Friday, August 22nd, 2014...12:18 pm
Reflection Post IPSS Placement Presentations
On Tuesday August 19, the 2014 cohort of the International Professional Service Semester (IPSS) program conducted their placement presentations of their semester-long experience in front of a select group of faculty and staff. As Graduate Assistant for GSIPM Immersive Learning and Special Programs, I took an active role behind the scenes, taking on the logistics to ensure that each of the Fellows were able to connect to the designated conference rooms where an anxious audience was expected to learn about their experience.
The task was challenging, as I had to make sure that all the technical details were taken care of for the 23 fellows to be able to connect smoothly from several countries and across several time zones. However, the job gave the unique opportunity to participate in the sessions and learn about the amazing work that each of the fellows has been doing at each of their placements for the past 3-6 months.
As a MIIS student accepted to IPSS for Spring 2015 and currently looking for placement opportunities, listening to the students’ presentations solidified the notion that doing IPSS in Spring 2015 is the right choice for my future, and here is why:
Firstly, I was impressed by the way that each of the fellows presented him or herself. They were all confident and used technical language that made them sound like real subject matter experts. For a bit it was hard to believe that just a few months ago they were just students in the classroom like me, because I would expect that such level of professionalism and technical expertise would only come from seasoned professionals. I know for fact, that those are skills that can’t be necessarily learned in a classroom, which to me was a statement of the value of IPSS as an immersive learning option.
Secondly, none of the fellows mentioned having regretted doing IPSS and all of them were visibly happy with the end results of their placements. Even though, there were some difficulties – which are all part of the professional growth process – all of the fellows managed to overcome them and make the most out of their experience. When asked by faculty about what they would have done differently, the overwhelming majority answered that early preparation is key and in terms of defining their role and specific tasks. I, of course, adopted that reflection as a recommendation that will be implementing in the upcoming months.
Finally, when asked about future plans, the majority of fellows responded that thanks to the IPSS experience they were able to ensure employment either at their host organizations or at another location that they were introduced to thanks to their IPSS placements. This statement adds value to the notion that immersive learning ensures a solid bridging between the academic and professional worlds, which is very unique to the MIIS experience.
My congratulations go to each of the 2014 IPSS fellows for their success and I thank you all for being such great role models.
Julio Noguera is a Graduate Assistant for GSIPM Immersive Learning and Special Programs. At MIIS he is pursuing his MPA with a focus on Program Evaluation and Management. Before coming to MIIS, Julio spent 5 years in Washington, DC where he served as Junior Project Manager backstopping several multi-million dollar development projects in Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean and Asia. He received his BA in Economics, International Business and French from Westminster College in Missouri and participated in DPMI during the summer of 2007 as Davis UWC Fellow.