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Peer Career Advisor (PCA) and Posse Scholar Zoey Ellis ’22 interviewed Daniel Buchman ’19 to answer common career related questions LGBTQ+ identifying students might have when seeking job opportunities.
The views expressed are the author’s and not necessarily those of the U.S. Government.
Zoey: What activities or student organizations were you involved in during college and how did they help you get to where you are today?
Daniel: I did a few different things. Three that stand out are debate, ResLife, and language tables. Debate was a stand-in for all the philosophy courses I still regret not taking. It helped me take apart arguments and speak persuasively. Those skills have served me in everything from job interviews to visa adjudications. ResLife taught me how to mediate conflicts and create spaces where people feel supported and willing to speak honesty — both skills I have used in my work already. As a language nerd, I loved serving at language tables, but when I became a manager, it was all logistics and not particularly fulfilling even though it felt like a promotion. I’d argue the same principle holds true for a lot of jobs. Sometimes the most gratifying work happens at lower levels, and a management role isn’t always a better deal.
Zoey: As a graduate who identiﬁes as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Non-Binary, Gender Non-Conforming, Genderfluid, or Queer, what are some of the questions you suggest students should keep in mind when researching employers and applying to job opportunities?
Daniel: I’d say the most important thing is to ask the questions. Small red flags you notice early can easily become exhausting parts of your workday, so to the extent circumstances allow, try to avoid rushing into a job without doing your due diligence.
Beyond considering the mission of the organization you’re joining and its impact on other queer communities, I recommend asking folks inside the organization — apart from those interviewing you — about internal policies affecting queer employees. I’ve sent hundreds of LinkedIn messages to random strangers, and I’ve gotten the most responses when I mention from the get-go that I want to discuss being queer in their office. I ask all sorts of questions. Is there an employee affinity or resource group for queer employees? Does it have a track record of successfully advocating for its members, or is it just window dressing? Does the healthcare, if offered, cover gender-affirmation procedures? Are there many openly queer employees? Is parental leave offered for adoption or surrogacy? Even if you don’t see these questions applying to you directly, they can serve as a litmus test for the degree to which folks are comfortable with queerness within the organization.
Zoey: Would you suggest students consider to what extent they would like their career to incorporate their LGBTQ+ identity? Do you want your identity to have a major role, such as working for an LGBTQ+ advocacy group? Or expressed differently, like joining the LGBTQ+ affinity group for employees at an organization?
Daniel: Having my identity highlighted in my work wasn’t necessarily something I wanted, but it has become a big part of my job, and I’ve found that to be extremely rewarding.
Before this job, I was never really active in any queer orgs or queer advocacy. Now, I’m a diplomat, and I represent the United States. Being out and proud, wherever I am in the world, is integral to doing my job well. I show folks overseas from all walks of life that, in the United States, the gay son of Russian Jewish immigrants from South Brooklyn can go out and represent his country without hiding any part of who he is. At the same time, being queer means having a greater perspective on the more challenging aspects of U.S. society. Discussing those and our country’s other struggles honestly, empathetically, and with humility makes me a more credible interlocutor.
During her time as a national security advisor, Susan Rice said “think of the LGBT person in Bangladesh who knows that someone at the American embassy understands who she is… That is how we build bridges and deepen partnerships in an increasingly globalized world.” Reading that for the first time inspired me to become the Embassy’s representative of our LGBTQI+ employee affinity group. Today, my identity is absolutely central to my day-to-day professional life. It’s been one of the most rewarding parts of my time as a Foreign Service Officer and also the least expected.
Zoey: Could you recommend any career-related LGBTQ+ resources that helped you in the job search process?
Daniel: I think Facebook groups are an undervalued resource. There are groups for just about everything. Search or ask around for a Facebook group of queer professionals in whatever sector you want to join. It almost certainly exists and will give you access to an incredible network. Being queer has enabled me to build immediate connections with queer folks at even the highest levels of the State Department. It’s given me a network of mentors, friends, and supporters, which I would not have been able to access otherwise.
Zoey: Have you come out to your employer, and if so, when in the employment process and how?
Daniel: I started coming out on the first day of orientation. In the Foreign Service, your colleagues double as your second family away from home, so I wanted to build open and honest relationships with my colleagues right out of the gate.
