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Advice from Lucy Mahaffey

Our CIS 2016 Outstanding Senior is Lucy Mahaffey, a double major in International and Area Studies and Planned Program (Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Slavery and Exploitation) with a minor in Spanish, who is graduating in spring 2017.

The ambitious Mahaffey has interned at World Literature Today, Free the Slaves in Washington, DC, and OU’s Center for the Creation of Economic Wealth. She is also the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the OU Forum Magazine, member of Crimson Club, guest speaker at TEDxOU, and she participated in OU Cousins, Oklahomans Against Trafficking Humans and OU’s President’s Community Scholars. It’s safe to say she loves international studies!

We spoke to Mahaffey, who offered some sage advice on studying abroad and turning passion into action:

Get Outside of Class!

The experiences that have impacted me the most, given me the most skills, and changed my worldview were all outside of class. I have had four internships and studied abroad FOUR times. You don’t have to do either, but it was so crucial for me to realize that it almost didn’t matter what I studied or called my “major.” The world is huge and it is the practical experiences through internships, jobs, conversations and being abroad that have made the difference.

Don’t Wait! This sounds cheesy and most people will skim past this advice, but hang on. The world is HUGE. There are so many wonderful adventures and an equal number of problems. I founded a curriculum on human trafficking with a grant because I saw a gap in education. I had never made a curriculum before and I am the youngest person in the room constantly, but I do not let it intimidate me. Do not wait to start filling gaps or solving problems. If you have the passion you can get the knowledge to make a difference.

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