I was honored to be invited to Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore yesterday (1/30/2020) to talk with undergraduates about careers in peace and social justice areas. I met with two groups: first, a small group of minors in the field, most of them looking to graduate in the spring, and second, a larger group of Loyola students interested in peacebuilding and international careers.
With the smaller group, I had a chance to converse with young people committed to peace and social justice. Several of the students had plans for graduate school – law, medicine, and social work. But a few where thinking about “gap” years to work before going back to school. I stressed with the students the need to apply what they have learned. Real learning comes from experience I reminded them. I shared with them my peacebuilding career checklist that I use with clients and also had them think about how to develop a strategic plan. We also talked about networking and the development of a “strategic share.” I also shared with them 2017 Global Shapers Survey which ranked the world’s most pressing challenges: climate change was #1.
In the evening, I met with a larger group of students, staff, faculty, and community members. Here my emphasis was more on broader notions of careers for those seeking to make change. We started off talking about the value of a liberal arts education, and how that is changing. A recent Georgetown University study showed that many employers value the ability of liberal arts students to problem-solve. We talked about a range of post-college avenues including graduate school, Peace Corps, fellowships, and working in the corporate environment.