Nearly 200 American alumni of U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs descended upon the State Department in Washington, D.C. on July 31 for the first-ever International Career-Building Seminar for U.S. Exchange Alumni. Through a variety of expert guest speakers, skills-building workshops, networking sessions, and a career fair, the participants explored various professional opportunities in both the public and private sectors where they can put their critical language and other global skills acquired on their exchange programs to good use.
The event included nearly 50 expert speakers from such agencies as the U.S. Department of State, USAID, the Office of Personnel Management, and representatives from a wide array of international organizations, NGOs, policy institutes, and private companies. Sessions also explored topics such as leveraging international experience in the job search, effective strategies for networking, and maintaining and marketing critical language skills.
Many alumni left the event feeling inspired and rejuvenated to chase their international career aspirations. As one alumna of the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX) explained, “It was great to hear advice from individuals with international experience who have landed in a variety of industries. I also have a much better sense of how to market my experience and language abilities to potential employers.” Another alumna of the National Security Language Initiative (NSLI-Y) program stated that the seminar “rekindled [her] interest in working in Foreign/Civil Service or in international affairs.”
The participating alumni took part in a range of U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs, including the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship Program, the Fulbright Program, the Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program, the National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y), the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX), and more. They hailed from more than 30 states across the U.S. and traveled to more than 60 individual countries on their exchange programs.