The following are testimonials written by International Affairs Fellowship alumni.
Class of 2023 Testimonials
The Annenberg Fellowship was an incredible opportunity that provided me with not only supplemental classes in addition to my State Department Internship, but also an Ambassador Mentor and Peer Mentor who shared their experiences in government work. During individual meetings with my Ambassador Mentor, he provided me with invaluable career advice while discussing potential future career paths with me. In addition, he showed me a chart explaining all the organizations and branches that are connected to international relations, allowing me to get a bird's-eye view of alternative careers. My Ambassador Mentor is one of the best parts of the program. He is very supportive and I look forward to his advice and guidance in the years to come. The supplemental classes provided me with an understand of numerous issues that are addressed in the various branches of government as well as how these issues are addressed. Overall, the Annenberg Fellowship was a one-of-a-kind experience for which I am deeply grateful.
The CAA Annenberg Fellowship enriched my Department of State internship this summer and deepened my knowledge of diplomacy. In the company of my fellow fellows, I participated in weekly classes at the Insitute of World Politics, during which we learned from professors with backgrounds in the military, the intelligence community, politics, and diplomacy. Through our mentorship with ambassadors and peer mentors, I grew to understand the interconnectivity of the federal agencies and the honor of serving our country. Fellows were able to bond with ambassadors and peer mentors through the colorful events CAA hosts--from Jeffersonian dinners to baseball games, we got to connect with ambassadors and enjoy DC. From the life lessons my ambassador imparted to me to the friendships the fellows have built with one another, I am excited to take on the next chapter of my life armed with the growth I have experienced as a part of the CAA Annenberg Fellowship.
The CAA Fellowship was a critical component of my great experience residing in the capital for my internship with the Department of State. The ambassador mentors were kind and dedicated, our handlers were constantly impressive in their drive to ensure we had everything we needed, and the courses we underwent were informative and thoughtful. It is no exaggeration to say that my time was deeply enhanced by my participation in the program. I leave the fellowship with nothing but gratitude towards my fellows, my ambassador mentors, and other CAA staff who spent every day trying to look out for our best interests.
My fellowship with the Annenberg Program was nothing short of amazing. Throughout the fellowship, the other Fellows and I were introduced to many different career paths in Washington, by distinguished professionals who are exceptionally seasoned in their respective fields. Combined with my amazing internship at the Department of State, this experience made for the most productive, growth-filled summer I’ve ever had. I am confident that the knowledge I gained, both from the lectures and from my mentor and peer alumna, will play a significant role in my professional career. I am excited to remain a part of this group going forward and to continue utilizing the relationships and network I built in the future.
The Annenberg Summer Fellowship was truly one of the most transformative experiences of my life. Our weekly lectures on the elements of statecraft introduced me to an entirely new way of thinking about international affairs and decision making. Instead of discussing issues in a theoretical, academic sense, we dove into the realities of international affairs through the eyes of experienced practitioners. The fellowship lectures helped me see the issues I was working on in my internship a whole new way. My favorite parts of the fellowship were the events and activities with our ambassador and peer mentors. I was surprised by how eager all the mentors were to get to know us personally and support us professionally. They offered unparalleled insight into what it is like to be a professional in Washington D.C. and gave me a clearer sense of what opportunities I want to pursue after graduation. I am sincerely grateful for the time and effort that went into providing us with this experience, and I look forward to staying involved with CAA in the future!
My experience as an Annenberg fellow was extremely enriching, formative, and fun. With a special focus on the instruments of statecraft, this fellowship gave me, a student of languages and linguistics, the opportunity to broaden my education further into international affairs. Even after a full day of work, I found the coursework to be delightfully diverse, engaging, and thought-provoking. Beyond the classroom, I especially enjoyed learning from my mentor, Ambassador Thomas L. Siebert, and my peer mentor, Ms. Ellen Beahm. Together, the mentorship and educational opportunities of the Annenberg Fellowship beautifully supplemented my internship at State and further inspired me to pursue a career in public diplomacy.
