double majors in public health and homeland security, and recently attended the Public Leadership Education Network (PLEN) seminar on Woman and Congress, thanks to a grant from Newcomb College Institute. Read about her experiences below:

Describe yourself and why you wanted to attend the PLEN seminar:

I’m a junior studying public health and homeland security. I am very passionate about public policy, specifically health care reform, but wasn’t sure how that might fit into a career. I decided to attend PLEN so that I could learn about all of the careers available on Capitol Hill, what skills are required, and how I can accomplish my goals. I wanted to meet women who have made it in a male dominated field and hear about their careers, life experiences, and how they find work-life balance.

What were your favorite parts of the conference?

I enjoyed the Networking 101 session on the first day. Networking and stepping outside your comfort zone can be very scary and it was a great way to prepare for a week full of meeting new and important women. I also enjoyed the Mentor Awards on Tuesday night. It was inspiring to see where some PLEN alumnae have ended up and I was lucky to meet some of the generous sponsors who make PLEN possible. Additionally, one of the award recipients, Courtney Liss, was a Tulane alum and it was wonderful to meet her.

Highlight a speaker or a job site you visited:

My favorite speaker was Congresswoman Jackie Speier of California who spoke at the Mentor Awards. Her story is so powerful and it really demonstrated that you can do whatever you want in life if you work hard for it. She shared some funny anecdotes and I was just in awe to be in the same room as her.

Izzy Haggar 1

Detail what you learned that you hope to never forget:

I will never forget walking into the Capitol with my badge and being able to walk down hallways and into areas that I never would have seen if I were just a tourist. It was amazing to be in a building that has housed so many important moments in history.

Why should other students attend a PLEN conference?

PLEN is an amazing opportunity to learn about yourself, your interests, and your potential career. PLEN provides insightful and inspiring speakers and networking opportunities. Additionally, you can make some great friends from schools all across the country.

 


Does this sound like something you might be interested in? Tulane undergraduate students can apply to NCI for funding to attend PLEN conferences. Email Betsy Lopez at elopez@tulane.edu for more information.

Responses have been lightly edited for length and clarity.

 

PLEN: Women and Congress

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Meet Noa Elliott! Noa majors in economics and recently attended the Public Leadership Education Network (PLEN) seminar on Women and Congress. thanks to a grant from Newcomb College Institute. Read about Noa’s experience below:

Describe yourself and why you wanted to attend the PLEN seminar:

I wanted the opportunity to learn the important skills incredible women use to navigate the type of work I am passionate to engage with. PLEN introduced us to women who were at the very top of their fields and others who were finding success at the steps just a few ahead of us. I was thrilled about the opportunity to explore Washington, D.C., and to meet the people who are responsible for the operation of our nation and hear about their experiences as women.

What were your favorite parts of the conference?

PLEN offered us the opportunity not only to hear about a broad range of experiences that women had in navigating the world of federal government, but also to practice the skills they felt had been most useful. The combination of types of learning and teaching was great and not only catered to specific interests in policy and elected office, but also to broader professional development and empowerment practices. The opportunity to spend the week of the seminar with other women of similar interests and mindsets was incredible.

Highlight a speaker or a job site you visited:

My favorite session of the conference was when we had the opportunity to hear from professionals in our specific areas of policy interest. I loved the panel on Environmental Policy and felt that I saw women who were doing tangible work that I was excited to learn more about! The chance to combine all of the skills-based speakers with my personal policy passions felt inspiring and highly relevant.

Tell us what you learned that you hope to never forget:

We are women in the world. There is nothing that we cannot achieve if we are confident and driven. Learning to negotiate a salary and network confidently are important parts of leadership and success!

Why should other students attend a PLEN conference?

You will be exposed to so many different ways to engage your passion. There are many ways to make a difference and the chance to see it happen from D.C. provides inspiration, context, and it is so much fun. It was really an unbeatable experience and I encourage every woman to take the opportunity.

 


Does this sound like something you might be interested in? Tulane undergraduate students can apply to NCI for funding to attend PLEN conferences. Email Betsy Lopez at elopez@tulane.edu for more information.

Responses have been lightly edited for length and clarity.

 

Feminist Camp: NYC

Meet Manali Souda! Manali is a senior at Tulane who recently attended Feminist Camp in New York City, thanks to a grant from Newcomb College Institute. Read about her experience below:

Describe yourself and why you wanted to attend Feminist Camp:

I am a senior majoring in political science and English. I was interested in Feminist Camp because I’d heard really good things about it from my friends, and because I was interested in seeing what I could do with my political beliefs after graduation.

