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International Careers Networking Night in Cleveland

Our second event for July 12 was International Careers Networking Night 2018 put on by the Cleveland Council on World Affairs (CCWA) and Summer on the Cuyahoga. This gathering took place in the 3rd floor ballroom of Fenn Tower at Cleveland State University.


It is the mission of the CCWA to "inspire engagement in international affairs through education, citizen diplomacy, and public dialogue" and its vision is "to create a region of globally minded citizens."

The mission of Summer on the Cuyahoga is "to recruit talented college students for summer internships and a unique immersion into the company with the ultimate goal of having graduates build networks and permanently locate in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio."

The purpose of the networking event for that evening was to provide information to students interested in international careers in, as our notes indicated, "Foreign Service, the Peace Corps, and beyond."

Overall, it was attended by close to 100 students, and many of them were international. Accordingly, prior to the start of the program, we shared a table with Rishi (from India), Jiahao (from China), and Rishav (from Nepal).

One of the other students that we spoke to before we left told us that his cousin was working with Margaret W. Wong & Associates, LLC to obtain his green card.

The main networking among the students and representatives from organizations (which we didn't stay for) was scheduled to take place after we heard from three speakers: Ambassador Heather Hodges, CCWA President and Ambassador-in-Residence; Ms. Sophia Weinmann, Regional Recruiter, U.S. Peace Corps; and Ms. Camila Negret, Midwest Market Diversity Leader of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

Amb. Hodges spoke about what a career in Foreign Service involves and its qualifications. On the latter point, she said one must be well-read regarding international affairs and considered good news sources to be NPR, The Economist, New York Times, and Washington Post.

Ms. Weinmann talked about her own Peace Corps service in Guinea and how inspiring it was to work with people of a different culture in a different country. She struck a chord with us when she recalled how lonely it was at first being in a strange country where a strange language was spoken, and how much the help she received from her new friends meant to her.

Ms. Negret discussed PwC and how a career in business has the potential to be truly exciting instead of simply pushing papers and/or studying computer screens. 

In fact, Ms. Negret spoke for Amb. Hodges and Ms. Weinmann as well as for herself when she contended that the most important thing she could impart to those present was to not be content by just being comfortable and to not be afraid to step out of one's comfort zone and explore.


Michael Patterson

Community Liaison

Margaret W. Wong & Associates, LLC

Aimee Jannsohn