Career Clusters Exploration

Why You May Want to Explore a Career in International Affairs

During your time at Boston College, have you thought about any of the following?

  • I studied abroad and I’m itching to pursue another opportunity in a foreign country!
  • I would love to pursue a career path that exposes me to diverse peoples and cultures.
  • My coursework has really gotten me interested in a particular part of the world.
  • I am committed to combating global issues and I want to make a difference at home!
  • I am unsure how my career interests will fit into an increasingly globalized world.

If so, we invite you to attend any of the number of programs during Careers in International Affairs Week (CIIAW), hosted by the Career Center from November 14-22.

Through a range of experiences, many Boston College students develop an interest in potential career paths across a wide spectrum of industries with a global or international focus, whether domestically or abroad. But sometimes, it can be a bit daunting—overwhelming, even—to figure out what types of opportunities are out there and what resources you can use to explore your interests. CIIAW is an opportunity for you to explore international career options and prepare for future endeavors.

Now, at this point, you might be thinking to yourself, “Well, I’m interested in international issues, but I’m not an International Studies or Political Science major, so there’s not much out there for me!” But in truth, the skills that you’re developing in your major and beyond are preparing you for an internationally-focused career, regardless of your specific course of study.

Are you an English major? Because the critical thinking, oral and written communication, and linguistic proficiency skills you’re honing are conducive to careers in non-government organizations (NGOs). What about Economics? Your quantitative and analytical thinking skills are a good preparation for working in security and intelligence. Majoring in linguistics or a language other than English? Your language proficiency and cross-cultural communication skills make you a prime candidate for embarking on a career in international development and relief.

The point is, you’re not hamstrung by your course of study; on the contrary, you are probably more prepared for taking the next step in your global career discernment than you might realize. During CIIAW, we’ll be inviting a number of alumni and industry professionals to campus so that you may gain a better understanding of your options and to take those next steps. 

If you’re interested in learning about how to make a global impact in your career field without living abroad, join us for our kick-off event, Thinking Globally, Working Locally: An International Affairs Alumni Panel on the evening of November 14, which is being held in conjunction with International Education Week. The panel will feature alumni who work in global careers right here in Boston. 

On the evening of Monday, November 18, join alumni at the prestigious Fletcher School for International Affairs at Tufts University for panel on Forging International Careers in Graduate School and Beyond, which will be a great way to learn about how to transform your interest in graduate study into a career with a global impact.

There will also be a number of opportunities to engage directly with individual alumni and professionals. All students interested in living abroad and working in international development and multilateral organizations are invited to Living the Expat Life with Colleen O’Connor (MCAS ‘10), an officer in the UN World Food Programme who will be joining us live from Dhaka, Bangladesh on the morning of Tuesday, November 19. 

Students curious about diplomatic careers will have two opportunities to engage with professionals in the State Department. On Wednesday, November 20, Phil Beekman, a veteran U.S. diplomat (Trinidad & Tobago, Slovenia, Bosnia & Herzegovina) will be holding coffee chats and an info session, while on the evening of Thursday, November 21, Gabrielle Chwazik-Gee (CSOM ‘11) will be joining us Live from Washington, D.C., to talk about her experience as a diplomat in Cabo Verde and her life in the foreign service.

Are you interested in business and the global economy? Then join Jim Paul, the Director of the Boston office of the U.S. Department of Commerce, for an info session on internship and career opportunities working in international trade on the afternoon of Thursday, November 21.

Together with these many opportunities to explore different career paths there will also be ways to prepare. First, you can join us for a resume and cover letter workshop for international affairs careers on the evening of Tuesday, November 19. Second, you can drop-in (no appointment necessary!) to either of the two international affairs mini sessions on the afternoon of Tuesday, November 19 and Friday, November 22, to chat with a career coach about next steps and resources you can use to pursue your interests!

We look forward to working with you as you explore your global career interests!

Salvatore Cipriano
By Salvatore Cipriano, Assistant Director, Career Education

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