Inspiration from our Experiences

By Shaina Peterson, International Visitors Leadership Program Intern

The desire to lead has always come naturally to me, and although I knew that I wanted to work in International Affairs, I was unsure of what I wanted to do with that aspiration; until now. Being a part of The International Center and experiencing other cultures firsthand has truly been a blessing for me. The opportunities that we are provided don’t just make you consider the importance of our work, but it also compels us to look deeper into the meaning of our life, and how we are affecting and inspiring others around us.
I have had the pleasure of accompanying various international delegations to a multitude of professional meetings, and was humbled by their kindness and their eagerness to learn. I have also been blessed to not only attend a Naturalization Ceremony at the courthouse, but to also present a United States Flag to the eldest citizen being naturalized on that specific day. These exceptional events have shown me how important The International Center is to our community.
The International Center staff reaches a massive amount of people in significantly different capacities, but each one of them maintains the fundamental goal of improving the quality and character of Indianapolis. The desire to reach out and change the lives of international visitors, expatriates, and local professionals alike flows through the veins of each and every person that walks through these halls.
I am blessed to be a part of this journey and I am even more grateful that the foundation of my knowledge and skills in this field is being paved by an overwhelmingly sincere and genuine group of leaders. Having the opportunity to utilize my leadership skills in such a unique and meaningful way has uncovered a side of me that I honestly never knew was there. I now feel a sense of allegiance to this city that I’d never experienced before, and have found myself reaching out to personally make a difference within the community.
The International Center has been my mentor for a very short period of time; just a little over a month. But in that time, I have encountered people and situations that I never thought I would have the opportunity to be a part of, and I couldn’t be more grateful. I have learned so much already, and am eager to put my new skills to use.