Tag Archives: International

Don’t Forget to Network! The Importance of Networking for All Positions – Even the State Department

By: McKenzie Roese, Career Services Ambassador

Trekking up the hill is never my favorite thing to do early in the morning, but my hike was worth it after attending Dean Rusk’s Teatime talk on the State Department application process. Not only did I enjoy a delicious breakfast courtesy of Dean Rusk, I also learned about the intricacies of the application process for the State Department. While the process may seem clear-cut and systematic, there are definitely nuances to application that you should know about before applying.

Stefanie Cook and Paul DiFiore, both members of the class of 2013, starred as the discussion leaders after their remarkable summer experiences with the State Department. Cook spent her summer in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in the US embassy. DiFiore explored the domestic front in the Central American Affairs Office in the Western Hemisphere Affairs Bureau, while also partaking in the Davidson in Washington program. Both did an excellent job informing students about the tedious, competitive, and often disappointing application process while also providing ample tips for the procedure. Their main point: Networking is everything.

In terms of networking’s wonders, Cook stressed the importance of reaching out to her political science advisor, Dr. Menkhaus, for providing an “in” to the Ethiopian bureau. Not only did Cook apply to the obscure, underappreciated Ethiopian bureau, but she also utilized her professor’s connection to the Ethiopian office to give her an edge above other candidates. Likewise, DiFiore reached out to a recent Davidson graduate working domestically in the State Department to help him stand out in the crowd. Reflecting back on his networking efforts, DiFiore honestly admits, “Even though I had a good resume and relevant experiences, there were lots of other grad school students who were way better qualified who were also applying. There always are. Having a contact was what got me in.”

Applying to obscure bureaus within the State Department and utilizing the power of the Davidson connection, both students stressed the importance of networking for landing their summer internships. Cook, reminiscing on her experience, recollected, “I got so engrained in the culture.” Luckily, she had the opportunity to immerse herself in Ethiopian culture, while DiFiore explored the domestic systems of D.C. bureaucracy, because they both reached out to the strong Davidson connection to help achieve their goals. Hopefully this will inspire you to reach out, for any position, to the Davidson community and alumni network when the time comes.

The Pamela Harriman Foreign Service Fellowships

The Pamela Harriman Fellowship Program is a nationally competitive and highly selective fellowship program, offering a $5,000 stipend for travel and living expenses.  Fellowships are open to eligible juniors and seniors throughout the United States.

The Fellowships provide funding for students interning over the summer in the U.S. Embassies in London or Paris, or the Secretary of State’s Office in Washington, D.C.

The College of William and Mary established the Pamela Harriman Foreign Service Fellowships in 2000 to inspire the best of a new generation to pursue careers in public service. The Awards are offered annually to three outstanding undergraduates from across the nation, chosen from students serving in a summer professional position with the U.S. Department of State in Washington, DC, and the U.S. Embassies in London and Paris.

Selection Criteria:
The Fellowships are open to students who:

  • Are chosen by the Department of State for internships in London, Paris, or Washington, DC
  • Are U.S. Citizens
  • Are enrolled as sophomores continuing on to their junior year, juniors continuing on to their senior year, or seniors continuing on directly to graduate studies
  • Show evidence of substantial scholarly research and/or creative projects
  • Show evidence of leadership, public service, and commitment to community
  • Demonstrate an excellent academic record.
  • Obtain an institutional endorsement from candidate’s college/university.
  • Strong, detailed letters of recommendation:  two total, at least one of which are from faculty who have taught the student.

The names of State Department interns who have authorized the Department to provide their information to other organizations will be forwarded to the Pamela Harriman Fellowship Board for consideration.

The Harriman Fellowship Board will then invite eligible candidates to apply for the Fellowship and provide application instructions.

For more information on the Pamela Harriman Fellowships:
harriman@wm.edu 

Fellowship Timetable:
http://www.wm.edu/sites/harriman/timetable/index.php

Application Process:
http://www.wm.edu/sites/harriman/application/index.php

General Information About the State Department Internships:
http://www.state.gov

Specific Application Information and Forms About the Harriman Fellowships:
http://careers.state.gov/students/programs.html

USAJobs.gov Website Down October 6-12, 2011

USAJobs.gov will transition to a new system October 6-12, 2011. During this time, the ability to conduct job searches, apply for jobs or receive application status updates will not be possible. Employers will not be able to post any new jobs. Even after the transition is complete, there may be sporadic, unannounced shutdowns.  Check here for updates on the USAJobs.gov website.

