Event shines spotlight on foreign service

The official logo to exemplify Internation Development for the American People. Photo courtesy am.usembassy.gov

Members of the Upsilon Psi chapter of Omega Psi fraternity at Florida A&M University took the initiative Thursday to introduce students to international career opportunities.

The networking presentation was with the U.S Department of State, whose role is to lead Americas foreign policy to advance the interests and security of the American people, and the U.S Agency for International Development (USAID), which is responsible for helping partners become self-reliant as U.S. citizens.

This event took place via Zoom, where participants were admitted and greeted with a warm welcome for attending.

Shawn Holloway, the lead organizer and a member of Omega Psi Phi, said that because the event was student-led it proved that students are creating networking opportunities to bring greater exposure to international opportunities for African Americans.

A USAID leader showing off the back of her shirt with a logo to promote and demonstrate democratic values abroad. Photo courtesy medium.com

Networking was, in fact, the biggest benefit in order to spearhead this event, because my brothers and I were afforded the opportunity to meet the Diplomat in Residence at FAMU through community service. Without his contribution as a U.S. Department of State recruiter, this event would not have been made possible,Halloway said. 

Participants were prompted to watch a streamed introduction video to kick off the event from the national USAID.com website, which introduced a few panelists such as career diplomat and author, Christopher Teal, along with managing director and researcher at Global Ties U.S., Carlton McLellan. 

Panelists were asked to share a perspective about the accomplishments of African American pioneers like Ebenezer Bassett, an man who was appointed United States ambassador to Haiti in 1869. 

After the streamed panel discussion, the event proceeded and gave open space for participants to adhere to what it will take to be a part of the foreign exchange market. 

Sebron CB Tony, a former Foreign Service in (1987) and current Diplomat in Residence (DIR) at FAMU, who was the host of the event. Photo courtesy famu.edu

Sebron CB Tony, a former foreign service agent and current Diplomat in Residence at FAMU, was the host of the event. He encouraged international study opportunities  as a recruiter for the U.S. Department of State.

Student leaders had the opportunity to introduce international opportunities to students of color who do not understand why U.S. diplomacy directly affects them, which was the purpose of this initiative.

Rikeshia Davidson posed a question: Ive enjoyed hearing about your career. If a student is interested in pursuing a career with the Department of State would you recommend an international education program during college?”

The lead speaker of the event, ambassador Teddy Taylor, who is a FAMU graduate and member of Omega Psi Phi, shared gems as a retired foreign service officer for the U.S. Department of State. He was open and honest about what students can do to be part of the foreign service. 

Be willing to leave the United States and not be scared to go overseas. Blacks historically do not want to get up and move. Getting Rattlers into these programs as part of the foreign service is great and those students are doing well,Taylor said.

Students were encouraged to develop and maintain a competitive mindset if they desire a career in the foreign service. 

You have got to know how to write and tell your principle concerning the reason why it is important. Public speaking and networking in this industry is a critical skill you will have to adapt to. You have to be willing to put in the work because for these programs you need at least a 3.2 GPA or higher to go against competitors,Taylor said.