Class of 2022 Testimonials
The Council of American Ambassadors Fellowship was the perfect supplemental experience to my internship at the State Department. I was the only intern in my office, with an influx of work to do as a result of the war in Ukraine. The fellowship helped me to establish personal connections to my peers as well as extremely knowledgeable mentors, where otherwise I could’ve been isolated. As someone who wasn’t ever interested in the foreign service, I was worried I’d have difficultly connecting, but the mentors and peers were consistently thoughtful and engaging. My Ambassador mentor offered insight to so many different fields and helped provide me a clear sight of the playing field that pertained to my interests. I feel so much more aware of all the many routes I could take in my future. I’m looking forward to keeping in touch with those I’ve met through this mentorship program.
The CAA fellowship was a remarkable opportunity that provided a richness to my experience interning at the State Department which would otherwise have been inaccessible. My ambassador mentor gave me tremendous professional and personal advice while TFAS courses in international relations and economics provided me with a firm grasp of the core academic principles underpinning international affairs. This opportunity gave me a very nuanced understanding of life at the State Department and how to approach a career there. This fellowship connected me with a wonderful group of people and I hope to stay a part of the CAA family in the future.
Having the privilege of being named an Annenberg Fellow is an opportunity that I will be forever grateful to have experienced. Time spent with the Ambassadors, peer mentors and other fellows is such an invaluable supplement to an already incredible internship. Not only was I able to soak up the knowledge and practical advice offered by my mentor, but I was also able to develop a professional relationship and friendship as well. Being able to live and work in the heart of D.C. opened numerous opportunities to advance and foster my personal and professional aspirations. The Council of American Ambassadors has provided me with resources and opportunities I would not have found anywhere else. I am thankful to have spent my summer at the Department of State, which would not have been possible without the generosity and investment the Council has provided me.
The Annenberg fellowship provided me with an extraordinarily challenging and formative Summer experience. The one-on-one engagements with my ambassador mentors, coursework, and extracurricular experiences proved invaluable while navigating the State Department and future career opportunities. After this experience, I feel academically and professionally ready for the next chapter of my life.
Photo Credit 2017-2013: Jenifer Morris Photography
Class of 2017 Testimonials
The Council of American Ambassadors Fellowship has gone above and beyond my expectations for this summer. Interning at the State Department is already a great opportunity - add in the additional mentorship from former fellows and the ambassadors and you have a wonderful program brimming with professional and personal development. In this summer alone I have been able to identify a concrete career path I would like to follow (foreign service) while also noticing other potential avenues that I haven't previously thought of before (congressional committees). I have also been inspired to apply to programs like Rangel and Pickering, and now I am even considering graduate school! I came to DC this summer unsure of where I wanted to go with my career, and I'm leaving with a new confidence and ambition for the future. Thank you for this amazing opportunity!
Being a CAA Annenberg Fellow has been a thrilling and rewarding experience. My internship with the State Department afforded me the opportunity to develop professional experience with work in a region that I have a background in and passion for, while the classes through The Fund for American Studies offered arenas for discussion on the pressing issues facing current and future policymakers. Furthermore, the opportunities for professional development - through both TFAS and CAA - were unparalleled. This summer experience has not only allowed me to develop valuable skills that will aid me greatly in a future career in public service, but it has also empowered me with a wider professional network and a better idea of the myriad of opportunities awaiting me after graduation.
The CAA Fellowship is a one of a kind opportunity. The advice given by two former U.S Ambassadors, and a peer mentor is invaluable. This Fellowship provided me with extra knowledge that the Internship alone did not. It provided me with a network of people that were there to offer career and personal advice. CAA offered unique events with great opportunities to network. The CAA Fellowship and the TFAS program also gave me with friendships that will last after I have left D.C. This has been one of the most intense and rewarding summers of my life. I will be forever grateful and proud to be a CAA Fellow.
