The LSA Program in International and Comparative Studies (PICS) offers INTLSTD 170: Network Your Way to an International Internship and Career every semester. Led by instructor Klementina Sula, this course started in 2015 as an answer to students’ call for more internship and career advice and as part of the Program’s expanding offerings of active, engaged, and experiential learning. To date over 200 students have taken this course, and experienced it as transformational in their personal and professional growth. The experiences teaching the course have also led Ms. Sula to develop additional extracurricular workshops where students have had the chance to hone their skills in resume and cover-letter writing, and creating and curating their LinkedIn profiles to maximal effect in pursuing their international career goals.
As a University of Michigan Alumna and participant in several international-focused programs herself, Ms. Sula believes strongly in the power of international experiences. “I support PICS because I believe in the power of international experiences. I believe that every PICS student - and every U-M student - should pursue at least one international experience before they graduate. I want students to see the world, learn new languages, experience new cultures, and make lifelong friends... I am a firm believer that international experiences help students discover who they really are. My global experiences have had a profound impact on who I am and on the life that I lead -- and scholarships made my experiences possible.”
In fall 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic caused this course to shift to a virtual format, but students have found extraordinary value in signing up for this career building course during these unprecedented and uncertain times. Students from Ms. Sula’s Fall 2020 virtual course have noted the very meaningful and important impact the course has contributed to their future career goals.
Paulina Buchta (BA ‘22) noted “wanted to express how much I have already learned in the INTLSTD 170 class. Even though this semester is mostly virtual, I enjoy the format of this course through Zoom; it allows me to interact effectively with my classmates and have a greater amount of one on one instruction. Having more opportunities to work with you outside of class has allowed me to get ahead in my internship applications. Because the meetings are online, it is easier to meet between classes or in the evenings, outside of regular school hours. This allows me to spread out my work and makes me feel less overwhelmed as opposed to finding time to meet on campus. Meeting multiple times already since the semester started helped me drastically with my State Department Internship Application for Summer 2021. The virtual one on one meetings transformed my application and I would not have had nearly as strong of an application without your advice and encouragement. I am so grateful for the opportunity to take your class and I believe that the online structure is more beneficial to us.”
Cole Simon (BA ‘22), also noted to Ms. Sula that, “you have done an excellent job at converting INTLSTD 170 into an online class. While it is unfortunate that we're unable to meet in person, in a way this online format lends itself better to the world we live in. Since people and businesses are able to connect from anywhere in the world, knowledge and expertise in how to work LinkedIn and advertise yourself online is invaluable. Additionally, you have provided ample opportunity in class for my classmates and I to interact and meet one another, building our networks through each other. Even if you were to switch your course to an online format permanently, I don't think the quality of the education would be impacted. You're incredibly passionate about what you teach, and it's evident every time I've had the pleasure of talking to you.”
The Program in International and Comparative Studies focuses on supporting our undergraduates to educate themselves and participate in debate about, and take positive, informed, and effective action on, global issues. Our commitment to students goes beyond the classroom, and this course INTLSTD 170: Network Your Way to an International Internship and Career offers students one such chance to explore, be curious, and discover.
PICS students are encouraged to backpack and register for the INTLSTD 170 course for the Winter 2021 semester!
Klementina (Tina) Sula, MA/MPP ‘11, BA ’07, University of Michigan
Tina is currently the Chief Development Officer at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital, where she is responsible for all of the hospital’s fundraising efforts. Previously, Tina served as the Director of International Giving and Engagement at the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA), spearheading the College’s fundraising efforts outside of the United States. Tina has also worked for the US Embassy in Kiev, Ukraine, the United States Mission to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, the Club de Madrid in Madrid, Spain, and for the State Department in Washington, DC.