For those applying for U.S. Department of State opportunities, you are encouraged to complete your application prior to October 6, if possible, to reduce the possibility of system problems preventing an on-time submission.

At this point, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) does not anticipate a need for extending any application deadlines. However, Career Services will monitor the situation and keep you informed of any changes.

For those applying for State Department Internships:
The application deadline is November 1st.  However, it is recommended that you apply immediately to avoid any glitches that may arise due to the website transition.

The “13 Dimensions” Sought After in Foreign Service Candidates

When hiring Foreign Service Officers, top candidates are motivated individuals with sound judgment and leadership abilities who can retain their composure in times of great stress — or even dire situations, like a military coup or a major environmental disaster.

Whether you want to follow a professional path that grows your management skills, impacts economic policy or helps reunite families, you’ll find five different career tracks that can direct you towards realizing your goals. Each career track  requires the same characteristics, also known as the “13 Dimensions.”   It is important to choose carefully among these career tracks, as your selection will have an impact on your selection and job experiences once you enter a Foreign Service career. In order to make the most informed decision, you’ll need to understand the similarities — and the differences — between each career track.

Are you ready to make a difference? Click here to review the 13 dimensions (pdf) sought in all Foreign Service candidates and explore the traits needed for a successful and fulfilling career.

Want to know more? Learn about the five career tracks, the Foreign Service Exam, and other important details related to a career as a Foreign Service Officer.

Exploring Overseas Opportunities

Thinking of studying, working or volunteering overseas?  Davidson College has many resources to support your international interests.  The Dean Rusk International Studies Program (the offices of study abroad, the international student advisor, and a grants and programming staff) works to give a global dimension to every student’s education.  Learn about available travel grants for a project overseas or how to take a semester abroad, while studying at Davidson.

In addition, Career Services provides a wide variety of services and programs that provide you with the ability to explore your interests in international opportunities.  Programs like Peace Corps and JET (Teach English in Japan) recruit regularly on campus.  Check out the International Opportunities section, under Students, on the Career Services website for more resources and information.

Upcoming Education Opportunities

Are you considering work opportunities in the education field? Now is a great time to begin exploring possible teaching options after graduation. Below is a list of education opportunities coming this fall to Davidson College:

September Events

Opportunities in Education and Teaching Workshop
Thursday, September 1 @ 4:30 pm, Union 313

Teach for America (Teach in underserved schools throughout USA)
Information Session: Monday, September 12 @ 7:30 pm in Alvarez 900 Room
Next Application Deadline: Friday, September 16 @ 11:50 PM Through Teach For America website.
Interview Day:  Scheduled by Teach for America

Post-Graduate Fellowships & Service Corps Opportunities Workshop (Learn about teaching domestic or overseas through 1-2 year programs)
Tuesday, September 27 @ 4:00 pm, Union 302

October Events

Carney Sandoe & Associates (Teach or coach in private schools throughout USA)
Information Session: None
Application Deadline: October 14 @ 11:59 PM
Interview Day: October 28

Southern Teachers Agency (Teach or coach in private schools throughout the South)
Information Table: October 26 @ 12:30 – 3:30 PM
Application Deadline: October 26 @ 11:59 PM
Interview Day: November 9

JET – Japan Teaching and Education Program (Teach in Japan)
Information Table: October 26 @ 12:30 – 3:30 PM
Application Deadlines: Early Deadline in Mid-October and Final Deadline in Late November through JET website.

Peace Corps (Teach Worldwide)
Information Table: October 26 @ 12:30 – 3:30 PM
Application Deadline: Rolling Through Peace Corps website.

November Events

Careers in Education Panel
Tuesday, November 1 @ 4:30 pm, Sprinkle Room

NOTE:  Additional Teaching and Education Opportunities available on the Career Services website.

Be sure to log in to WildcatLink for the latest information on educational opportunities.  If you need assistance setting up an account, contact Career Services at 704-894-2132 or email careers@davidson.edu.