The CAA Fellowship gave me the most rewarding summer experience of my college career. It connected with a diverse network and offered candid accounts of life at the State Department and civil service in general. My mentors went above and beyond to connect me to career opportunities and new contacts. I hope to stay in contact with the Council, my peer fellows, and the wide alumni network for years to come.
This summer as a CAA Fellow has been an incredibly rewarding experience. As an intern in the Office of Southern European Affairs, my time on the Turkey, Greece and Cyprus desks has solidified my desire to pursue a career in public service. There was never a quiet day on the desk and I felt like the work I did truly contributed to the overall efforts of the office. My CAA fellowship was a great compliment to my time at State. It provided me with incredible access to a career network that I otherwise would not have been a part of. The mentoring sessions expanded my conceptions of what my career can look like postgrad, and my that I am grateful. I am lucky to be part of such a wonderful network that is truly interested in helping me advance my career goals.
The Council of American Ambassadors program was a great opportunity that allowed me to further solidify my aspirational career goals. The ambassador and peer mentorships built upon some of the knowledge I acquired at my State Department internship, leaving me with a better understanding of life in the government and the Foreign Service. It also gave me an opportunity to meet with and learn from other interns, rounding out my summer experience.
The Annenberg Fellowship supplemented an already impactful internship at the State Department with an experience that will stick with me for a lifetime. My cohort and I have been warmly welcomed into the CAA family, an invaluable and unique community of former ambassadors, driven and passionate young people, and of course, the incomparable Carolyn Gretzinger. From participation in academic courses and regular mentoring sessions to a trip to the Nats game and professional development workshops, this fellowship helped me grow as an individual and future professional. I know my experiences from this summer will play a huge role in shaping my future career decisions, and I couldn't be more grateful for having been selected as a 2017 Fellow.
I loved my time as a CAA Fellow. It was such a privilege to get to know my ambassador mentor and the rest of the CAA network, and the CAA events were a crucial complement to my State Department internship. I can't imagine a more well-rounded experience for a student of foreign policy and international affairs.
I really learned a lot from this summer. I am grateful for the opportunities that this program gave me and the experiences I had through my interactions with the ambassadors, the peer mentors, and the other fellows. I truly enjoyed this fellowship and would recommend anyone to apply.
Class of 2016 Testimonials
This summer has been an incredibly rewarding and enriching experience due the Council of American Ambassadors Annenberg Fellowship and my internship at the State Department. My internship provided me with substantive work, the opportunity to delve deeper into a region I am highly interested in, and a better understanding of the complexities of the U.S. government. The fellowship was the perfect complement to my internship, as it gave me practical skills including ambassador mentorship, academic coursework, and exposure to new career paths in government. Between the ambassadors, peer mentors, and other fellows, I feel I have joined a community that is interested in my professional and personal development. I am very grateful for the opportunity to participate in such a unique and rewarding program.
The Annenberg Fellowship allowed me to combine the incredible internship opportunity I had interning at the Office of International Health and Biodefense with academic courses that discussed topics related to international affairs each session. The seminars gave me insight to fields -- like intelligence -- that TFAS did not. And finally, I will be forever grateful to both my ambassador mentors and my peer mentors for conversations on careers and my future as well as their insightful advice.
John P. (Trey) Curran
The Council of American Ambassadors Fellowship program has been the perfect complement to my internship at the State Department. The unparalleled combination of professional experience, academic enrichment, and exceptional mentorship dovetail to afford me the most transformative summer of my life.
The Council of American Ambassadors fellowship provided me with invaluable experiences this summer. The mentoring sessions were informative and insightful, offering an honest and real-world view of a career in international affairs. The relationships that were built among the fellows were not only a support system throughout the summer, but also act as a springboard for our futures. We have each become a part of a small community of like-minded individuals within the broader DC and international affairs world. The investment, commitment, and time the mentors and the Council have made to us will also be appreciated as an effort to truly guide and help us enhance our careers.
