Ankit Pandey, 2018 MBA Candidate, Crummer Graduate School of Business
It was a fascinating experience to hear from the U.S. Consul General in Kolkata, Craig L. Hall. Before I attended his speaking event, I had minor knowledge about his position and the U.S. embassy in India in general. I honestly believed the embassy only dealt with visas and immigrations, but after hearing Dr. Hall’s speech, I learned there was more. The embassy does deal with visas and immigrations, but it is also the foreign ambassador for the United States. It aids in building a better relationship between the two India and the U.S., and provides resources to shape the community surrounding the embassy. I learned about the research being done on curing tuberculosis, and the combined effort between researchers from the U.S. and India. I also learned about USAID (United States Agency of International Development) and the roles it plays in helping the allied countries develop in different areas such as economic, environment, finance, etc.
Dr. Hall also talked about career opportunities through the U.S. State Department, and how to become a qualified candidate for a Foreign Service Officer position. The process is much tougher than I thought, especially the initial exam, which requires a great deal of knowledge about world news in general. He also mentioned the hardships a person might face working in this field—the traveling involved, and random process of assigning countries to employees, at least in their early years. If a person, however, is willing to embrace these hurdles, it is a great opportunity travel around the world. Foreign Service Officers work in, learn, and experience the culture and the traditions of the countries where they are assigned.
I would like to thank Dr. Hall for taking time to visit Rollins College and speak. It was inspiring to hear about his experiences in India, Indonesia, Iraq, and Australia. I was quite surprised he had a chance to visit Jamshedpur, India, a town where I was born. He not only travels to different countries, but also to many major cities within the country, adding to his experience and mission as a Foreign Service Officer.