GU Impacts: Turning an Inkling into a Career
November 19, 2018 | By Caprice Catalano
GU Impacts is one of the Beeck Center’s flagship programs. The GU Impacts Program is celebrating its 6th year with the Beeck Center and has allowed 121 students to participate in a wide variety of internships across 14 countries. The GU Impacts experience is one of a kind. Students have cited their GU Impacts Fellowship as a milestone that altered the trajectory of their personal, academic, and professional paths.
Take Camille Bangug, a senior in the School of Foreign Service majoring in International Politics and pursuing a certificate in International Development. Camille was a 2017 GU Impacts Fellow at El Nido Resorts in the Philippines the summer after her sophomore year.
Following GU Impacts, Camille was inspired to seek out other social impact opportunities, such as the Millennium Fellowship, which she currently leads at Georgetown. Camille also spoke on a panel at one of the Beeck Center’s latest conferences, Youth Impact. Finally, she attended the Vatican Youth Symposium in late October. We were able to speak with Camille prior to her departure for the Symposium to dive deeper into how her GU Impacts Fellowship shaped her life trajectory.
What motivated you to apply to GU Impacts at the time and what made you interested in working with El Nido Resorts?
Camille: During my education, I’ve spent a great deal of time figuring out how to make the most of my parents’ sacrifices, as well as of the privileges they’ve afforded me. I’ve always felt a strong call to serve. My parents are originally from the Philippines, so being able to orient this purpose in a place so important to my family was the perfect opportunity for me.
Did GU Impacts have any impact on your academic life? Was there anything that sparked your interest during your fellowship?
Camille: I’ve always had an inkling to work in international development — and GU Impacts solidified this decision. I decided to pursue a certificate in International Development entirely because of my GU Impacts experience. I saw the certificate as a way to learn about all of my interests, particularly those that didn’t intersect directly with my major.
Could you share some more information on the Millennium Fellowship that you run on campus?
Camille: Under the guidance of Sam Vaghar, Executive Director of Millenium Campus Network, we were able to build a network of Millennium Fellows at Georgetown. The Fellowship convenes, challenges, and celebrates students advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). There are 530 Fellows at 30 campuses and their projects will advance all 17 SDGs and impact 310,000 people across 13 nations.
The Fellowship’s vision is to integrate the disjointed development conversation on campus. Many students are participating in research or small activities centered on the SDGs, but many of these efforts aren’t well known across campus. It’s been great to create an outlet where their work can be recognized and celebrated.
Have you seen a great intersection between GU Impacts and the Millennium Fellowship?
Camille: In both outlets, I learned that students have the capacity to do amazing things, regardless of age or experience. In fact, GU Impacts’ partner organizations originally wanted masters students, but undergraduate students were so effective that they began specifically asking for undergraduates. It’s been great to recognize that same potential in Millenium Fellows as well.
What were some insights you provided on the Youth Lens Panel at the Youth Impact Conference?
Camille: At the panel, I discussed the challenges students face in understanding what it means to work towards the SDGs. It is important to raise awareness for on-campus organizations like the Beeck Center that can help students learn about social impact opportunities. These organizations should also serve as formal advocates for students who want to get involved. It is important to create these channels because they can expand opportunities for students to engage with these issues early on.
Can you tell us about the Vatican Youth Symposium and what excites you about the opportunity?
Camille: The Vatican Youth Symposium gathers a diverse group of young people from different backgrounds and disciplines to work toward solutions to the world’s toughest challenges. It is important to remember that a lot of development work is driven by faith-based community organizations. At Georgetown, we constantly reflect upon our Jesuit values, so I am excited to see how the Vatican engages in this development conversation from a Catholic perspective — especially under the leadership of a Jesuit Papacy.
It appears that GU Impacts had a large impact on your time at Georgetown and the path you have paved for yourself. Why should other students pursue a GU Impacts Fellowship?
Camille: Everyone should apply. GU Impacts is interdisciplinary and it will teach you so much that other kinds of internships rarely can. GU Impacts influenced the trajectory of my life. I would not be pursuing any of these other opportunities if it were not for GU Impacts. It is not an opportunity for the faint-hearted, but the rewards of the experience are tenfold.
What advice would you give students interested in learning more about international development and social impact? How should they utilize the Beeck Center in this mission?
Camille: I would advise students to begin conversations with people working in this space and to simply ask more questions. Talking to these individuals is how you can translate an inkling or small passion into your full-time career. The Beeck Center is the perfect space for these conversations. Students can learn about opportunities that they may not know exist and they can also learn about different ways to drive impact.
Applications for Summer 2019 GU Impacts Fellowships will launch on November 26th and will close on January 14th. Contact Franchesca Rybar at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.