Sricharana (Sri) Muppidi
The CAA Fellowship has been incredibly beneficial to both my personal and professional development. I've really appreciated my time with the Ambassador mentors as well as my peers in the program, and I hope to continue my relationships and remain a part of this incredible community despite the summer ending. I also appreciated the substantive work experiences I gained from my internship at the State Department. I'm very grateful for being a part of this program, and I appreciate everyone's support who made it such an amazing experience.
My overall experience with the CAA Fellowship was entirely positive -- I have been thankful every day that I decided to apply. I did not have a "typical" CAA experience due to my decision to not participate in TFAS classes and therefore not live on GW's campus, but this is another decision I have not regretted. While the classes have sounded interesting, the CAA Fellowship was a strong program without them, and I never felt excluded from the program or less than any of my fellows as a result of my decision. My ambassador mentor, Ambassador Valdez, always had great advice during our sessions in addition to fascinating conversations that ranged in topic from history to world politics. Finally, this fellowship has resulted in meeting the eight other participants, which has been a great boon during my time in D.C. this summer, and I hope we will continue our associations in the future. I am both honored and exited to join the alumni of this program after I graduate and intend to remain an active participant in the CAA alumni network.
I loved my internship with the State Department's IIP Office. As promised, I did real work (not just "intern tasks") and worked with very friendly people who took time out of their day to talk to me about their careers and give me advice about my future. My work was concrete in that I knew it was going towards the Young African Leaders Initiative Washington Mandela Fellows Summit held in August. Additionally, I knew the work was substantive because I did not get bored. I learned a lot and will never forget my summer with the CAA program!
This fellowship experience was extremely beneficial both for my present and future plans, goals and aspirations. The learning that occurred through these lectures and programs stretched my thought processes to a new level. The classes at George Mason University nicely complemented the issues and discussions exposed during the mentoring and lecture series.Interactions with other fellows and my mentors allowed for discussion of topics that were of mutual interest at a deeper level than in classroom settings. I plan to keep in touch with my mentors following the conclusion of this program.
I cannot begin to thank the fellowship committee for selecting me to take part in this unique fellowship to help fund a memorable summer. The summer was intense between work, class and fellowship requirements, but I leave DC with a deeper understanding of how policy works in real life, via my internship, and theoretically, via my classes. The peer mentors also served as an invaluable addition to the fellowship. Tapping into their experience as current professionals who have gone through the fellowship, graduated college and who could relate to similar anxieties and life goals that we have was great. They provided sound advice and genuinely wanted to see us succeed in the future. How often can one say that they were mentored by two former U.S. Ambassadors? The guidance I received and connections that my mentors facilitated on my behalf opened doors and opportunities that I would have never imagined. Their life advice and desire to see us succeed was greatly appreciated and pushed us to do even greater things. Getting to know eight brilliant fellows who are all so brilliant and amazing was truly humbling and I learned so much from them. While we all work in different offices and have different interests, we are all oriented towards service in some capacity. Learning about each fellow and why they are drawn to service was both inspiring and pushed me to do even more.
Class of 2015 Testimonials
The CAA Fellowship provided an incredible, unique opportunity to explore different public service careers in the federal government. Each meeting with Ambassador Valdez and my peer mentors provided new insights into public service job opportunities and how to best line up these opportunities to fit my interests. I was especially struck by the depth of the Ambassador’s first two questions to me: “How do you make decisions?” and “What do you find fulfilling?” Those two questions could only come from someone who truly cared about my future and who wanted me to succeed.
My time as a CAA Fellow was so rewarding. Besides being among likeminded young people with positive aspirations, the mentoring provided by Ambassador Russo and others is an experience that I would not have been able to get anywhere else. As if that wasn’t enough, the pro seminars offered invaluable advice that will help me move forward into the career that I want. I look forward to being a part of the alumni association and seeing how the program continues to grow.
Being a Walter and Leonore Annenberg Fellow in addition to interning at the State Department made a substantial difference in my time in Washington this summer and a lasting impact on my future path. Throughout the summer I was thoroughly impressed by the kindness, warmth, and thoughtfulness I received from my ambassador mentor, Laurie Fulton, and the other ambassadors who took part in the program. I will continue to value their advice and the close friendships I have made with other CAA fellows long after this summer. I am truly grateful to have been able to participate in this incredible opportunity, and can only hope that the CAA fellowship program continues long into the future. I cannot recommend any similar summer program in Washington more strongly.
