ONIF Student Spotlight
December 17, 2021
Name: Natalie Riddick
Degree: BA History
Graduation Date: May 2023
Fellowship Award: The Global Student Leadership Summit was a 3-day virtual leadership conference for students who are interested in further developing skills related to global diversity, equity, and inclusion. Students from colleges and universities nationwide participated to develop the skills essential to being a successful and inclusive leader in a global society. In the program, I participated in interactive student leadership sessions, engaged in dialogue centered on self-reflection and identity, formed relationships with like-minded student leaders, and connected with professionals from higher education, the public sphere, and private sector.
What are your current or future career plans? My future career plans center around public service leadership domestically or internationally and advocacy for social justice.
What have you enjoyed most about the program? I enjoyed meeting students from all different universities and learning about their passions and career plans through community building activities. Their drive for success and to impact the world was very inspiring. I also enjoyed all of the seminars. It was very informative to hear from such accomplished professionals worldwide about how to articulate our own experiences and passions to be competitive for career, post-graduate, and academic opportunities. I also appreciated that the program built out time for us to have one on one discussions with these professionals and have space to ask them questions about their career paths.
What has been the most challenging aspect of the program (thus far)? The most challenging aspect of the program was navigating it over Zoom. It was difficult at times to navigate the multitude of Zoom rooms and breakout rooms within those rooms. I found myself having to constantly recheck the schedule of events to make sure I was in the right place.
How has Covid-19 impacted your experience? As stated above, the program was virtual and that was an impact of COVID-19. COVID also impacted my experience because as a global leadership seminar, many of the students participating in the program, including myself, were planning to study abroad but had those travel plans changed by COVID. This led to a shift in seminars in the program from how to use your international experiences in your future career to how you can practice being a global citizen even when you cannot physically travel.
What advice do you have for future applicants? Whether or not you have studied abroad or traveled internationally, I recommend this program for any student interested in international careers or any student who wants to develop their leadership skills and awareness of how they can impact their own community and the wider world.
What would people be surprised to know about you? People would be surprised to know that before college I traveled internationally with my school and was able to visit Machu Picchu twice. In high school, I also was able to perform a choir concert with the real-life Von Trapp family the movie The Sound of Music was based on.
The Global Student Leadership Summit is for emerging leaders from all backgrounds to participate in professional development workshops to enhance their career readiness by learning how to articulate and leverage their international experience for career and graduate opportunities. For more information, visit https://conference.diversitynetwork.org/global_student_leadership_summit/, or contact ONIF.