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Discovering a New Path

January 5, 2015

Charlene Bogonko at Pangea World Theater

Charlene Bogonko at Pangea World Theater
Charlene Bogonko at Pangea World Theater

What do planning events for international dignitaries and stage managing a play have in common? For Charlene Bogonko, they were two internships that helped her to think in new ways about her life and career.

First, Charlene interned in London with the renowned European-Atlantic Group, a non-affiliated organization that hosts high-level political leaders and dignitaries for speaking events. Her work routinely brought her into contact with ambassadors, politicians and other leaders. Returning to Minneapolis, Charlene worked with Pangea World Theater on a play about the experiences of battered immigrant women. The play was recently presented to a group of judges and law enforcement officials. "When you present issues through theater, a festival, or a comedy show," she says, "ideas just click much better."

Her experiences have helped her think more creatively about her career and entering the job market. While she now knows theater is not the path for her, she says, "I won't underestimate the power of theater to convey issues." She still volunteers for Pangea, researching a new project about the politics of seeds.

Charlene credits CLA's Career Services office for helping her land the E-AG internship. "It was a complicated application process and Career Services was a huge help with my preparations."

"Interning at E-AG helped me understand what it will be like if I work in Europe or other places in the world, how to acclimate culturally. Now I'm more interested in working through government or with NGO's."

Ultimately her dream career will include degrees in law and development and then returning to her native Kenya to work with the United Nations or an international company. No matter what, she plans to stay true to the human rights and social justice focus she's pursuing through her global studies major.