Odgerel Bat-Yeruult

Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor Program
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Odgerel Bat-Yeruult

Paterno Fellow
Major: Master of International Affairs, B.A. International Affairs, B.A. Economics
Minor: Spanish
Hometown: Ewing, NJ

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I received an e-mail from Liberal Arts my freshman year about the alumni mentoring program and I signed up.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I was paired with my mentor spring of freshman year. Due to technical difficulties, my initial e-mail didn’t go through. Heather, the coordinator of the program, encouraged me to reach out again. Using a different e-mail, I tried contacting him again. I heard back the next day and we planned to talk on the phone in the upcoming week. I learned that Trevor worked in the finance department of a non-profit organization in Washington, D.C. Trevor helped me with my resume and referred me to different internships as I was looking for a summer internship. He also mentioned a communications internship position in his organization; however, I wasn’t interested at the time because I thought, "Why apply if I’m not a communications major?" The following month, I was visiting D.C. with an organization and I met Trevor for lunch. After our conversation, I decided that I wanted to apply for the position because as at that point, it was late May and I still didn’t have an internship. Trevor connected me to the intern coordinator and a week later, I had the position. That summer, I got lunch with Trevor a few times and we’ve stayed in touch since then. He’s always been so helpful in advising me and is a great mentor.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience has had a large impact on my academic career. Trevor is an alumni of Penn State’s School of International Affairs and received a Master’s Degree in International Affairs. As an international politics major in the Political Science Department, an IUG program with the School of International Affairs was advertised to me freshman year. I was originally interested in the program because I was going to graduate a year early. Over the summer, I talked to Trevor about his experience at S.I.A. and his thoughts on my situation. He encouraged me to apply and that was the final deciding factor for me. In the past school year, Trevor helped review and edit my personal statement for the Graduate School application and I’m happy to say I was admitted. I wouldn’t have made the decision without him and he certainly aided in my admittance.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

My career goals are to work in an international institution, diplomacy, or in the private sector in global markets. While all a little different, these all encompass international affairs. This experience aided in my admission into the School of International Affairs, which will prepare me for a future in all three. In addition, because I had an internship the summer of my freshman year, the internship search became easier and gave my resume a head start. I use my internship with the Maternal and Child Survival Program in many interviews and have been able to intern for the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office and will be interning for US Senator Robert Menendez’s Office in D.C. this summer. The first internship secured with the help of Trevor has aided in getting the following internships.

These mentors are people that want to help us Liberal Arts students and watch us succeed.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would strongly recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students because it's been such a great experience for me. These mentors are people that want to help us Liberal Arts students and watch us succeed. I never would've gotten that first internship without Trevor. An internship in the mentor's company will not be guaranteed with this program, but they can connect us to their colleagues and expose us to different fields, companies, and positions that we as undergraduates don't know even know exist.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

The Paterno Fellows Program was the reason I started my internship search, as it’s a graduation requirement for the program. Since I was originally going to graduate early, I knew I had to get serious about the internship search. This was more of an incentive to join the program and increased my level of communication with Trevor from the start. I think it’s great that the Paterno Fellows Program has various requirements such as an internship because it’s those experiences that really impact one academically and in the long run in our career. What seemed like just a requirement turned out to be one of the best experiences and jumping point in my career.

For more information on the Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor Program, visit our website.

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