International Relations and the Foreign Service

Discussion in 'Career, Work, Finances and Education' started by BlackguyExecutive, Aug 21, 2015.

  1. BlackguyExecutive

    BlackguyExecutive Charge D'Affaires
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    Whenever I talk to people and they ask me what I do for a living I say that I am in the Foreign Service. The usual response is "what is that?" I then have to break it down further and say that I am a United States Diplomat and that get requires further explanation. Well today friends, I am going to give you US Diplomacy 101.

    Diplomats represent a country in an official capacity. That means they are charged by oath and decree to speak and act for a particular state (Country). Diplomats perform a wide range of jobs and act in a variety of capacities. In the United States Foreign Service Officer have five fundamental functions (1) Political, meaning acting in the political sphere between states (countries) doing everything from negotiation treaties to informing countries that we are going to war, (2) Public Diplomacy, meaning going into a foreign country and learning everything about it from politics to art to music, i.e., learning about culture, (3) Economic, this speaks for itself, these officers deal with all things economic, primarily trade but its deeper then just that, (4) Management, these officers deal will all foreign assets, i.e., buildings, people, personnel managements, ports, they deal will everything that America owns overseas and they also management it all, (5) Consular Service, these officers are the people you meet working at the front desk of the US facility you go to when you are abroad, they stamp your passport, they get you out of jail when you are locked up abroad, they facilitate foreign adoptions, foreign marriages, they evacuate you when there are problems. The consular service is quite possibly the most important. All of it is aimed at protecting Americans abroad and representing the United States as an entity in the International Community.

    For me, I am in the political track. I have attached a video that explains it further.

    I write this posting because I think more black Americans should consider a career that prides itself on representing America to the world. The people that do this should be reflective of America. The United States Department of State is by far the most LGBT/SGL friendly department in the entire federal government and offer so much support for its people and families. Blacks and minorities are underrepresented. It offers an opportunity to travel the world, meet new people, experience different cultures, and represents the United States. It also comes with diplomatic immunity, LOTS of benefits, and a decent living where you earn enough money to live off of one persons income. Just a thought from this International Relations nerd!

    Sincerely,
    BlackguyExecutive

     
    #1 BlackguyExecutive, Aug 21, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2015
  2. DreG

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    Interesting stuff. You're educating us. Sounds like you're involved in some pretty serious business.

    When you say the DoS is more sgl friendly,do you mean they are sensitive to lgbt issues and things like that?
     
  3. BlackguyExecutive

    BlackguyExecutive Charge D'Affaires
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    I mean that the US Department of State is by far one of the best departments to work at if you are LGBT or SGL or Trans etc. There are so many professional association dedicated to ensuring equality and in recent years (the Obama years) that support has increased tremendously. The organization that pushed the most change is http://glifaa.org/ which does amazing work. Now there is a a special Envoy for LGBT Issues (Ambassador).

    The State Department is working really hard to increase diversity, we are lacking in minority groups, particularly African American. But on the Flip there are Six Gay Ambassador now, that is a world record http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs...ay-u-s-ambassadors-were-together-in-one-room/

    [​IMG]

    While this makes me happy, I DO note the absence of women and persons of color....we have more work to do.

    Who knows, maybe my black ass will be part of a picture like this one day.
     
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  4. KritiKal Analysis

    KritiKal Analysis "Be the Standard, Not the Substitute..." DMCureton
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  5. Discordant

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    This is timely. I actually signed up for the FSOT a couple of weeks ago. I'm going the Management route and take the first part of the exam on October 3. Any pointers you can offer?
     
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  6. BlackguyExecutive

    BlackguyExecutive Charge D'Affaires
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    I would say recognize that the FSOT is a hard exam. I would really get to know what your particular career cone entails. Also, don't underestimate the biographical question. If you message me your email, I will send you the 2015 study guide.


    [​IMG]
     
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  7. ctforbes

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    So glad this convo is taking place. I've always been interested in a career in the Foreign Service or a race/ethnic justice position at the BSU. I currently work in nonprofit but definitely have the Public Diplomacy track on my radar once I'm ready to move forward. I'd love to hear more about your experiences thus far/and decisions leading up to your current career field.

     
  8. BlackguyExecutive

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    For sure. I wanted to go the Public Diplomacy route but I am not personable in the grand scheme of things. I am more of a policy wonk kind of thinker. I will be much more excited once I actually go on my first overseas tour. Right now I am on a recruiting tour working with Diplomat-in-Residences all over the country. I am ready to get my feet wet. But that also scares me to...worldwide assignment is a big deal. I am interested to see how my family (basically me, my boyfriend/husband in 30 days, and our two dogs are going to like living in a foreign land. Its all nervous excitement. But definitely hit me up in the private message and we can talk offline.

    I am just glad to see that brothers 1) are interested in International Relations, 2) know what the Foreign Service is, 3) are LGBT/SGL. I will say this The Department of State is one of the most LGBT friendly departments in the federal government but its also one of the most elite, white, male oriented too. The department has a long and storied history of discrimination and one, especially, black and Lgbt have to be skeptical of tokenism.
     
  9. ctforbes

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    Yeah, I've always had my eyes set on DoS careers. Attended so many workshops/networked with diff recruiters that it just seemed like a logical next step for me. That's how I learned on the Gilman International Education award which funded by studies in Brazil, introduced me the Fulbright/Boren Fellowships, and helped me earn my position at my museum now (we focus on contemporary art for/about the African Diaspora).

    So needless to say, we're definitely out here man lol. I'm excited for you overseas tours and I'm sure you're fam will do well/love it!
     
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  10. BlackguyExecutive

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    Here is a new trailer for a PBS Special: The Diplomat

     
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  11. Kouncelor

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    @BlackguyExecutive , I commend you for not only pursuing something you obviously enjoy, but for sharing and encouraging. This is a tremendous forum we have her to mentor and support each other in our career and personal endeavors, what ever they may be... and a great opportunity to build networks.

    I would be curious to see a survey that provided the various career/education demographics of the group.... current and planned.
     
  12. BlackguyExecutive

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    I agree 100% the one thing I have learned relatively quickly in my professional life is, everything is about strong networks. Particularly in Washington DC and government work. I think it is vital for black people in general to build strong networks because you honestly never know how some random connection can lead to avenues of opportunity.
     
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