What were your favorite parts of the conference?

Being able to meet women at the Feminist Press was really inspirational—I’d learned about its instrumental role in reviving the work of almost-forgotten female authors of the late nineteenth century in my English classes, and hearing about the work they do now to highlight underrepresented authors was pretty amazing.

feminist camp

Highlight some information you learned about reproductive health and reproductive justice:   

One of the most memorable parts of the camp was learning how to perform an abortion on a papaya, but being able to meet all sorts of women who do work around reproductive justice on a larger scale was also incredible. By meeting organizers, doulas, and medical professionals, we got an all-round view of the different facets of reproductive health and reproductive justice.

Detail what you learned that you hope to never forget:

I hope I never forget the feeling of solidarity I had with the other women in my cohort! I really connected with them and learning their stories and activism inspired me more.

Why should other students attend a Feminist Camp?

I was pretty unsure about it when I first applied, but I am really glad I did. It reminded me why I’m a feminist and why I want to take my passions and politics with me wherever I go.

How did this experience help with your future ambitions?

It clarified for me the ways in which I would or wouldn’t be comfortable with my feminist politic in professional spaces.

 

 


Does this sound like something you might be interested in?  Tulane undergraduate students can apply to NCI for funding to attend Feminist Camp. Email Betsy Lopez at elopez@tulane.edu for more information.

Responses have been lightly edited for length and clarity.

Feminist Camp

Simran Jain majors in political science and social policy and practice, and minors in gender and sexuality studies. Simran recently attended Feminist Camp, where she was exposed to feminist work beyond her personal experience.

Describe yourself and why you wanted to attend Feminist Camp:

I am a sophomore who is constantly taking classes on the theory behind feminist ideology and movements, but have had limited exposure to feminist work that is being done beyond Tulane’s campus. At Tulane, I am involved in several student groups: Students United for Reproductive Justice (SURJ), Sexual Aggression Peer Hotline and Education (SAPHE), and Undergraduate Student Government, and I feel as though I am fairly well versed in what social activism looks like on our campus. Feminist Camp was an exciting opportunity to expand my knowledge on national and international feminist movements. Making sure that I am always being exposed to new content and having my ideas challenged is core to my activism, and I wanted to attend Feminist Camp as an opportunity to learn and grow, then bring what I learned back to the campus that I love.

What were your favorite parts of the conference?

My favorite parts of the conference were, surprisingly, the times that centered around art. I often consider myself to be much more political than artistic. Most of my activism exists in a political sphere and visual art often goes right over my head. So when I found myself connecting so deeply with the A.I.R. Gallery, a feminist art gallery in Brooklyn, I was shocked. This trend of art continued as we met with the Feminist Press publishing company and Anastasia Higginbotham and learned more about feminist literature, poetry, and children’s books. Viewing all of these forms of alternative activism was the most powerful part of the conference for me, and it was these moments where feminism was brought from the intellectual to the emotional that will stick with me for life.

Highlight information you learned on reproductive health and reproductive justice: 

As an executive board member of Students United for Reproductive Justice for the last two years and an activist for reproductive health and rights, I thought I really had a handle on these topics. I can tell you where your local abortion clinic is, what the laws are in your state in regards to access, what sex education looks like in different school districts, etc., but there was one huge gap in my education. My knowledge of the actual medical procedure of an abortion was so limited. I knew all there was to know about the politics of reproductive rights, but the scientific aspect went right over my head. At Feminist Camp, that gap was filled when I performed an abortion procedure on a papaya at a family planning center in Harlem.

We started the workshop by breaking down common misconceptions about abortions and who is getting them. One in four American women will have an abortion before age 45. 59 percent of people seeking abortions had given birth in the past. 51 percent of people seeking abortions were using a contraceptive method the month that they became pregnant. Learning about all of this was already increasing my knowledge about the state of abortion in America, but the most influential part of the workshop was when we performed an “abortion” on a papaya. After doing the procedure with my own two hands, I left Harlem knowing that I was better equipped to continue my activism.

Having this new found knowledge on the logistics of what an abortion looks like has made me a better, more informed advocate and has offered me a level of compassion and understanding that I did not have before. I hope to bring this papaya workshop to Tulane so that reproductive rights activists, and general student body alike, can experience what the procedure of an abortion looks like and dismantle some of the stigmas and myths surrounding it.

