Master of Arts in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management (Self-Designed)

Reflective Practice Phase

"Every component of my reflective practice phase included academic and professional development."

--Leah Antil

Spotlight on Leah Antil, MA in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management

Leah Antil is working toward a career that incorporates her passion for Eastern Europe, public diplomacy, and language politics. She took full advantage of the practicum component of her SIT degree to further develop critical skills and networks to help her achieve her career goals.

As part of her practicum, Leah spent ten weeks in Astrakhan, Russia, where she took intensive advanced Russian language courses and studied the social cohesion of Astrakhan, an ethnically diverse city with little ethnic tension.

She also studied Ukrainian in Kiev and worked as an intern at the US embassy there. Working at the embassy gave Leah the opportunity to gain practical experience in the field of diplomacy. She was able to do work across the public affairs spectrum, preparing briefings, writing cables, completing specific projects for the US ambassador, and helping promote study and work in the US through outreach efforts to Ukrainian students.

Leah also worked as a student facilitator with Project Restore, a US study abroad program in Belarus and Poland that teaches students about Jewish history and culture and conducts restoration work in Jewish cemeteries destroyed by German forces during World War II. Leah acted as the liaison between project administrators and students, aided students in cultural exploration, and monitored student well-being.  

Leah said that her SIT coursework prepared her for the practicum phase. “I could not have imagined the breadth and wide applicability my SIT coursework had during my practicum. I was using the theoretical and practical concepts from my Intercultural Communication and Organization Behavior courses without even realizing it.”

The practicum component provided Leah with experiences that will help her achieve her career goals. “Every component of my reflective practice phase included academic and professional development that I not only sought, but enjoyed immensely: youth programming, language acquisition, teaching, and government career development. Each opportunity was invaluable.”

Her SIT training has been beneficial in different ways. “Having a degree from SIT has really helped me in terms of job offers,” she says.

For now, Leah is continuing her education. In August 2012, she will leave for Belarus on a Fulbright scholarship. There, she will use training she received at SIT to design extracurricular programming for Minsk State Linguistic University and the US Embassy in Minsk, Belarus.

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