Richard B. ’62 and Sabra Ladd Government Internship Recipient
“I was interested in the Department of State long before this internship, but nothing I’ve read or heard about Foreign Service could have prepared me to make a career decision more than these past ten weeks.”
I was placed into the Public Diplomacy section of the Consulate. It’s an office that interacts with key contacts in foreign countries, including politicians, lawmakers, journalists, and other individuals and organizations that influence public opinion. I helped prepare for a half-dozen Independence Day events happening in Milan and across northern Italy. For these events, I helped to compile a guest list, sent out formal invitations, managed the programming, drafted and proofed speeches and press releases, as well as a variety of logistical tasks. It was extremely rewarding to see the events go successfully and knowing that I did not create a diplomatic catastrophe.
As for the day-to-day tasks, I began every morning by preparing for the Press Briefing. Then, I would either draft speeches and memos, translate documents from Italian to English, or write decision memos and letters on behalf of the consul general or the ambassador. I also gathered information to compile for the Weekly Activities Report that is sent to Rome, and updated the Consulate’s website. I often accompanied the consuls and the consul general to meetings in a support function that included taking notes, taking pictures, and briefing them prior to the meetings on the contacts or the issues being discussed. I analyzed the way we were using Facebook and Twitter and came up with a new social media strategy, aimed at increasing our social media reach, visibility, and influence. Every day over the next ten weeks, I curated content to post, managed our friends and followers, interacted with our audience, and ran social media analysis weekly to track my progress.
- Date September 1, 2012
- Tags 2012, Europe, Government, Ladd