U.S. Foreign Service Officer at the U.S. Department of State currently assigned to Havana, Cuba
Major: International Studies and German & Commercial Studies ; Class of 2007)
Professional, Technical, or Scientific Core:Governance (International Security)
Area Focus: Western Europe
Study Abroad Program: Austria-Illinois Exchange Program in Vienna, Austria
Quote: "As a college freshman I majored in aviation until the international studies (IS) program hosted a career night with a Foreign Service Officer (FSO) from the U.S. Department of State. After hearing him speak about his work overseas, and considering my international experience, I decided at that point to focus my education on international affairs. I especially enjoyed the interdisciplinary nature of the international studies program, which allowed me to study various areas of interest."
"I discovered later that the degree was an ideal precursor to a career in diplomacy: there were extensive parallels between what was taught in FSO training courses and the content taught in the IS program. In many ways, the undergrad program even mirrors the five main career paths U.S. diplomats work in: public diplomacy, economics, politics, management and consular. Although the competition to get into the Foreign Service was fierce, I truly felt I was prepared going in as a result of my time at UIUC. I love serving my country, living and working overseas and knowing my work is about more than profits and spreadsheets. What other job pays you to learn a language, travel the world and interact with foreign cultures?"