Portfolio: Editorial Fellow at CollegeFashionista.com

 

Articles by Allison Dooley:

How to Land an Internship Abroad – College Fashionista

4 Ways to Try the Power Red Trend – College Fashionista

Contour, Highlight, and Repeat– College Fashionista

Style Advice: Polished Spring Graphics – College Fashionista

All in the Details: Seemingly Sequin – College Fashionista

What to Wear: Spring Saturdays – College Fashionista

Style Guru Style: Mix & Match – College Fashionista

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GEF: Seeking Trilingual Employment

With graduation fast approaching, I look forward to being able to draw upon my experiences acquired through Global Engagement in order to enrich my work life. Overall, I am most excited about potential opportunities to continue practicing my second and third languages. Considering I could be looking for employment within Spanish- or Italian-speaking markets, I translated my objectives for 2018 into those languages.

Español:

Allison busca una oportunidad para trabajar en manera remota o con proyectos digitales en los campos de gestión de marca, relaciones públicas y marketing. Su objetivo actual es para adquirir su título universitario desde la Universidad de Oklahoma con el fin de encontrar empleo de tiempo completo después de su graduación en mayo de 2018. Ella está interesada en trabajar en ambientes en que puede hablar ingles, español y/o italiano.

Italiano:

Allison cerca una opportunità per lavorare su progetti digitali nell’ambito della gestione del marchio, delle pubbliche relazioni, o del marketing. Il suo obiettivo attuale è quello di ottenere la sua diploma di laurea presso l’Università dell’Oklahoma al fine di cercare un impiego a tempo pieno dopo la sua laurea nel maggio 2018. È interessata a lavorare in ambienti in cui può parlare inglese, spagnolo ed/o italiano.

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GEF: Meeting Laura + Language Exchange


Although the two of us ended up being paired later in the semester, Laura and I were both eager to meet through the OU Language Exchange program. Attending OU to study CESL, Laura left her boyfriend, friends, family, etc., behind for a year in order to perfect her English skills in Norman.

 

Considering we both speak Spanish, I expected our first meet-up to go smoothly; unfortunately, having not practiced holding a conversation in Spanish for a while ultimately got the best of me. In my defense though, neither did switching between English and Spanish!

 

Because I am interested in pursuing TEFL as a side job within the next few years, Laura and I had plenty to chat about. Beyond our shared academic interests, we also both love sweets and meeting new people. I’m grateful to attend a university that still offers new opportunities for me, even after attending for nearly four years.

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GEF: In Retrospect

The other day, I stumbled across the essays that I’d written when I applied for the Global Engagement Fellowship program. I now think that I’ve completed most of the objectives that I included in the submissions, but my perspective has radically changed.

At the time of my application to the Global Engagement Fellowship program, I was “committed to serving would be refugees of the Syrian civil war.” Since then, conditions in the area have continued to deteriorate. In an oddly accurate (albeit simplistic) statement, in 2014 I wrote: “With the rise of the Islamic State in the area contributing to escalating tensions and religious arguments, it is apparent that it will be most unlikely for anyone to be able to bring a form of makeshift educational systems to refugees in the coming months – maybe even years”.

Additionally, I mentioned in the essays that I had goals of becoming fluent in Spanish, French, and Italian. While French has fallen to the wayside, I have become fluent in Spanish, I speak Italian at a beginner’s level, and I am interested in learning an additional language or two in my free time. Despite the fact that some of my perspectives have shifted, I find that my past goals still resonate with me four years later.

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GEF: Colombia Night

At the Colombia Night celebration, the presence of Colombian tradition was overwhelming! With the elaborate dresses, dancing, and decorations, my favorite part of the night was the hundreds of paper flowers that adorned the room. I was so intrigued by these blossoms that I asked around in an attempt to find the person who’d crafted them. When I finally tracked her down, one of the organizers of the event explained the process to me; “All you have to do is fold it few times, twist a tie over the middle, and then fan it out! Sometimes we’ll even spray them with perfume.” Overall, the atmosphere made for a very festive evening.

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GEF: Israel Dinner at OU Hillel

At Hillel, an authentic international feel pleasantly surprised me. The dinner was specifically dedicated to introducing the attendees to traditional Israeli foods, and my expectations were not high. I thought that there might be pita and hummus, but I was not prepared for a delicious, homemade meal. Not only was there pita and hummus, but we were able to enjoy tabouli, shawarma, and baklava. I enjoyed being introduced to some of the foods of Israel!

