Students who come to the Weissman Center for International Business often leave with more than one experience under their belt. Some students study abroad or intern overseas, participate in one of our fellowships or any combination of the three. Alyssa Alicino, Colin Powell Fellow and intern at the U.S. Embassy in Argentina, recently sat down with the Weissman Center Blog to tell us about her experiences. The Colin Powell Fellowship provides two Baruch students each year a generous stipend to cover living and travel expenses while interning with the U.S. Department of State. Internships with the State Department are generally unpaid, so the Fellowship provides welcome financial support for Baruch students interested in learning more about careers in the Foreign Service. Through our Study Abroad program, Alyssa also attended classes in Spain and Guatemala. In addition, she taught English in Chile through our Work Abroad program. During her internship at the U.S. Embassy in Argentina, Alyssa had the incredible opportunity to work with Basketball Without Borders, a global outreach program run by the NBA. She is pictured above with Argentinian Gold Medalist and NBA All-Star Manu Ginobili. Alyssa calls this a once in a lifetime experience.
Here’s what she had to say:
Q. What year are you in and what are you majoring in?
A. I am a senior majoring in Public Affairs and minoring in Spanish and Interdisciplinary Studies in NYC.
Q. How did the Colin Powell Fellowship assist you with your internship?
A. For those students interested in pursuing a career in public affairs, completing an internship is vital. However, many students are unable to work full-time for a semester with no monetary assistance. The Colin Powell Fellowship helps to break the socio-economic ceiling associated with unpaid governmental internships and assisted me with my housing and living expenses, consequentially permitting me to focus more on getting the most out of my internship rather than worrying about the potential financial burden.
Q. What projects are you working on at the Embassy in Argentina?
A. I am a Press Intern in the Public Diplomacy Section within the Embassy. The Foreign Service is divided into five sections or cones: Public Diplomacy, Economic, Political, Management, and Consular. My role as an intern in the Press Office is to assist the Information Specialists with social media projects including drafting campaigns that we may decide to carry out. I have the opportunity to be included and help out with most of the media and press aspects carried out by the Embassy.
I also assist in many of the events hosted by the Cultural Section of Public Diplomacy and was fortunate enough to attend the 4th of July Reception at the Ambassador’s Residence, as well as an NBA Reception for those NBA players participating in an outreach program- Basketball Without Borders.
Q. What kind of advice would you give students who are looking to explore opportunities in public affairs?
A. I would definitely encourage everyone to apply for an opportunity at an embassy through the State Department. I believe that an internship experience with this kind of organization gives a young adult a special insight into the political field while simultaneously sharpening their analytical and specialized skills, all of which will be extremely useful in whatever field one decides to pursue. I would also encourage students not to be intimidated by the complicated internship applications or the competitiveness of the program, since this just serves as a barrier for those who don’t want to take the extra step to overcome these. It’s important to have confidence in your application and see each application process as an experience to learn, not as a bother.
If anyone has questions about the application process, or wants to speak more about the experience, feel free to contact me: Alyssa.firstname.lastname@example.org
Q. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
A. To be honest, I’m still not really sure where I see myself in 5 years. I see myself attending law school sometime in the near future; however, after I graduate from Baruch College I am hoping to explore the world more as I feel like now is one of the only times in my life where I will able to do so without commitments. I am interested in joining the Foreign Service, and hope that in five years I will be completing a job where I can enable other people to positively improve their lives and realize their fullest potential.
Contributing writers: Albert Mathew and Romanowski Jules
If you are interested in learning more about the 2014 Colin Powell Fellowship application process, you should attend the upcoming orientation session which is scheduled for Thursday, September 19, 2013 from 12:45-1:45 pm. Contact the Weisman Center at (646) 312-2074 for more information.