The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

Got a tip? Have something you need to tell us? Contact us

Loading Recent Classifieds...

Part 2: Volunteering time and knowledge can help you

Immediately after my summer graduate internship at the World Health Organization (WHO), I had the desire to join the Peace Corps. After studying and learning first hand how international organizations tackle global health issues, I was inspired to make a difference.

In the fall of 2007, I didn’t waste any time and began filling out the online application. My interview was in late October and shortly after I was nominated to volunteer in a community health education program. I didn’t find out the location of my assignment until a year later, but it didn’t matter. I was willing to go anywhere the organization needed my assistance.

Long before my graduate internship at the WHO, the seeds were planted for someone like me to enter into the Peace Corps. I studied political science as an undergraduate and graduate student. I always had a passion for international affairs, attempted to understand the international issues that face the world today and enjoyed traveling and learning about new cultures.

However, I always wanted to do something more. Being a tourist in another country for a limited amount of time was never enough for me. I knew someday I would have the opportunity to live overseas for an extended amount of time in a remote place. Not only did I want to live overseas, but I wanted to help the people with their day to day activities.

By joining I will not only be helping people overseas, but I will become a better person for it.

In addition to the personal reasons for joining the organization, there are also professional reasons as well. I eventually want to pursue a career in one of the United Nations’ organizations, such as the WHO or work for the U.S. Department of State. Peace Corps service will provide the necessary skills I will need to pursue a career in global health diplomacy and work with various other international organizations.

As a CSUN alumnus I encourage more students to apply for the Peace Corps. With such a diverse and skilled campus of over 30,000 students, I believe there is the potential to produce students who will have the capability to be future Peace Corps volunteers and be part of a group of almost 8,000 people who made the commitment to helping others all over the world.

With the current state of the economy many future graduates may be wondering if there’s a place for them in the job market. It’s almost necessary to have options lined up in case something doesn’t work out.

To be completely clear to those who are interested in applying for Peace Corps service or those already in the application process, should not view the organization as a plan b if you cannot find a job. Given the economy isn’t in the best shape and jobs are hard to come by, it’s important that when considering the Peace Corps to make sure you are passionate about the programs it has to offer. The Peace Corps application process is long. I am leaving next month for Suriname and my initial interview was back in October 2007. The best advice I can give people when applying to the Peace Corps is to be patient and honest. If you feel the same way as I do about Peace Corps service, then I suggest you apply for ‘the toughest job you’ll ever love.’

It’s a special time to join the Peace Corps. Newly elected President Barack Obama asked Americans to change the way we approach the world with a new sense of pride and global responsibility. I am proud to serve during his administration. I believe as Americans we have to live up to his pledge to increase volunteerism, whether it is through the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps or Armed Services.

However, I believe the Peace Corps is especially relevant with regard to Obama’s platform. The Peace Corps is a 27-month commitment. This means over two years of my life will be dedicated to my work overseas. That is precisely the type of commitment Obama wants out of all of us.

The Peace Corps is a great way for the United States to show the world our good graces and heart. It shows the good face of America that has been forgotten to many people around the world.’ Americans do care what is occurring in the developing world. The combination of my personal goals, national pride and to become a better global citizen is the primary reasons why I wanted to join the Peace Corps.

Adam Hecht graduated with a M.A. in political science in December 2007 and a B.A. in political science in 2005. He can be contacted at

More to Discover