September 01, 2014

Networking and Ice Cream

Michelle Silverthorn

Spring semester, sophomore year of college. I was sitting with friends in the dining hall, listening to them discuss their summer job plans. I was silent because I had no summer job plans. A month earlier, I had filled out an application for an internship with the United Nations but had yet to hear back. Slightly stressed, I decided to treat myself to an ice-cream cone.

My mission was impeded by a professor standing by the ice-cream bar. It appeared that he was having difficulties picking a flavor. As an expert on all things dairy, I walked up and asked him the question: vanilla or chocolate? After a dissertation-like discussion, we got our ice cream cones and did our introductions. Me–sophomore student, political science major. Him–visiting professor, Deputy High Commissioner for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva. Four months later, I was flying to Geneva, ready to start my internship at the UNHCR.

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