I was struck by how many opportunities for personal and professional development were presented to me throughout the summer. I am very grateful to the Council for organizing this program and allowing us to see and do so much in such a brief time, and I would happily recommend any future interns at the Department of State to apply for this program in the future.
Interning at the Iran Desk during such a momentous time has been an incredible experience. I am so grateful to my supervisors and colleagues for giving me the opportunity to learn and work on a huge range of issues while at State. But I am also infinitely grateful to the Council of American Ambassadors fellowship for making this summer truly unforgettable and giving me the opportunity to learn and listen from an amazing group of former ambassadors who have served across the world.
I greatly enjoyed my Fellowships experience. My ambassador mentor was exceptional, and I would do the entire Fellowship over again simply to be able to meet with her. The professional seminars provided an inside look at a wide-range of career options, and it was nice to hear from professionals who were closer to our age. They made relevant points, and we were able to ask questions pertaining to each of our interests. I thought that the Fellowship was a useful experience, and it complimented my internship well.
The CAA fellowship was the perfect combination of professional development and hands-on learning. In my internship, I gained a deeper understanding of the State department and multilateral diplomacy, and at fellowship events I learned about the breadth of options for students interested in international relations. Both my ambassador mentor and peer mentor gave me excellent advice and guidance about the future. It was a summer well spent.
My experience as an Annenberg Fellow was truly remarkable and supplemented my summer internship at the State Department. The Ambassadors and the Alumni Fellows offered great insights into career possibilities as well as support and guidance through mentoring sessions during the summer. The speaker series provided the opportunity to hear from individuals who were successful in their careers, and could offer apt advice for those of us facing graduation within the next year. Lastly, the opportunity to meet and become friends with the other Fellows was one of the greatest highlights of the program, and one that will extend far beyond the conclusion of the summer.
Class of 2014 Testimonials
The CAA Fellowship helped me make the most of my internship at the State Department. All the Ambassadors have an enormous wealth of knowledge about working in international affairs and gave candid, specific advice that was very useful in preparing for senior year and beginning the job search. It was also great to connect with other fellows and alumni and learn about their experiences.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience with the CAA, and I really appreciate their help in making this an unforgettable summer. Overall, the fellowship exceeded my expectations. I was surprised by everyone in the program’s genuine desire to help, and I was surprised by the camaraderie I found amongst the fellows. Ambassador Hughes was an excellent mentor. He went through great efforts to make himself as available as possible, and his advice was always well backed and thoughtful. I did not know what to expect of this summer coming in, however I was definitely not expecting everything to turn out as well as it did.
The Ambassadors Walter and Leonore Annenberg Fellowship of the Council of American Ambassadors has been a wonderful opportunity that has facilitated immense personal and professional development. My Ambassador mentor and peer mentor have been willing and motivated to meet with me regularly throughout the summer; these rewarding relationships that have developed, as well as the advice I have been given, are invaluable. One of the other valuable aspects has been the opportunity to get to know young professionals on a substantial level, and the camaraderie that has then been established between the fellows. Most importantly, my State Department internship has been perfectly complemented by this Fellowship, placing my career aspirations into a tangible context, with mentorship each step of the way. The final piece to the Fellowship, the Fund for American Studies courses and lectures, have made this summer the rigorous experience that I had desired. The high-level of debate and discussion in these courses challenged me intellectually in a refreshing way, as I was exposed to new views and opinions daily.
The Annenberg Fellowship has provided an invaluable complement to my State Department internship, allowing me to interact with inspiring Ambassador and peer mentors, and challenging me to participate in coursework on economics and foreign policy. I have grown professionally and personally, and I have been exposed to a plethora of opportunities that I did not even know existed. My ultimate goal is to enter the Foreign Service, but regardless of where I end up, I am incredibly thankful that the Council chose to invest in me, a first-generation college student who would never have dreamed of an opportunity like this.
