Alumni Spotlight: Tovah Bloomfield

Tovah is from Toronto, Canada. She is a Senior at Carleton University. majoring in Political Science with a minor in Communications Studies. Tovah was a Government/Policy Intern in Washington, DC. She is hoping to move on to Graduate School, pursing a Masters in Public Policy.

Why did you choose this program?

I chose this program because it had a reasonable balance of work and play. I was able to have fun, while still developing the skills and tools I needed in the workforce. I liked that there was always something to do, outside of working, in the city. Although the overall DC culture places great emphasis on professionalism, a lot of individuals love to get out and have a good time. This program reflected that balance.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

Global Experiences assisted with career readiness (interview prep, resume building, etc.), provided details about the culture one is being immersed into, Visa assistance, and provide support and answers to any questions i had. I never felt alone or i didn't have enough support to help me succeed while working abroad. If one person did not know the answer I've always been redirected to someone who could provide me with the assistance I needed.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

My biggest advice is to be open minded. Saying yes to an opportunity whether it's going out to an event, meeting new people, traveling somewhere new is allowing yourself to step out of your comfort zone. Saying yes to a happy hour is so beneficial, you never know how that individual can help you along the way. Turning down too many opportunities is something I regretted. It may be scary at first to go out into an unfamiliar city but you’ll never regret it.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

An average week in the program is going to your placement during the week and on the weekends the interns will go on a small trip or go to an event or activity in the city, and there was always something to do! So many options.

The coordinators check in every week and it’s comforting to know that you have a support system in the city you aren’t familiar with.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

My biggest fear was asking for help in any way. I was so scared to admit if I messed up or got lost or didn't know how to do something and being judged for it. But I learned quickly that not everyone has all the answers and it’s okay to mess up and ask for assistance. It’s better to ask and get the help I need than struggle. It allowed me to become more resilient and a grew a lot of patience for things that were different from back home or things I didn't understand. Always ask for help.

Is there any other advice you'd like to share with prospective travelers?

A last bit of advice would be:

  1. Pay attention to your surroundings, it will help you blend in with the culture, understand social cues, and learn how people interact with one another.
  2. Don’t get too frustrated if things aren’t going the way as planned. Just take it day by day. Things will naturally iron itself out. Solutions will come to you.