Posted by Erica S. King
September 20, 2010
Secretary Clinton Poses With Pickering Fellows

About the Author: Erica King (second row, far right, above) is a member of the 2008 Thomas R. Pickering Fellowship cohort and served as DipNote's 2010 summer editorial assistant.

I was supposed to be packing my belongings and driving home for the summer, but I decided to take a break. I opened my laptop and refreshed my e-mail inbox, and there was the e-mail that changed everything: I was chosen as a Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellow. I was 19 years old and was just offered the career opportunity of a lifetime. I would travel, learn new languages and new cultures, and represent the United States abroad.

According to the Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship program's mission, “The Pickering Undergraduate Foreign Affairs Fellowship seeks to recruit talented students in academic programs relevant to international affairs, political and economic analysis, administration, management, and science policy. The goal is to attract outstanding students from all ethnic, racial, and social backgrounds who have an interest in pursuing a Foreign Service career in the U.S. Department of State. The Program develops a source of trained men and women from academic disciplines representing the skill needs of the Department, who are dedicated to representing America's interests abroad.”

One of the program's components is a summer internship at the Department of State. I recently completed my internship in the Bureau of Public Affairs, and I worked with the DipNote team on State's social media platforms. I enjoyed my time at State and with the DipNote team. My team allowed me to take the lead on the Department's YouTube channel, develop a tag taxonomy, and research all the world leaders who use Twitter. I really appreciate the fact that the Pickering program includes an internship component, as I learned valuable lessons about teamwork, professionalism, and communication.

The Thomas R. Pickering program has equipped me with the skills and resources to become a diplomat in the future. I value the program's purpose and commitment to the success of all its students, and I am proud to be part of a program that brings together so many talented students -- my future colleagues.

Undergraduate students may apply for the Pickering program in the spring semester of their junior year in college -- eligibility and selection requirements are here. The 2011 Pickering Undergraduate Foreign Affairs Fellowship application deadline is February 9, 2011. Fellowships are also available for prospective graduate students. Please visit careers.state.gov for more information about student internships and fellowships at the U.S. Department of State.



J.C. P.
Iowa, USA
September 20, 2010

J.C.P. in Iowa writes:

Wherefore is there a price in the hand of a fool to get wisdom, seeing he hath no heart to it?

Patrick W.
Maryland, USA
September 20, 2010

Patrick W. in Maryland writes:

I think you were very lucky to have this kind of opportunity.Hopefully more people like you will apply to the Picker Fellowship Program.

Good Luck with Accomplishing your Goals.

South Korea
September 20, 2010

Palgye in South Korea writes:

Israel - Palestine, Iran

Iranian border to the Palestinians in the Palestinian lands and to provide financial support and grant special status for Jerusalem, as a way to get access to the Middle East issue furthur? The story is always about peace, but now everyone will think I was tired and fed up. If appropriate provide for the Palestinian territories - as far as in Israel - the dispute about the threat is gone, the citizens of the United States think they liked the show. Is it so absurd suggestion?

However, if you do not provide the Palestinian territories to the dispute is thought to be endless. I think religion is a matter of survival before.

Iran's political identity is a very vulnerable situation, as it complements what needs to be accessible if you think a little bit. Very hard, because the territorial issue, but it did not take any chance of starting if shown to be a better situation than I think.

I want to go to the United States, not money. If you're gonna have a job is difficult, having a job you can do is keep a dangerous situation. I still live here? Because of their greed, and through me to try to impose unreasonable demands, which can accept requests, but no, once again, alone in accepting and surveillance.
And if donations do they? Must be wondering.

New Mexico, USA
September 21, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:


"develop a tag taxonomy" ???

Sounds like something folks attach to the toe of a dead issue in the political morgue.

Like BP declaring it's well "dead" or something.




Being a diplomat can be tough, especially when folks are doing a little construction right outside my house (stimulus funding) and I've been out of work for a good long time.

But patience and perseverance makes a difference when combined with logic no one can argue with.

So I tell the supervisor that he's presenting me with a serious mental health issue by reminding me of my unemployed status starting at 7:00 am ever morning, and his crew is there working while I'm not.

He could relate.

So now I have a little work for about a week.

Sieze opportunity, especially when it's in your face,... I guess would be the lesson learned here.

Georgia, USA
September 29, 2010

Toni in Georgia (U.S.A.) writes:

I congratulate you on the on receiving this opportunity of a lifetime. It's good to know that, in this troubling economy, fellowship programs such as the Pickering Foreign Affairs fellowship are still thriving and providing the opportunity for students to expand their career choices to include international options.

Graeme M.
October 22, 2010

Graeme M. in Canada writes:

It is a horrible career the pressures the constant security checks the monitoring of communication the abyss of policy and the relentless isolation and travel requirements and restrictions on free speech make such a career similar to indebted servitude to the state for which many are not even acknowledged it is a world where you may worry your bank account could be drained at a moment's notice by a disgruntled foreign interest and where the state provides no assurances whatsoever that any policy initiative will ever be adopted

DipNote Bloggers reply: Well, WE like it....
But, seriously: every career has its pros and cons. There's no question that a life of overseas assignments can pose challenges, but it also offers amazing experiences. Anyone interested should check out http://careers.state.gov to read what others have said about the job.


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