What makes the Annenberg Fellowship so special is the involvement of the ambassadors throughout the entire summer. Their genuine interest in our overall DC experience and their willingness to provide career and life advice was incredibly encouraging. The conversations I had with Ambassador Carmen Lomellin, my assigned mentor, and the other ambassadors over coffee or lunch are some of the most cherished moments I will take from this summer. I had some incredible moments during my internship at the Department of State as well. My supervisor and the rest of our team were great about including me in their projects and inviting to exciting events within the department and even at other agencies. I got the opportunity to be at negotiations for an international convention, attend senate hearings, manage social media for my bureau, and meet public officials such as Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, among many other things. I’m leaving the department with a better understanding of the way the government works and with a desire to return to DC and join the public service some day. Overall I feel inspired by the mission of this fellowship and I hope to one day be in a position where I can do the same for someone else as the Council of American Ambassadors has done for me and the other fellows this summer.
Over the course of the summer, I formed close friendships and had the opportunity to speak with a number of current and former government officials both within and outside of the State Department about their work. The Annenberg Fellowship made the critical summer before my senior year of college a highly enriching and rewarding stepping-stone on my path to a career in foreign affairs. Thanks to extensive and personalized mentoring and support from the Council of American Ambassadors, along with the public sector exposure and valuable professional experience I gained from my internship in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, I feel confident and prepared as I enter my final year of undergraduate education and the post-graduation job market.
The Council of American Ambassadors Fellowship is a unique, eye-opening opportunity that has helped me grow both academically and professionally as I prepare to graduate and enter the workforce in a few months. My internship at the State Department brought me into contact with phenomenal people and the work they do to promote the United States’ best interests abroad. Interning has helped me narrow down the fields I want to target as I prepare to enter the workforce. Together with the fellowship and its unique opportunities, my summer has been truly valuable and memorable. The ambassadors are a fantastic resource and were always eager to share and impart a collective wealth of information and advice. Lastly, getting to know the other fellows in the program has been absolutely wonderful and has led to relationships and connections that I know will last beyond the summer. I am humbled and honored to have been chosen for this fellowship.
I had high expectations for the Fellowship and it far surpassed them. I had the chance to work on many issues I am passionate about and it was a very valuable experience to see how the State Department functions. It was incredible to be able to have the undivided attention of someone with years of experience and an unparalleled knowledge of how Washington is wired. The advice I received was invaluable. It was an incredible experience and I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to have participated.
The Council of American Ambassadors Fellowship program has both enhanced and complemented my summer internship at the State Department, through the lessons learned in class, as well as the mentoring advice. The classes helped to add another layer of complexity and nuance to the scenes I witnessed at the State Department. Additionally, the mentoring I received in this program was by far the best mentoring advice I’ve ever received. CAA provides a strong support system, through both its alumni Fellows and the Ambassadors, which significantly helped to guide me closer towards achieving my goals and realizing my dreams. It was an invaluable experience and an incredible addition to my summer.
Class of 2013 Testimonials
The Council of American Ambassadors Annenberg Fellowship program is a fantastic, eye-opening way to spend a summer. During my internship at the State Department, I have gained real-world experience working in international relations, which has given me a clearer idea of the career path I would like to pursue in the future. The mentorship component has also been hugely valuable, providing me with an insider's perspective on how to have a successful career in Washington. Lastly, the classes and guest lectures provided by The Fund for American Studies have opened my eyes to new ideas and ways of thinking, and given me a more well-rounded perspective on the major issues facing us today. During the course of the Fellowship program, I have grown as a thinker, worker, and student, and I know that the knowledge I've gained and friendships I've made will stay with me well after the summer ends.
Overall, the fellowship was very rewarding. It really complimented the internship nicely and I was able to take advantage of some great mentoring....[T]he fellowship was a wonderful opportunity to meet a wide range of successful and helpful individuals in a line of work that I am very interested in pursuing. Thank you so much for an incredible summer in D.C.!