I was in a relationship at the time, and I would drop it into casual conversation, e.g., “my boyfriend and I are planning a trip this weekend.” Outside of specific contexts, it’s always awkward to say “I’m queer!” I’ve always tried to have segues ready like “around the time I came out…”, “my ex-boyfriend introduced me to…”, “all my non-queer friends think…”, etc. Depending on the context, these can work at dinner parties, happy hours, job interviews, and water coolers.
I was really nervous during the hiring process and thought coming out would’ve added a layer of stress I wanted to avoid. In hindsight, I think having come out would’ve actually helped me. The State Department really values intercultural competence, and like a lot of queer folks, being queer taught me how to code-switch. Because my identity is perceived so differently depending on the places I go and the people I meet, I’ve become pretty good at knowing how to adjust my approach to interaction, depending on the cultural context. I didn’t say any of that in my interview and wish I did.
Zoey: What advice would you give your younger college self?
Daniel: Prepare to make mistakes — a lot of mistakes. At Midd, I was super high strung; perfection was the standard, and failure wasn’t an option. That was maybe sustainable, though definitely not healthy or helpful, when the bad grades that sent me on anxious spirals, thinking that I had ruined my future and would never amount to anything, came once every couple of months. Now, I mess up much more frequently. Not because I’ve become less competent, but because I have more responsibilities and thus more opportunities to drop the ball. I care about doing a good job. I’m a public servant, and how well I serve matters to me, but if I took every mistake as an indicator of my worth the way I did in college, I would be worse at my job—not better. So I’m working on being better at making mistakes, and I wish I had started learning that skill much earlier.
Zoey: Is there any other advice that you’d like to share with Middlebury students?
Daniel: Empathy and compassion are as much life skills as they are professional skills. Being kind to people, leveling with them, listening, working to understand others’ experiences, etc., aren’t just nice things to do, they will also make you better at your job. No one is perfect at them, and it takes a lifetime to get good. But college — during a pandemic that affects everyone differently — is as good a time as any to practice, so I’d recommend starting now.
If you would like to contact Daniel Buchman ’19, please reach out via Midd2Midd!
- Associate, Programmatic – Deadline date: May 19
- Graphic Design Summer Intern – Deadline date: May 20
- Summer Business Team Intern – Deadline date: May 21
- Business Development Representative – Deadline date: May 21
- Strategic Marketing Research Internship – Deadline date: May 21
- Rainforest Outreach and Education Manager – Deadline date: May 23
- PopShift Media Impact Fellow – Deadline date: May 25
- Promotions Assistant – Deadline date: May 26
- Public Relations Associate – Deadline date: May 26
- Ambassador and Partnership Marketing – Deadline date: May 27
- Public Relations – Entry Level – Deadline date: May 28
- Editorial Assistant – Penguin Press – Deadline date: May 28
- Film Teaching Assistant – Deadline date: May 28
- Community Intern (Summer 2021) (BuzzFeed) – Deadline date: May 28
- Digital Marketing Associate – Deadline date: May 28
- Academic Journals Production Intern – Deadline date: May 28
- Marketing Research Intern – Deadline date: May 28
- Multimedia and Digital Marketing Coordinator – Deadline date: May 28
|Chinese/English Translation Intern at Moze International, CIPG (Beijing)MIIS External OpportunitiesBeijing, People’s Republic of China|
|Chinese/English Translation Intern at China.org.cn (Beijing)MIIS External OpportunitiesBeijing, People’s Republic of China|
|Chinese/English Translation Intern at Chinese-Foreign Translation & Information Service Co., Ltd. (CTIS) (Beijing)MIIS External OpportunitiesBeijing, People’s Republic of China|
Movement in a Box is a quarterly subscription box that combines fundamental movement skills with learning activities for children aged 3-6 years. The company hopes to inspire lifelong movers and educate parents and caregivers about the value of moving-based learning.
This is Midd-friendly because a current student knows the founder and sent this along to share!
This summer, they are looking for a part-time intern to help them build this start-up from the ground up through content creation, social media marketing, and marketing analytics. This is a great opportunity to work closely with founders in a high-energy start-up environment, help to build up a brand and its mission, and take a deep dive into early childhood movement, learning, and play.
