On Tuesday, October 30th, I attended an information session on the United States State Department with Dale Giovengo, who is a Foreign Officer with the State Department. This event was a Non-IA event located in Cockins Hall on Tuesday afternoon. This event impacted me by showing me exactly how international affairs and relations are implemented in the work force on a daily basis. It is a true representation of this scholars program in action. This event did not really change any beliefs I had about international relations, but it confirmed what I already thought about international affairs in the workforce, either you need to relocate and travel all around the world, or you’ll work with the government in Washington.
From this information session, I gained knowledgeable information about the different jobs in the State Department. After you pass a test and many background checks, you can become a Foreign Officer who can travel all around the world in different specializations. These specializations include human resources, finance, management and corporate positions, and medical management. These appeal to me because I am a business major, and I am majoring in finance and thinking about doing a double minor in international relations and economics. Also, I learned a lot about how to get an internship with the State Department. A guest speaker who was a junior and a past member of IA spoke about her internship at the State department this past summer. It is exciting to see past IA members being successful, and I hope one day I can be successful and speak about it too. Once again, this event directly ties in with my American Foreign Policy class. We studied the State Department, but more specifically the Secretary of State. However, we briefly went over officers, advisers, and diplomats as well.
After attending the information session, I realized this is something that would not be suitable as a career for me unfortunately. Mr. Giovengo made a crucial point to say that you will need to relocate and travel often, and that you will miss important milestones back in America with extended family and friends. However, the job has great benefits in terms of housing, schooling, retirement benefits, and you can bring your immediate family with you. For me, the traveling seems nice, but I know I will want to have a more domestic career with some traveling involved, but not relocating from place to place. Mr. Giovengo talked about how he gets bonuses for being in an area that has a lot of risks and violence and harsh living conditions. Although these bonuses may seem nice, I do not think I want to put my future family through that. Then again, my mind is constantly changing! I do see a lot of IA kids potentially looking into this though, it is a great career opportunity for those who seek it and want to travel the entire globe. I am glad I got to attend the session and learn more about “international affairs in action.”
The event I attended was the Current Events Convo on Trump’s Foreign Policy. It took place on September 24th in Smith-Steeb, and it fulfilled my academic requirement for the fall semester. The event mainly focused on Trump’s foreign policy regarding North Korea, but the discussion ended up branching out to discuss Trump’s foreign policy in general. I chose to go to this event because I thought it was going to be interesting since I am currently enrolled in American Foreign Policy, and I find that class very interesting and engaging. Also, I did not really know that much about Trump’s platform on foreign policy compared to his other stances on issues, and I was curious to find out more about it. When it comes to politics, personally I chose to identify with the right, but there are some social issues I see from the left side.
Hearing everyone else’s views and thoughts on the subject, even the disagreements, impacted me. It gave me the chance to hear other people’s views, and there were fellow scholars talking that were all over the political party spectrum. Once I got the background of North Korea and United States relations and Trump’s policy regarding North Korea, I was able to formulate an idea in my head about how I felt about the issue, and discuss it with my peers. We ended up talking about United States and Russia relations as well, and the nuclear dilemma along with that. As far as my beliefs and views go, since I did not really know much about the topic going into this event, I did not have a solid opinion on the matter. However, a lot of the conversation seemed to go in the direction that Trump meeting with the leaders of North Korea and Russia is a step in the wrong direction, and that he is making a fool of himself. I do not necessarily believe that. Trump is by no means the best president in my eyes, but I feel like we should at least give him a chance since it has only been about a year and a half since taking office. The topic came up about Trump’s twitter account being a little “too much” and “over the top.” This, I can agree with! I think Trump needs to be more professional on twitter, and he really shows his narcissism in his tweets! If foreign leaders see this, who knows what they will think!
I definitely think I learned a lot about Trump’s foreign policy, and my peer’s views on it. Also, I learned a lot about the history of the relations between North Korea and the United States. This event is related to international affairs because it deals with how our president reacts and deals with issues outside our country, hence the discussion’s emphasis on foreign policy. As I said, this event does relate to my coursework this semester since I am currently taking American Foreign Policy. So far, we have not discussed Trump’s foreign policy, but this event was a good introduction to it. However, I have learned the past presidents’ foreign policy and about the Korean War. We are looking into different political theories surrounding foreign policy such as hard and soft power, realism, and different stances on foreign policy from the executive and the public. The class complements the scholars program very well!
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