The Council of American Ambassador’s Annenberg Fellowship has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my undergraduate education. Interning at the State Department in the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration has been a dream come true in itself, but the opportunities offered by the fellowship program have made this experience even more rewarding. The CAA mentors are not only an impressive, fascinating cast of characters, but are overwhelming generous in their willingness to invest in a group of aspiring young professionals. Sessions with my mentors yielded incredible stories about their lives and experiences as foreign policy insiders and invaluable guidance and career advice. Getting to know my fellow Fellows and peer mentors has been a reward in itself, and I have been friendships and connections that will last a lifetime. I am proud and honored to join the ranks of Annenberg alumni, and I look forward to being an active member of the Annenberg Fellow network.
I feel incredibly grateful for having participated in the Council of American Ambassadors’ Annenberg Fellowship. At every step of the program, I was surrounded by amazing individuals who were motivated by a shared desire to create positive change in the world. The CAA staff was always very accommodating to all of my needs and I felt like I had a strong support system throughout my rigorous summer internship. The ambassador mentors were always kind, encouraging, and engaging. They always conveyed a deep interest in all of the fellows and shared their experiences in a candid and humble way. I think the most important element of the mentoring process was being able to see a human side of extremely accomplished individuals. After all of my conversations with the fellows, alumni, and ambassadors, I was left with feelings of inspiration and hope. This program has helped me think critically about my goals and plan for my future.
The Ambassadors Walter and Leonore Annenberg Fellowship of the Council of American Ambassadors provided an unparalleled opportunity to explore my interest in international affairs and to accelerate my academic and career growth. By complimenting my State Department internship with classes in international economics and foreign policy, the Fellowship transformed my internship into a deeply engaging and immersive experience. I learned a great deal about foreign affairs and public service not only from fellow Fellows and CAA Alumni, but also from Ambassador Abelardo Valdez and other CAA Ambassadors who so generously shared invaluable wisdom from years of dedicated and accomplished careers. I am grateful for the engagement and support that this community of incredible individuals has shown me. It made my summer truly profound and reinforced my commitment to one day serve our great nation through a career in public service. I am deeply grateful for all that this summer has provided and I look forward to the collective impact the CAA family will make in helping to shape a positive future.
The Council of American Ambassadors fellowship was an extraordinary opportunity to combine practical work experience at the State Department with mentorship from leaders in the international affairs field. The former ambassadors really take an interest in your work and your aspirations, and are willing to be helpful in any way they can. This fellowship is a rare opportunity to forge a close relationship with mentors who have a wide range of experience in foreign affairs - both in the private sector and in government. The fellowship has not only confirmed my interest in pursuing a career in foreign affairs, but also broadened my interests and opened new doors of opportunity. The fellowship offers an unrivaled experience for college students passionate about public service and foreign affairs.
The CAA Fellowship as a whole added an entirely different dimension to my summer experience here in DC—without which I would not have gained such significant personal and professional development. The academic, professional, and mentoring components of the Fellowship created a powerful “trifecta” of challenging yet remarkable experiences that I will never forget. The academic courses provided a space for intellectual expansion and a community of students with whom to engage. The internship at the State Department exposed me to the complex and vital work involved in all aspects US foreign policy, and the people responsible for carrying out the nation's interests and values. The Ambassadorial Mentoring provided invaluable support and guidance in sharpening both my professional pursuits and individual ambitions. Two months have never flown by so fast, yet I feel that I have accomplished a great deal. I know that I will carry this powerful experience with me into the future; no matter what career path I choose to pursue.
Class of 2012 Testimonials
"The Council of American Ambassadors International Affairs Fellowship has been indispensable in the invaluable experience I have had in Washington this summer....The advice if my Mentor and Peer Mentor and willingness to share their life journeys have informed the way I think about my future and how I can become successful in the field of international affairs. I am so grateful to have been a part of this fantastic program and I look forward to giving back in whatever way I can in the future. It is truly a great experience for young, motivated college students who desire to make a difference."
