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Interested in Foreign Service? Seniors and alumni–check these out!

Categories: Midd Blogosphere
There are some great programs that provide undergraduate and graduate funding for students interested in the foreign service. Check out the fellowships below. These programs are especially interested in supporting groups historically underrepresented in the foreign service and economic need. All have a service requirement, minimum GPA and require US citizenship. You apply directly for […]

In Their Own Words: Hannah Postel ’13

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

“In Their Own Words” is an ongoing series featuring the experiences of Middlebury students at their summer internships. This summer Hannah Postel ‘13 interned as a Consular Intern at the U.S. Department of State in Chengdu, China.

What did you do?

Serving as the Consular Intern at the US Consulate General Chengdu provided me with a first-hand view of the US visa process; though the work was often mundane, it was an amazing opportunity to learn about American diplomacy overseas. I mainly assisted with the visa process through biometrics collection and security advisory opinion drafting. However, I also organized outreach events such as a pre-departure seminar for student visa recipients and assisted with American Citizen Services. Research included a study focusing on the overlap of economic & visa trends, a student validation study, and an Emerging Market Report for the USDA. I also took Chinese classes.

What did you learn?

I definitely learned more about the US visa process and the jobs of Foreign Service Officers in general. I was glad that I’m interested in immigration, because I extrapolated from my daily tasks to understand how what I was doing fit into the overall visa process and global immigration trends. The summer visa rush entails huge volumes of work for all staff members, and I was thus only able to work on more substantial projects beyond processing visas after demand died down. I would definitely recommend the experience to other Middlebury students, though due to the nature of the State Department application they would not be able to specifically request a specific section (Consular, Public Affairs, etc).

What are your plans for the future?

This experience has reinforced my interest in international immigration, and I am now considering serving as a Foreign Service Officer.  I hope that gaining such on the ground, day-to-day immigration experiences will make my applications for international migration-related jobs and graduate programs more competitive. I know I will be able to apply the knowledge I acquired in this internship both on campus and in my future life. At Middlebury I am involved with the organization JUNTOS Migrant Outreach, volunteering with Mexican dairy workers in the area, and I think my new knowledge about a different migrant community will enrich our work. Also, I plan on applying for the master’s program in Migration Studies at Oxford University, and I know that the experiences I have had during this internship will both help my application and augment my educational experience if I am admitted.

Think this experience sounded pretty cool? Check out opportunities like this and more on MOJO.