Symposium Wrap Up: Part II

Picture of Rosanna Furgiuele, Neena Sethi, Susan Bibler Coutin at Symposium Dinner

(Left to Right) Rosanna Furgiuele, Neena Sethi, Susan Bibler Coutin

 

As you may have read in a previous post, I was a team member of USA Symposium 2014. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to get to know many of the panelists who participated. Many of our panelists were referred to us with the help of Fulbright Canada, who administer the Canada-U.S. Fulbright Program; a program that supports educational exchanges of Canadian and American scholars.

On April 25/14, five (5) of our panelists contributed to a post on the Fulbright Canada Blog. I feel their comments have further confirmed the tremendous success of USA Symposium 2014.

On a more personal note, the comments made by the (5) panelists on the Fulbright Canada blog validated the work I put in ensure our panelists had a rewarding experience. It feels good to have my work recognized!

I hope you take a moment to read our scholars comments on the Fulbright Canada Blog. 

Ttyl,

Neena

Inspired by a Prisoner of Tehran

On February 12, 2014 I was fortunate to attend a talk by Marina Nemat who wrote a memoir of her life in Iran – Prisoner of Tehran,  hosted by the Glendon Political Science Association.

I was not familiar with Ms. Nemat and her story prior to attending this event, and so, I did not know what to expect. The account of what she endured was heartbreaking; at the same to see and to listen to her speak about her imprisonment and torture was empowering. Since her talk, I have been deep in thought; her story triggered self-reflection about my understanding of the world around me, and about how my experiences have shaped who I am and who I am becoming. Continue reading

Three Leaders

As you may read on the blogs of Glendon’s eAmbassadors, on Feb. 1, 2014 we had a Leadership Conference at Glendon College. There were different presenters, but three (3) in particular stood out to me:

Joseph Lavoie

Joseph Lavoie

1. Joseph Lavoie (@josephlavoie) – Joseph delivered an amazing keynote address in which he suggested a different way to approach networking. The thing that stood out to me most in his address:  be authentic. Authenticity in your interactions is so important. I see authenticity as an element that helps give your network robustness and longevity. Right now, my network is small, but that’s ok. I’m building it slowly to ensure that my connections and I have a two way relationship, and so that I am affiliated with communities that represent me.

Courtney Mallam

Courtney Mallam

2. Courtney Mallam (@CourtneyMallam) – Courtney is my boss, the strong leader behind our eAmbassadors. I attended her session about developing your digital presence with purpose and intention. The thing that stood out to me most: who you are online should also be who you are offline. Sometimes we forget that things that make it online often stay online – it can be hard to get rid of content about yourself you don’t want online. I have learned to wait 5 minutes or even 1 hour before responding to something that gets me fired up! I don’t want to be known as a firecracker online or offline, so it’s important that I think before I speak (or type).

David Ip Yam

Daivd Ip Yam

3. David Ip Yam (@davidipyam) – David delivered the closing address for the conference. He is an assistant at Student Affairs at Glendon. David delivered and inspiring talk about leadership as a lifestyle. The thing that stood out to me most: when you stretch your limits, you establish new norms for yourself. I love this! It speaks to so many of those inspirations that we lose when we enter “the real world” but are actually the key to living your dreams and being engaged with the world around you. David spoke about taking small steps everyday to achieving the goals you set out for yourself, and also about having a plan. He also spoke about choices – you choose your life. Doing what you are passionate about requires sacrifices – you may not get to watch TV as often as you want or going drinking every weekend – but that is the choice you make to rise above mediocrity.

I will be making some changes to my online presence based on what I have learned. The biggest challenge for me is overcoming my fears. But I don’t want to be silent as life passes me by, or apathetic to the world around me. I know I want to be a voice and contribute to shaping the world around me.

Ttyl,

Neena

Balancing Life, Staying Focused

Last night, we had dinner with a friend of my husband’s. We were all talking about the need for passion in anything that you want to accomplish. Passion is the thing that keeps you going  in the face of adversity, when any other rational person would have called it quits. I agree. But this type of single minded focus does have consequences on your day to day life. Continue reading

Life begins at the end of you comfort zone

Beginnings are intimidating, especially in the context of writing essays and papers. My husband tells his students that the blank page can be very intimidating because you have to create meaning out of nothing. No easy task, eh? Whether it is writing a blog, an essay or a personal statement, beginnings set the tone. The writer is under a lot of pressure to get things right.The best advice I got about writing a beginning was also from my husband 🙂 Skip the beginning and start writing the body. This actually works! Continue reading

Yes you should follow your dreams, but be prepared to face your fears

When I decided to return back to school it was so that I could create the career of my dreams. I have always wanted to work as a diplomat. To build this career, I made a plan. First, I wanted to complete a degree  in International Studies. Although I have one degree from the University of Toronto, I opted to complete a second degree at Glendon College; to improve my research, writing and critical thought. I will complete graduate studies  after my second BA and ultimately pursue my PhD and a career with the Canadian Foreign Service. As I am in my thirties, I do have quite a bit of work experience. When I am applying for internships I am often unsure if this works in my favour. I think that more often that not, internships are intended for students who lack work experience. I have work experience, with many transferable skills. I don’t have much of experience in the field I want a career in – International Relations – and so, much of my extra time is being spent trying to accumulate that experience. I am putting myself out there, applying for every possible opportunity to try and catch my break and have a door open (so to speak). Continue reading