Emily Labedz ’15 returned to campus in October 2018 to speak with students of Gregory Wolf (pictured below), Dennis and Jean Bauman Professor in the Humanities and professor of German. She shared her experiences with the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals (CBYX), a fellowship program in Germany co-sponsored by the U.S. State Department. Wolf calls it “one of the most prestigious fellowships a North Central student has ever won.”
While in Germany, Labedz took courses in sociology and economics at Heidelberg University. In addition to her classes, she interned at a library, a marketing office, a summer camp and a sustainability program. Her work included consulting with Evangelical churches in the Heidelberg area on using more environmentally friendly practices.
The fellowship helped Labedz acquire important professional training, expand her knowledge base and make useful international connections.
“In a broad sense, the fellowship was critical for networking, as I have contacts all over the world now in all professional fields as well as the network of State Department exchange program alumni,” she said. “No matter what direction I choose, I know there is someone in that field ready to give me a hand and vice versa.”
Owing to her time with CBYX, Labedz sees a lot of value in programs of this kind. “I passionately suggest everyone do some kind of experience abroad,” said Labedz. “What you get out of one of these programs is all up to you and I strongly believe North Central students are some of the best qualified to take part in them.”