"The Council of American Ambassadors Fellowship has provided me with invaluable insight and professional experience this summer...All three aspects - the mentoring, internship and academic components - were extremely beneficial. I am deeply thankful that I was able to participate in the program, as it has helped pave a clearer road towards where I would like to see myself in the future."
"My time at the State Department was a great chance to explore future career opportunities, meet interesting individuals from diverse backgrounds, and get a better sense of what it is like to live and work in Washington DC. The CAA Fellowship program provided me with the opportunity to interact with like-minded interns from across the country, as well as to receive invaluable mentorship from ambassadors who have achieved so much. Learning about each of their paths enhanced my understanding of government service and furthered the idea that there is no 'one way' to be successful in a career in international relations. Participating in the fellowship program has strengthened my desire to serve my country upon graduation next year."
"I loved my internship...The classes offered value-added by further exposing me to economics and to American foreign policy, a subject I will be pursuing in the upcoming semester. Yet the most important aspect of my experience was the mentorship, both from CAA and from my internship."
"With my mentor, we discussed current trends, lifelong goals, aspirations, and the workings of the international system. Peer mentors, who come from recent and similar experiences, advised me on how they made similar decisions to those that I will make over the next few years. In the American Foreign Policy class, I was challenged by a great professor to think critically on the controversial issues in American Foreign policy while simultaneously recognizing and understanding fundamentally different viewpoints of relations in an international system. All of these experiences were made possible through the fellowship. Each one has strengthened me personally, professionally, and academically."
"Being given the opportunity to tap into the minds at The State Department, Georgetown University, and at The Council of American Ambassadors has allowed me to shape some of my life's most important decisions, in the best possible setting. Perhaps more importantly, the relationships I have developed with The Council, my Ambassador-Mentor, and the other fellows are simply irreplaceable, and are certainly relationships that will stay me for the rest of my life."
Class of 2011 Testimonials
"The CAA Fellowship has been an opportunity of a lifetime---one that has shaped me into a more focused and driven individual with a greater understanding of what my future will look like...I'm continually grateful to the Council for such a special experience and I walk away from this summer with a renewed sense of confidence as I approach my final year of university, ready for the 'real world.'"
"The mentoring sessions with my ambassador-mentor have given me ideas and advice on career advancement, getting a job, and networking. The mentoring sessions, as well as the [events with the] other Ambassadors, were really quite valuable in terms of focusing my career goals and figuring out how to go about achieving them."
"Through individual and group mentoring sessions, I received personalized guidance on a host of topics ranging from education and careers to networking and public speaking. I entered the fellowship with a general conviction to pursue an international career. Three months later, I returned to school with a clarified idea of both my options and preferences for my post-graduation trajectory."
"The Fellowship program was the opportunity and experience of a lifetime. I so distinctly appreciate the time my mentors and CAA administrators devoted to helping me. It was invaluable."
"I am astounded by how much I learned---about DC, Department of State, my bureau, professionals skills, Foreign Service, and much more. I felt extremely honored to be in the company of both the Council and my fellows, and learned just as much from them as I did from my internship and mentoring...While I hope to pursue the Foreign Service or other opportunities in the diplomatic realm, I know that the technical abilities and interpersonal skills gained with this internship are invaluable to my future."
"My internship afforded me the unique and extraordinarily fulfilling opportunity to research, review and analyze one of their projects entirely autonomously. I could not have asked for anything better...My mentor has proved to be an unending source for career advice and his opinions have been very helpful to my thinking about my future...My experience [was] truly indescribable."
"The mentoring sessions were incredibly useful in discerning appropriate career paths and relevant 'next steps." As a rising senior, I appreciated my mentor's generosity with his time and resources to provide me with the best possible mentoring experience. Additionally, the collaboration between mentors for group mentoring sessions or events allowed me to observe dialogue between highly respected former ambassadors with vastly different political views and affiliations...The mentoring was engaging and useful both personally and professionally."