Tell us what you learned that you hope to never forget:

One of the most valuable things that I learned from Feminist Camp was not something that was directly told to us, but rather a trait that was exhibited by so many of the people we met. I learned the power of passion from the coordinators, speakers, and other campers. As we spent a full week constantly engaging with people, the speakers who stuck with me and inspired me the most all had something in common; they were obviously passionate about what they did. As a young adult with many opinions and not a whole lot of life experience, it can often feel as though getting people to listen is an impossible task. But if you really care about something, really love something, those feelings show and the value of that is unparalleled to any formal skill.

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Why should other students attend a Feminist Camp?

I would highly recommend Feminist Camp to all Tulane students interested in social justice! This experience was therapeutic, and rejuvenated my energy and drive to commit myself to feminist work. The people that you meet during Feminist Camp are diverse and inspiring. Feminist Camp offers you the chance to expand your understanding of feminist work being done today, while also making meaningful connections and engaging in professional development for those who hope to bring feminism into their future careers.

How did this experience help with your future ambitions?

Feminist Camp gave us the opportunity to make meaningful personal connections, as well as necessary professional connections. This experience allowed me to network with a purpose and took a huge amount of the stress of networking out of the process. Getting the chance to be face to face with people from the organizations that I hope to someday work at allowed me to solidify my career goals and begin pursuing those goals in an informed manner. I feel much more prepared to take on my professional future thanks to Feminist Camp!

 


Does this sound like something you might be interested in?  Tulane undergraduate students can apply to NCI for funding to attend Feminist Camp. Email Betsy Lopez at elopez@tulane.edu for more information.

Responses have been lightly edited for length and clarity.

Feminist Camp

Alex Nichols is a senior majoring in English, psychology, and gender & sexuality studies, and she’s interested in a career in civil rights law or nonprofit development. Alex also recently attended Feminist Camp.

Describe yourself and why you wanted to attend the Feminist Camp:

After interning with the National Organization for Women – NYC as well as the New Orleans Abortion Fund this past year, I was unsure if I wanted to commit my life to fundraising. I wanted to have a more direct role in fighting systematic oppression, so I began considering going into Civil Rights or Constitutional law. This uncertainty about my future is what pushed me to attend Feminist Camp.

What were your favorite parts of the conference?

Some of my favorite parts of the conference was simply getting to meet so many people in various stages of their lives and careers, but who all cared about feminist issues. While I learned quite a lot from the speakers, I found that even my peers were a terrific source of information and additional perspectives. Of the speakers we met, Rye Young of the Third Wave Fund and Chanel Porchia of Ancient Song pushed me to consider aspects of my feminism that I thought I had a solid understanding of. This was particularly true for nonprofit development and for respecting the agency of marginalized communities. I now feel even more confident of my views and the way in which I want to aid others.

Highlight info you learned on reproductive health and reproductive justice:

Because of the thoroughness of the NCI meetings I attend as part of my reproductive rights internship, I found that I didn’t learn too much in this one area. The visit to Spence-Chapin did offer another angle to approach the subject though. Since I often think of reproductive justice as access to abortion as well as the right to have and raise a child, I overlooked the significance of adoption. I was greatly impressed by the organization’s commitment to informing pregnant individuals of the many options they have outside of adoption.

Detail what you learned that you hope to never forget:

Regardless of the path you end up taking in life, you can always stay true to your values. Getting the chance to meet and hear about women who worked in the government, at nonprofits dedicated to these issues, as well as those who worked in places that could be considered problematic, such as Vice or a corporate law firm. There is an infinite number of ways to be a feminist.

Why should other students attend a Feminist Camp?

Other students should attend Feminist Camp because it was the first time that I was told the skills I’ve gained and the knowledge I’ve learned over these last three years can be applied and even valued in the workforce. Previously, I struggled to see careers beyond academia or non-profit organizations. Now, I recognize there really aren’t any restrictions on my feminism.

How did this experience help with your future ambitions?

I came to Feminist Camp in hopes of determining which of the careers I was considering would fulfill and challenge me. However, it actually made me aware that there are countless other directions I could go in. I’m still unsure of my future, but knowing that there’s always another option has made graduating and picking one career less intimidating.

 


Does this sound like something you might be interested in?  Tulane undergraduate students can apply to NCI for funding to attend Feminist Camp. Email Betsy Lopez at elopez@tulane.edu for more information.

Responses have been lightly edited for length and clarity.