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GEF: Employment Advice Learned Abroad

  • Make your cover letter a story/relate it to the company individually.
  • Make the initial email your cover letter; don’t attach the cover letter separately.
  • Acquire as many relevant internship experience as possible.
  • Make a five year plan.
  • Create CVs in both Spanish and English.
  • Be ready to prove that you already have the required skills – if you don’t, learn them!
  • Use LinkedIn.
  • When freelancing, know your niche.
  • Send your CV, interview, and – if not accepted – ask how you can improve your CV, etc.
  • Diversify your skills.
  • Forget about networking through other Americans.
  • Network! Spaniards are not going to hire you through the standard process.
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GEF: Humans of Spain (My Second Mother)

Amatxu is like a second mother to me. When I first visited Spain for four months, Amatxu acted as my tour guide, my hostess, my friend, my pep squad and, ultimately, a new-found family member. I last saw her face-to-face in July of 2017 and – knowing that she is always craving to visit somewhere new – I asked her,
“Where would you like to travel to next?”
Her answer was (similar to the other times that I’ve asked her that question) that she would like to visit “los Estados Unidos”. However, due to the circumstances that have surrounded her life these past few years, I knew that her long-time dream might not be able to become reality until the future.
Amatxu was born in Bilbao, Spain. She grew up in that region during the last few decades that Francisco Franco, the Spanish dictator, was in power. The area, “Basque Country” and its language, Euskera, were targeted by Franco’s regime. The teaching of and communication using Euskera was banned across the region, and the locals who were encouraged to report their neighbors to the police if they were heard speaking it.
One particular story that I heard recounted through BBC News, tells of a grandmother who was reported to the police in this region during the aforementioned time period. Before releasing her, her captors shaved all of her hair off; the cruel situation led her to stop speaking Euskera for the remainder of her life, leaving her family members deprived of the ability to learn the language and to pass it on.
Amatxu grew up in an extremely conservative family and, by the time she was a young adult, Amatxu wished to acquire her driver’s license. As required by the regime, all women needed their father’s permission to travel and to obtain a license, among other things. Amatxu’s father, a traditional man, asserted that none of his daughters would be driving – period. This was just one of the many instances that caused Amatxu to be denied her right to see the world.
Later on in life, Amatxu got married and had children. By the 1980s, Franco’s death caused his weakened regime to crumble. Amatxu had been able to acquire her driver’s license and moved to Alcalá de Henares, a suburb of Madrid, around this time. She has lived in Alcalá for more than 30 years, and has almost as much pride for the medieval city as she does her hometown of Bilbao. In that suburb – which is filled to the brim with UNESCO World Heritage sites that she so enjoys bragging about – she has raised her two children as a single mother for the majority their lives.
Bad fortune has necessitated the need for Amatxu to “girar la tortilla” many times over. Three separate motor accidents have left her with pain and chronic health issues that have kept her from working a full-time job for more than 20 years. Additionally, ever since the recession began in 2008, her home country of Spain has been in economic turmoil. With a current unemployment rate of 24%, well-paying jobs are near non-existent. Amatxu’s son is one of the countless Spaniards who fell on hard times, not being able to find consistent work until March of this year. He has two children, a five-year-old girl and a two-year-old boy; Amatxu used part of her own unlimited income to help support his family while he was unemployed for a total of two years.
Despite the hardship that my “second mom” from Bilbao has faced, I aspire to one day give her the opportunity to see America for herself.
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GEF: Love Letter to My Home Away From Home

Madrid:

Hoy, realicé cuanto te quiero;

tanto decir que quiero estar contigo para celebrar los éxitos y para llorar contigo durante tiempos difíciles;

decir que tengo miedo del futuro, pero aún la posibilidad de pasar un tiempo largo contigo me pone muy contenta;

decir que me gustaría quedar una parte de su vida por mucho más tiempo;

decir que me hubiera gustado mucho tener la oportunidad ser inversor en su futuro;

y, finalmente, decirte que “te deseo lo mejor,” “te admiro”,  y “te amo”.

Eres precioso, y espero que usted pueda sentir mi amor desde aquí.

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