DIS alumna Lauren Prunkl speaks at Lessons From Abroad conference.

DIS Alumna Gives Keynote Address at Lessons From Abroad Conference

Last weekend, Furman University hosted the South Carolina Lessons From Abroad conference for returning students.

Students had an opportunity to meet professionals in the field of study abroad and discuss strategies on how to use their study abroad experience when applying for jobs or taking the next step after graduation.

DIS was represented by speakers Lauren Prunkl, alumna from Spring 2017, and staff member and alumna, Alison Ryncarz.

Lauren, keynote speaker of the conference, spoke about how DIS shaped her career path through the professional connections she made in the classroom and on her Field Studies. Alison facilitated a session on strategies for finding a job after graduation.

During her time as a student at DIS, Lauren was in the Sustainable Development in Northern Europe Core Course and took sustainability and urban design courses during her semester. Her favorite course, Strategies for Urban Livability, “steered [her] direction toward a professional career in urban planning.”

In this class, Lauren met Ole Kassow, founder of the Danish non-profit organization Cycling Without Age, which gives senior citizens in Copenhagen free bike rides throughout the city. Lauren’s class took local nursing home residents out for a ride in the city, which inspired Lauren to bring this organization back to Greenville, South Carolina. Lauren maintained her connection with Ole Kassow, who ended up visiting Lauren and Furman University when he was in North Carolina.

Lauren now works as a Coordinator and Quantitative Analyst at Furman University’s Collaborative for Community-Engaged Learning and, outside of work, is developing the Cycling Without Age program in Greenville. Lauren’s keynote address showed how the connections she pursued during her semester abroad grew to influence her professional career track.

Following the event, Alison shared, “The conference was a great opportunity for students to ask questions, brainstorm, and discuss with both peers and professionals how to make the most of the experience they just had abroad. Lauren’s story seemed to speak to a lot of the students – she showed how a simple conversation could grow into a professional relationship and even influence her career goals.”

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