‘The University Did a Fantastic Job of Preparing Me for the Workforce’
As an international affairs major at the University of New Haven, I had the support of my professors and gained important experience as a member of the Model United Nations program and the Mayor’s Advisory Commission that prepared me to excel after graduation.
December 1, 2022
By Andrew Colford ’22
My journey at the University of New Haven was an interesting one, to say the least. During my first few years, I jumped from major to major, trying to figure out what I wanted to do. During the 2020 presidential election, I started to become interested in politics, as it was a controversial election that was full of turmoil.
The following spring semester, I decided to join the international affairs program, and I reached out to Dr. Chris Haynes for advice. Not only did he help me formulate a clear plan to graduate, but he helped me set career goals and create a plan to achieve them.
First, he suggested I join Model United Nations (MUN). At first, I was skeptical about joining MUN because I did not know what to expect. I had heard that there were a lot of discussions and debates in the class, and, being an introvert, I was unsure about joining, but I’m happy I did. MUN taught me the skills I need to be successful in my career, such as being a concise writer, active listener, and strong communicator, as well as instilling confidence in myself and making me more resilient.
I also joined the Mayor’s Advisory Commission, a program on campus that does community-oriented work with the city of West Haven. Through this experience, I was able to further develop the skills I had started to form in MUN. It gave me the experience of organizing an entire fundraiser event that looks great on resumes and is a great talking point during interviews.
‘Hard work and staying resilient’
The University did a fantastic job of preparing me for the workforce, especially the professors in the program, such as Dr. Haynes and Dr. Schmidt, to name a few. These professors guided me in my education and development, and I would not be the person I am now without the help of all of the professors I had.
After graduating, I was confident I would land a job. I applied to what felt like 100 positions the summer after graduating and still had no job that I thought would benefit my career. I stayed resilient, though, and shifted my focus to internships, subsequently landing an internship at Invariant, a top-five lobbying firm in Washington, D.C. My goal was to leave the internship with a job, whether with Invariant or on the Hill. Only halfway through my internship, I was offered a position as an operations assistant, working full-time for Invariant. What a relief!
I know that I could not have made it this far without the guidance, experiences, and skill development that our MUN program provides. Two skills that I have found to be most helpful are hard work and staying resilient. So, for anyone struggling to find their way and those in need of career guidance, I would definitely recommend joining MUN. You will not regret it.
Andrew Colford ’22 is a recent graduate of the University’s international affairs program.