Bretagne Guempel ’20 (Cohasset, Massachusetts) is interning this summer through the U.S. Department of State in the political and economics section at the U.S. Embassy in Zagreb.
“Much of my daily workload includes writing Daily Action Reports (DARS) and sending them to the Cables, which informs every embassy and D.C. what is happening in Croatia that is of importance to U.S. relations,” Guempel said. “I also sit in on senior level official meetings, learning directly from foreign service officers about foreign relations. In parallel, I gain hands-on experience about the work and life of a foreign service officer.”
During her internship, Guempel mainly works with the foreign service officers stationed at the embassy in Zagreb, but she also has the opportunity to join senior officials who come to Zagreb to work with the Croatian government or businesses.
“I have always had an interest in the foreign service, largely drawing from my multiple moves and living abroad, where I was exposed to their work and lifestyle,” she said. “Attending international schools in Germany and befriending as well as working with other students and peers who come from very different cultural and political contexts, truly made me think about working in diplomacy while continuing to experience different cultures.”
Guempel said she thought this internship would be a perfect opportunity for her to gauge whether this would be the right career path for her and prepare her for life as a foreign service officer.
She credits her experiences abroad and Centre’s intense writing assignments for her success throughout the internship.
“Coming to Centre, I thought I was a wonderful writer, only to be shocked by my first humanities 110 essay grade,” she said. “Centre’s intense writing regimen, and my own persistence to seek out help from the more than willing professors, has helped me immensely in being able to perform the tasks required for this internship.”
A number of professors have been a great support system and set of mentors for Guempel during her time at Centre, including Stephen Dove, assistant professor of history; Michael Fabritius, professor of economics; Ravi Radhakrishnan, associate professor of economics; Robert Schalkoff, director of the Lincoln Scholars Program.
“It means a lot to me to have this experience,” she said. “I have learned so much already from this internship and know that I would love to join the foreign service as a career.”
by Kerry Steinhofer
July 26, 2018