Tara Foley’s work day on Tuesday, February 9, 2010.
This morning started at 7 a.m. with coffee at Starbucks. (Forgive me! I adore my neighborhood European cafés for a leisurely Saturday afternoon coffee, but only Starbucks offers the elusive to-go cup on a rushed Tuesday morning!) It’s a busy week at work and it’s just starting to snow. By the end of the day, Geneva is a veritable winter wonderland.
Making my way through the work day, filled with meetings and frantic Blackberry messages about last-minute changes to said meetings, this blog is on my mind. This process has made me reflect on the path I took from Chestnut Hill to Geneva, and how I found myself in the Foreign Service.
At BC, I participated in service-oriented groups like the Emerging Leadership Program (ELP) and the Arrupe International Solidarity Program. I also discovered a love for languages, travel, and foreign cultures. After experiencing September 11, 2001 on my fourth day of college, I took up Arabic and a minor in Middle East and Islamic Studies. This led to study abroad programs in Morocco and the UK. And finally, an internship with the State Department in Washington, DC. I was hooked.
BC instilled in me the idea that through my career choice, I could contribute to a greater good. I was looking for a vocation, not just a job. A career in public service felt like a good fit, and so did the foreign affairs focus of the State Department. The Foreign Service seemed to me a good answer to Father Himes’ three questions: What do you love? What are you good at? What does the world need? The Foreign Service allows me to put my interest and knowledge of foreign cultures to work for the good of our country. What’s better than that? The travel, language training, and diplomatic passport are just icing on the cake.
I think BC students and alumni have a lot to offer the State Department. That desire to “set the world aflame” never really leaves us. If you’re looking for a career that combines public service and overseas experience, the Foreign Service is a great choice. The website http://careers.state.gov gives information about State Department internships as well as Foreign Service and other career paths at the Department. Maybe we’ll bump into each other at an airport somewhere…