What PLEN Taught Me

Sedonia Davis
Group of Tulane students at Global Policy Seminar at PLEN. 

My name is Sedonia Davis, and I am a pre-medical student at Tulane University with a background in neuroscience. I attended the Global Policy Seminar in 2022 as a part of the Public Leadership Education Network (PLEN). PLEN is a series of Washington, D.C. seminars that provide college students with the valuable opportunity to explore their career interests through meetings with industry leaders, interactive workshops, and site visits in the nation’s capital. Here’s what I learned at the seminar. 

Although my career interests are not in global policy, I believe there is still a parallel between the work environment of a global policy diplomat and that of my own goals in changing policies that benefit the health and well-being of those here in the U.S. and globally. Therefore, I wanted to learn more about how individuals like me can make a change for the greater good of people and the benefits of such a fitting career. Likewise, I can gain valuable tools when pursuing my career goals, such as negotiating, networking, and communication.

My favorite part was the hands-on negotiation activity with my fellow “PLENers”! We were assigned to our groups and debated treaty amending, global alliances, and nuclear weaponry. But, the best part, I was able to connect further with my peers and build stronger relationships with them.

My favorite panel was our final one, “Launching Your Career in Global Policy.” Again, the speakers were well-versed in the challenges of working in a men-centered, white-dominated career path and offered terrific insight into how they achieve their goals. I never felt more confident once hearing this panel, and I am grateful to be told and reassured that no one can prevent my path.

I learned always to be confident to “take a seat” at the table. Policies made here in the United States are often made by individuals that, in turn, affect a variety of other individuals who were not there to have a voice and what was made. I was always a hesitant person who let others take the lead, but PLEN taught me that I am worthy of a voice
and must use it.

Speaking as someone with zero knowledge and background in global policy, this experience was extremely worthwhile as I learned skills that I can utilize in my own path. In addition, you have the opportunity to make new connections and friendships that are unlike any other. PLEN is seriously a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I was happy not to miss!

Applications for 2022-2023 PLEN seminars are open now. To learn more click here.