For a young University of Akron (www.uakron.edu) alumnus interested in politics and public policy, there was no greater classroom than the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting in New York City. For me, it was a way to start my internship with the William J. Clinton Foundation.
The Global Initiative draws 1,000 members for talks and panel discussions and it takes over several floors of a hotel. I helped draft media advisories, responded to press inquiries and escorted members of the press to various sessions. It was a busy time and very exciting.
What prepared me most for the opportunity were the classes I took after transferring to UA in 2008, and an internship in the Washington, D.C. office of U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown.
Although I was accepted at UA right out of high school, I — like so many transfer students -— opted to save money by beginning college close to home. I completed my first two years of coursework at Cuyahoga Community College (www.tri-c.edu), but stayed in contact with Karen Dickerson, director of UA’s Transfer Student Services Center, to ensure all of my classes would transfer. It was a seamless process and I appreciated all of Karen’s help.
“Leonard is a true Tri-C/Akron transfer student success story,” said Dickerson. “Our center has worked to coordinate services for credit evaluation, preadmission advising and helped build stronger relationships with area community colleges.”
Once at UA, I knew I made the right choice. I liked the diversity of classes in political science and I enjoyed the real world experience we received through research projects.
The direct knowledge I’ve gained through my internships is going to be very useful to me professionally. Ideally, I’d like to have long-term involvement in nonprofit work, perhaps in a policy analyst position.
Leonard Bellisario has been working for the Cleveland Foodbank on its annual Harvest for Hunger Campaign.