One of the requirements of the Global Engagement Fellowship is that we fellows joing at least one international organization by our sophomore year. That gives us a year to try different organizations out and see if we like them before we commit, which is good for me because I’ve already struck out.

One of the premier engineering organizations on OU campus is Sooners without Borders. It’s a service organization that anyone can join, but membership is primarily engineering students. Sooners without Borders takes on different service projects, many of them international in nature, and works on helping the people involved. It sounded like the perfect program for me: engineering based, service oriented, international.

Check, check, check.

So I teamed up with a group that was focusing on water purification, initially here in Oklahoma, but with hopes of exporting the project to either Mexico or El Salvador, depending on which location had similar problems to the one we would have already overcome. The people in the group were great, the plan was sound, and the team leader was efficient. But I quickly realized that there was a problem.

In my rush to join an international organization I forgot to join a group that was doing work that I am passionate about. I love helping people, but, unfortunately, I have absolutely no interest in water purification. I have faith in my old group though; I know they will achieve their goals. Hopefully when I join my next international organization I’ll remember to think about what will interest me as well as what will fulfill my requirements.

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