An internship at the United Nations put Jillian Ehret face to face with leaders from around the world
Jillian Ehret started mapping out her future when she declared an international studies major at Wilkes University.
She attended the U.N. Lecture Series, a program that brings U.N. officials to campus to speak throughout the year. She participated in Model UN with more than 2,000 other students from all over the world. And, with the encouragement of Andrew Miller, associate professor of political science, Ehret landed a prestigious summer internship with the Permanent Mission of Jamaica to the United Nations. “It really, truly was the opportunity of a lifetime.”
Ehret’s days at the United Nations, headquartered in New York City, were full of research, briefings and meetings. She took detailed notes on issues of social and economic development and shared them with mission staff, including the Jamaican ambassador. Ehret spent time with representatives of countries from all over the world. “It really just opened my eyes. Even though we had different perspectives, we were all there for the same reason: to fix and help and grow and do everything we can to make progress. We’re all kind of in this together in the big picture.”
It’s not the first time Ehret, a senior from Sugarloaf, Pa., stepped up on a global level. For each of the last three years, she participated in Wilkes University’s Alternative Spring Break, volunteering for underserved populations. She’s traveled to the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica and a Native American reservation in Arizona, delivering school supplies and working with children. “It’s been one of my favorite parts of being at school.”
Ehret credits her professors’ personal attention with helping her reach her goals. Miller encouraged her to add a double major in political science. She’s had several classes with Andreea Maierean, assistant professor of political science, and knows she can go to her professor with questions and concerns about homework—or life in general. “She has so much experience, and she has the kindest heart.”