‘Focus, Commit, Do It,’ says Asst. State Dept. Secretary

“Focus, commit; do it and move on with confidence” was the advice of Cheryl Benton to a crowded room of Florida A&M students Thursday.

Benton is the United States Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Public Affairs. She helps Americans and non-nationals understand United States foreign policies and how they are implemented.

Benton spoke at FAMU to educate students about the various aspects of foreign policy. In addition, she spoke about the different initiatives President Barack Obama is making to help the U.S. and other countries such as Obama’s 100,000 strong initiatives and the United States’ troops leaving Iraq.

With more than 20 years of experience, Benton shared some of her time in politics and public affairs with FAMU’s journalism/graphics colloquium students.

Benton has worked in public relations, finance and on political campaigns. “It does not matter what your degree is in, what matters is your focus and commitment,” Benton said, declaring that passion helped her .

She noted how her concentration and passion made it possible for her to succeed in a career outside of the scope of her degree in finance.

Chandeidra Williams, a third-year broadcast journalism student from Fort Lauderdale, appreciated Benton’s visit. “A lot of what she said was insightful, I really took note,” said Williams.

Benton also spoke about opportunities the public affairs bureau offers to students interested in a career in foreign policy.

She told students how to become a foreign service officer, explaining to them also the duties.

Commitment and passion were the main things that stuck with many students after the speech. Freddy Lynn, a second-year broadcast journalism student from Miami, thought the speech was very encouraging. “She gave me the confidence to continue to pursue my career goals,” said Lynn.

More information about a career within the bureau of public affairs can be found at careers.state.gov