OHIO alumni encourage students to be open to opportunities, take chances when starting careers
Patrick Murphy gives the keynote speech at the “Getting a Job: The Global Professional in Today’s World” event held Nov. 17 in the Baker University Center Ballroom.
Students who are planning for their careers need to be open to new, and sometimes unusual, opportunities that could come up at any time.
That was one of the main messages of the “Getting a Job: The Global Professional in Today’s World” event that was held as part of the Global Professional Development Series during Ohio University’s International Education Week.
“Take risks, or more simply say yes to possibilities,” said Patrick Murphy, associate dean for research and graduate studies and associate professor in the Department of Media Studies and Production at Temple University. Murphy served as the Keynote Speaker for the Nov. 17 event, which also featured:
- Lance Healy, chief innovation officer for Banyan Technology
- Maura Fulton, country director for the Peace Corps Myanmar
- Anastasia Karpoukhina, disaster program manager for the Red Cross, CT and RI Regions
“It’s always wonderful to come home to Ohio University,” Murphy said. He first arrived at Ohio University as a student in 1988 and went on to earn a master’s degree in communication and development studies and a doctoral degree in communications. In his remarks, Murphy offered several pieces of advice to students who are planning for their careers.
“Follow the brush,” he said, explaining that the phrase also means to follow your passions. Throughout their lives, new windows of opportunity will open to the students, and they need to be ready to follow their passions and take advantage of the opportunities.
For example, Murphy had the opportunity take part in a summer program in Mexico when he was younger, and that experience led him to study at Ohio University and put him on the path toward his career.
“Travel with curiosity,” Murphy also advised the audience members. “Know when to put your cell phones and headset aside.” Today’s technology makes the world smaller and makes traveling simpler, but it can also get in the way of enjoying and learning from the cultures of the places you are visiting.
“Pick a profession to make the world a better place,” Murphy said. “Be a problem solver.” The world needs more people who are dedicated to using their skills and creativity to solve problems related to climate change and other issues.
“A final piece of advice, don’t forget your own humanity,” Murphy said. He encouraged the audience members to enjoy the journeys they are on, whether they are in school, in their careers or at other times of their lives.
During the panel discussion, Karpoukhina echoed Murphy’s advice about following your passion.
“To follow the brushstroke is very important,” Karpoukhina said. She knew, for example, that she wanted to work in a career where she could travel and help people, and that led her to sign up for the Peace Corps.
“It’s really where I found what I wanted to do,” she said. Today, she works for the Red Cross and is gaining experience and knowledge that will help her as she moves through her career.
“Patience is important,” she added. Karpoukhina also told the students to be flexible in their careers and to work toward jobs that fit with their passions.
“Look at different jobs that can get you to the job you want,” she added.
Healy explained in his remarks that he has worked in several positions in his career that fit with his passion for international work. Each job and experience led into a new position that continued to “follow the brush.”
“People will tell you why things won’t work, but if you have passion for what you are doing and what you want to do, you will get there,” Healy said. “Keep going forward.”
Fulton, who addressed the group via Skype, explained that her career started with her volunteer experience in the Peace Corps.
“It was very life changing and I knew after that, that I wanted to get a degree in international development,” she said. Fulton was drawn to the Ohio University program where she learned from former director Professor Robert Walter.
“He has just been a steadfast mentor and champion,” Fulton said. She is thankful that she took the opportunity to study at Ohio University, and she encouraged the audience members to take on new experiences, be open to new opportunities and to get out of their comfort zones.
“Say yes to those opportunities, even if it’s not the perfect place with the best salary. The most important thing is the passion for the work,” Fulton said
Murphy also offered a few final tips for students and audience members during the panel discussion.
“Learn how to write well, you can use that in pretty much any job,” Murphy said.
“If you don’t speak a second language, start tomorrow,” he added. Learning a second language is useful in communicating, but also in understanding how people may think differently.
“Learn how to do research and apply research to whatever you’re doing,” he said. For research projects and presentations that the students are doing here at Ohio University, Murphy encouraged the students to treat them as professional projects that they can use in their portfolios when they are applying for work.
A video of the keynote speech and panel discussion is available here.
For additional information on the event or on the Global Professional Development Series, please visit the series website or call the Center for International Studies at 740-593-1840.
This article was provided by the Office of Global Affairs and International Studies.
The panelists at the “Getting a Job: The Global Professional in Today’s World” event were (from left) Patrick Murphy, Anastasia Karpoukhina, Lance Healy, and Maura Fulton, who is working in Myanmar and spoke by Skype.
Ohio University Vice Provost for Global Affairs and International Studies Lorna Jean Edmonds is shown with panelists (from left) Lance Healy, Anastasia Karpoukhina and Maua Fulton, and Communication and Development Studies Director Lawrence Wood.