" Take time to explore a variety of classes. International Affairs is an interdisciplinary major. Find what you love within the field whether it be anthropology and culture, development and sustainability, or governance and security."
My career roadmap has been all over the place.
Growing up, travel was an important part of my life, and I loved visiting and learning about different countries.
Before attending AOC, I had no defined plans for the future. Considering college majors was challenging because I felt like a jack of all trades, but was not passionate about any particular subject. For this reason, I decided to experiment with different courses in hopes of one sparking interest.
My freshman year I began volunteering with several nonprofits including a horse rescue called the Swan Center. Although volunteering did not connect directly to international affairs, I realized that I hoped to pursue a career where I could positively impact others.
During sophomore year I took my first sociology and cultural anthropology classes. I enjoyed learning about different cultural perspectives, and particularly about language around the world. These classes influenced my decision to minor in cross-cultural communication when I entered college.
One of my favorite AOC experiences was taking German as my foreign language in junior year. I loved the first class so much that I ended up taking two semesters, and even continued in college.
After much contemplation, I applied to college as an international affairs major, and decided to attend GWU in Washington, DC. By the end of my first semester, I knew I made the right choice. All my IA classes were great, and I even decided on a conflict resolution concentration.
Currently, I am preparing for a Fall 2020 internship at the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. I am excited because I’d like to work as a Foreign Service Officer in the future, so I hope to network and confirm that this is the right path for me.
Here are my extracurriculars relevant to this pathway
DURING MY HIGH SCHOOL CAREER
Volunteered with a local horse rescue to support a cause I care about (I also wrote one of my application essays for GW about animal welfare policy!)
Built office skills for future internship applications by working as an office administrator at a small business
Gained leadership experience and writing practice through tutoring fellow AOC students
AAs in LAS Social & Behavioral Sciences and LAS Humanities
DURING MY COLLEGE CAREER
Worked as a tutor at Raising a Village in hopes of continuing to give back to the community and provide support to others
Currently a member of GW Polyglots, a club which hosts language exchanges
Preparing for a Fall 2020 internship at the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural affairs
What I'm currently doing/hope to do
I am an undergraduate student at the George Washington University majoring in international affairs with a concentration in conflict resolution, and minoring in cross-cultural communication. In particular I am studying conflicts between nations and peoples, and methods of resolving those conflicts, as well as how different cultures use language and its intersections with gender, race, class, and power. I speak Swedish and German, and hope to learn Spanish and Russian in the future. Currently, my long term career goal is to work as a foreign service officer for the U.S. State Department. I am working towards this goal by taking as many opportunities to volunteer in the community as possible, and learning about politics around the world. In Fall 2020 I am expecting to intern at the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
How to maximize my time in high school?
Advice #1: Most, if not all International Affairs programs will require you to become proficient in a foreign language. It is helpful to take more than just one semester of a language to get ahead or to gain time to experiment with many languages.
Advice #2: Take time to explore a variety of classes. International Affairs is an interdisciplinary major. Find what you love within the field whether it be anthropology and culture, development and sustainability, or governance and security.
Advice #3: Stay informed about world news, events, and policies. Read up on regions or issues that interest you.
Advice #4: Try to take on experiences that will help you build leadership and public speaking skills. Those skills could come from Model UN, debate, volunteering/work, or even performing. Do what you enjoy.
Advice #5: Practice, practice, practice writing. Take as many opportunities to write as you can. Find a voice and be analytical.