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October 2019 - Megan Zabik

October 2019

Megan Zabik

BA International Studies (International Security, Norms and Cooperation); BA Spanish ’20

Hometown: Kalamazoo, Michigan

Affiliations: The Quito Project, PALMA, Council of Global Student Organizations, Sigma Iota Rho Honor Society, U-M Women's Soccer Club

“The creativity and openness of the International Studies major makes it so that you can truly make your experience at the University of Michigan your own. As a student with many different interests, I felt that I was able to follow my own path and explore classes and opportunities that would best prepare me for a professional career on the global stage.

I have traveled twice to Ecuador in the facilitation of a student-led, university organization that designed a free educational summer camp for young students in Quito, collaborating with faculty advisors and students from la Universidad San Francisco de Quito and U-M. It was this experience that really showed me what positive, international community engagement can create. I am co-president of the organization and am passionate about sustaining the successful components of this amazing program to continue opportunities for cultural exchange and access to educational experiences. I studied abroad in Madrid, Spain, through the Center for Global and International Studies, where I developed fluency in the Spanish language. During my time in Madrid, I also completed an amazing internship experience with a Spanish NGO that works with rural and indigenous communities in Guatemala to promote educational advancement in these areas. I researched the past and current policies of the Guatemalan government and created a project that compared these initiatives with other Latin American countries’ education systems. The organization will use my research in its future presentations to the European Union!

During summer 2019, I completed a social media and community engagement internship in Lyon, France, with a U-M alumna. I was able to develop my skills and knowledge of marketing and business development strategies while supporting the customer relations and social media presence campaigns of the trail running company, Inc. Also, while in Lyon, I participated in the FIFA 2019 Women’s World Cup Volunteer Programme, which was an amazing experience as well. I worked with other team members to ensure the safe arrivals of FIFA officials and VIP individuals to Lyon for the semi-final and final matches of the tournament, and also witnessed the U.S. Women’s National Team beat the Netherlands in the final to win its second consecutive World Cup championship title as I assisted in receiving the thousands of fans arriving to the stadium from all over the world. With the space to move forward as I wanted, I was able to experience such meaningful international opportunities that will shape the next step I take for the future.”

Future plans: “I cannot begin to explain how amazing the International Studies major and PICS department are in allowing me to grow as a student while discovering my own passions, interests, and areas where I excel the most. Upon my graduation from the University of Michigan, I plan on obtaining a master’s degree to continue advocating for sport’s equity, educational advancement, and social inclusion on the international level in both the public and private sectors.”