Natalie Hochhaus is a sophomore at ASU majoring in global studies with a minor in anthropology. With the assistance of the Global Studies Travel Grant offered by the School of Politics and Global Studies (SPGS), Hochhaus was able to attend a student conference on U.S. affairs at West Point. After her trip, Hochhaus took the time to provide a recap of her experiences:
Question: What was it like to participate in this conference?
Answer: This conference was unique because I was able to interact with cadets from West Point, students from all across the country and world, and with professionals from many different fields. With this diversity at the conference it was interesting to see how as a team we were able to come together to create a policy proposal to solve social injustices in the U.S. My favorite part of the conference was to meet and hear Madeleine Albright present a speech about how we need to solve the issues that we are facing today with a global perspective. I am grateful that this conference gave me the opportunity to learn more about the military experience and to experience creating policy proposals in a group setting.
Q: What were your takeaways from your participation?
A: After this conference I found that I love working in a group setting where I can debate how to solve critical issues that are affecting our society. However, working in this setting I had to learn how to be assertive of my own ideas, while also being open to other people’s thoughts and proposals. Furthermore, I was amazed and even more grateful for what the cadets at West Point have to do on a consistent basis. Before this experience I didn’t know how much training the cadets went through on top of their regular coursework. This conference allowed me to not only grow academically and professionally, but also learn more about the U.S. military.
Q: If someone was interested in an experience such as this, what advice would you give them?
A: My advice to someone interested in this experience is to be confident in your skill set and what you know. At this conference there were many students with different backgrounds and facilitators who are leaders in their professional field. Don’t let this intimidate you though, because the education that I received from ASU provided me with the ability to perform at the same level as students who were more advanced in their degree than me.
This past semester, Hochhaus also had a chance to participate in the School’s Junior Fellows Program. After graduation she hopes to receive the Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship to enable her to receive her master’s in public health administration. Long term, Hochhaus would like to become a professor.
“I want to say thank you to all the professors and staff at ASU and the School of Politics and Global Studies who have helped me and other students achieve our aspirations and goals,” she said.
The School of Politics and Global Studies offers travel grants for qualified students completing their SGS International Experience. To learn more about opportunities like this, visit the SPGS website.
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