Specifically, they want someone who is excited to:
- Dive deep into the early childhood movement, learning, and play space
- Devise and create content that aligns with the Movement in a Box mission and vision
- Keep up to date about current brands, trends, blogs and potential like-minded partners to find opportunities where Movement in a Box can contribute it’s voice to the larger conversation around Physical Literacy and early childhood development.
What you’d be doing:
- Research and writing content, including social media, blog posts, website content, email content and press releases
- Social media marketing and content creation. Experience with Canva or Adobe (Photoshop, Rush, Illustrator) is a plus.
- Incorporating good SEO practices with all content creation.
- Reporting and analytics (experience with Facebook Ads Manager, Google Analytics, and Google Ads are a plus). We’re a start up looking to spread the word across multiple platforms.
- You’ll be working with the founding team building scaling a startup from the ground up!
Details: Looking for an average of 10 hours/week for June-August. This position is remote.
TO APPLY: E-mail email@example.com with your resume and tell us why you are interested!
Deadline: May 30th, 5pm EST.
Do you have quick questions regarding skills, internships, jobs and careers in the Arts, Media and Communications? Drop in during my office hours Friday, May 14. We could also discuss networking, interviewing, and your job search strategy! You do not need to schedule an appointment!
Date: Friday, May 14
Time: 12:30pm – 2:00pm EST
Do you like to meet new people? Do you want to develop your professional skills? Well come join the team at CCI. You’ll join a great group at CCI and get wonderful training and access to support your own career development too!
Below you will find the job description and the link to apply.
*Front desk reception coverage
*Work cooperatively with others and accepts direction from supervisors
*Provide coverage of reception desk, including assistance with Career Services Drop-Ins
*Assist with data entry and various projects during time at front desk on an as-needed basis
*Answer phones; distributes email and mail
*Greet students and other visitors to Kitchel House.
*Assists with making appointments
*Demonstrates knowledge of CCI resources and services.
*Assist with other projects as needed.
*Must handle confidential information in a discreet manner
*Perform other duties as assigned
*Pleasant in person, email and telephone demeanor
*Patience with the public
*Work well under pressure
*Willingness to greet and direct office visitors in a friendly professional manner
*Must be organized, detail-oriented, a clear communicator, and able to work independently
*Must be able to work cooperatively with others and accept direction from supervisors
*Computer software experience essential, including MS Office, (Word, Outlook, Excel)
*Strong familiarity with Internet software applications, (Google Apps, Social Media, etc.)
*Experience with CCI’s online resources and services.
*Good Academic Standing
If the following describes you: kind, approachable, compassionate, energetic, spirited, resourceful, and can maintain a smile and sense of humor even during the most challenging of days then we hope you will apply for this opportunity.
Applicants must submit a résumé, cover letter and the names of two references to be considered for this position. Strong candidates will be contacted for an interview. Underclassmen and students with diverse backgrounds and interests are encouraged to apply.
Click here and apply now! Deadline is Sunday, May 16!
- HR Talent Acquisition Intern – Deadline date: May 13
- Digital Marketing Intern – Deadline date: May 14
- Communications Summer Intern (Intern-To-Hire) – Deadline date: May 14
- Junior Account Manager (Fly Communications)- Deadline date: May 14
- Workflow Ambassador (Flynn encourages the enjoyment, understanding, and development of the performing arts in Vermont) – Deadline date: May 15
- Marketing Intern- Virtual Tours – Deadline date: May 15
- Counselor & Specialist Positions (French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts) – Deadline date: May 15
- PR/Social Coordinator – Deadline date: May 15
- Marketing and Digital Engagement Associate (The Mark Morris Dance Group) – Deadline date: May 17
- News and Politics Fellow – Deadline date: May 18
- Editorial Assistant – History – Deadline date: May 19
The online Credential of Readiness (CORe) program will prepare you to contribute to business discussions and decision-making, whether you’re looking to advance your career, considering graduate school, or exploring new career paths.
CORe consists of three courses—Business Analytics, Economics for Managers, and Financial Accounting —and a final exam. Immerse yourself in real challenges faced by seasoned leaders across a variety of industries, develop business intuition through interactive learning exercises, and join a global community of peers. As in the business world, you’ll be evaluated on the quality and timeliness of your work and your contributions to the learning community.
