A Visit from Craig L. Hall, the U.S. Consul General to Kolkata, India

Ankit Pandey, 2018 MBA Candidate, Crummer Graduate School of Business 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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