Sitting at the library a few mornings ago, I was checking my email for the day. To my astonishment, what did I find in my inbox? An email from the World Affairs Council of Charlotte! Stricken with anticipation, I opened it immediately. I read the first line, “Congratulations! We would like to offer you an intern position with us for the Spring semester!”. I shrieked with joy only to realize I was still in the library, so I had to compose myself quickly. Regardless, I eagerly replied to them saying I would gladly accept. The minute I pressed “Send” I knew working with the WACC would not only open my career options for the future, but also my mind about the world.
As a graduating senior dual enrolled in International Studies and International Public Relations at UNC Charlotte with a minor in Mandarin, you could say global awareness and traveling are passions of mine. I can’t say it was sudden, however; I was bit by the travel bug when I was young. I am originally from a small town called Apex, NC and got the opportunity of a lifetime when my dad was offered a job in China. Nine-year old Halley had no clue where China was, but knew it was a new start.
Shanghai, China: one of the most populated cities in the world and I absorbed everything that was in it. I went to an international school where I was immersed with people of every different culture you could think of; I made friends ranging from Australian, Taiwanese, Japanese, French, Dutch, even African! I had no idea that such a diverse world existed and I loved every single person that was a part of it. The basis of my childhood was created there, and every bit of it was as exciting and amazing as the next.
Four years later and emerging as an early teenager, we returned to Apex and the setting of a small town. Over the course of those four years I was blown away by how big the world really is and how many interesting cultures encompass our societies. From then on I knew traveling was in my blood for good. I want to travel as my job, and let it take me wherever I need to be. I am excited in opportunities such as business travel, the Peace Corps, or even representing our country as a diplomat. One of my favorite quotes is, “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page” by Saint Augustine.
Nowadays when I’m not studying or working at my internship, I’m speaking Chinese to locals at the Asian Market, cooking for my sister at home, or giving university tours on campus to prospective students and parents.
Anticipating graduation has me contemplating about what I want to do with my career. Do I know precisely what I want to do? Not exactly. I know, however, that it’s only my first few weeks at the WACC and I already feel my mind expanding. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the rest of the semester.