In response to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, HBS Online will once again offer current Middlebury College students the opportunity to take May or June CORe for $450 (an 80% discount), regardless of financial need. Enrollment deadlines are fast approaching (May 10 and June 14).
To receive the discount, you must use your campus email address to sign up and confirm in your application that your are a current student. Skip the scholarship section when applying. During enrollment, please enter this promotional code – CoreSummer21 – to receive the discounted pricing before submitting payment. You also have the option to forward payment to a third party to complete enrollment.
Explore this page to learn more about eligibility, cohort dates, and instructions on how to enroll. We hope many students will be able to use this opportunity to learn the fundamentals of business this summer!
The Summer 2021 CORe promotion is available to students who are undergraduates and recent graduates of the HBS Online Collaborating College network. Students must have a valid school email address to enroll.
- This discount is available only for the non-credit May and June 2021 cohorts of HBS Online’s CORe program. The discount does not apply to the individual CORe certificate courses, but HBS’s normal scholarship program is still available for those courses.
- This discount does not apply to the May for-credit version of CORe offered through Harvard Extension School.
- There is no additional discounting available for high need students – all students can take the program at HBS’s high need price.
Come learn from a panel of graduate students at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS) about what it’s like to specifically study translation. Bring your questions, and be ready for the group to discuss topics like why they attended grad school, what skills are they developing and how they want to use their degree. Open to all students. Click HERE to register in Handshake and get the Zoom link.
Here are the panelists for Thursday, May 6 at 11 am EST:
Elizabeth Hawkes is an M.A. candidate in Translation and Localization Management with a specialization in Russian-English translation. During her studies, she completed a Localization Program Management internship at Facebook and is currently the chapter manager of the first student chapter of Women in Localization. As a translator, she has completed projects for Monterey-area start-ups and is currently working on sociological surveys for the Moscow-based Levada Center. Elizabeth holds a B.A. in International Studies and Russian from the University of Denver in Denver, CO. When she is not translating, she is likely pestering her two cats, Hodor and Meatball.
Caitlin Quiat (she/they) is a second year TLM (Localization specialization) student at MIIS. Their pair languages are Japanese and English. They have always been interested in cultural exchange and gaining knowledge about different communities around the world, which manifested in them majoring in East Asian Studies at Oberlin College, and participating in the JET Program for two years. In their spare time, you can find them embroidering, baking, singing to themself, or playing video games.
Autumn Smith is pursuing a Translation and Localization Management MA with a Localization specialization and her language of study is Japanese. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Autumn completed her undergraduate degree in Japanese and East Asian Studies. After graduation, she worked as an Assistant Language teacher for JET for 1 year and proceeded to work as a Community Manager for Japanese hospitality company, Cafe Company, for 2 years. While working at Cafe Company, she collaborated with a Japanese audio guide start-up, ON THE TRIP, where she currently works as a Freelance English Team Manager. She spent her summer working as a Localization Program Management intern at Facebook exploring product cross-functional localization workflow optimization and will be returning as a full-time LPM following graduation. During the school year, she is very involved in creating a new immersive learning experience initiative dubbed, CampLoc. This experience aims to give students of localization an opportunity to interact in a more hands-on way with key players and companies in the localization industry. In her leisure time, she enjoys cooking, cafe hopping, hiking, and binging her latest shows with friends.
Jamie Chu studies Translation and Localization Management with a specialization in Management at MIIS. She earned her BA in Economics with a minor in Asian Languages from UCLA, and went on to receive her MA in East Asian Languages and Civilizations from the University of Pennsylvania. Before attending MIIS, she lived and worked in Beijing and San Francisco managing a variety of international projects. Currently, she is an Associate Program Manager at Salesforce, and a co-founder/avid volunteer for many localization initiatives, including CampLoc, GlobalSaké, and Women in Localization. When she can, she sleeps, eats, and plays fetch with her high-maintenance Sheltie, Milo.
This is the final of four events this spring in a series of events about graduate school.
The series is a collaboration between the Center for Careers and Internships, the Rohatyn Center for Global Affairs’ Student Advisory Board, the Model UN club at Middlebury, and the Student Council at MIIS.