Wai Phyo Myint is a rising senior at Green Mountain College, majoring in Political Journalism (self-designed major through the college’s Progressive Program). She is originally from Burma (Myanmar).
Before coming to the United States to work on her first degree upon receiving a full scholarship for the college through the Make a Difference Scholarship Program at Green Mountain College in 2007, Wai worked as a reporter in Burma (Myanmar) for about five years.
Wai works as a co-editor for the college’s student run-newspaper, the Mountaineer and covers about campus issues and international issues related to local interest.
Wai’s career in Journalism began since she was at 18. Soon after she finished high school, she left her native village, Monywe, and took the conventional road for her education, after abandoning the plan to go to a college in the country where any institutions did not offer journalism courses and did not allow to conduct any progressive discussion and conversations either in class or outside classrooms. Wai’s concerned parents approved her plan. Right after her high school exams, Wai moved to the town nearby and then, moved to second city, Mandalay, to take some English language classes before she finally settled in Yangon, the commercial center of the country, to pursue her career in journalism. She was hired as a staff reporter by the country’s largest semi-private media organization for its weekly newspaper, the Myanmar Times. She was 18. Wai covered a range of different fields including the country’s politics, social and environmental sustainability, labor and employment, and education.
In May 2006, Wai resigned from her job at the newspaper and went back to school, which helped her prepare for her further study in the United States. Wai’s college student life was profiled in VOA, BBC Burmese Program and at the college’s student profile page.
In summer 2009, Wai also interned with Amnesty International U.S.A for its media relation department in Washington D.C. She also had volunteer experience at several community based organizations as a volunteer teacher and project leader for monastic educational schools and a HIV/AIDS orphanage center in southern part of the country.
Wai’s post graduation plans, upon completing her first degree at Green Mountain College in May, 2011, are included going to a graduate school to study international development or government studies, and to work as a multi-media journalist in Burma (Myanmar) or in some conflict areas in Asia.
Meanwhile, Wai is planning to go back to Asia for the first time in three years. She plans to intern with International Labour Organization in Cambodia from August to December, 2010.