Today, students on the BSc third year Foreign Policy Analysis module and MSc International Relations (Security Studies) degree participated in a special roundtable session organised by Dr Laura Cashman focused on working in diplomacy.
Graduates of the CCCU Politics and IR programme, who now work in a variety of diplomatic roles joined a Teams call to talk about their careers and the work they do. They shared insights about the operations of diplomacy which are not always covered in academic study and offered advice and encouragement to students who hope to also make careers in this field.
Our graduates, Emil Ahmagic, Communications Officer, EU Special Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ondřej Boháč, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of the Czech Republic in Canberra and Noora Virtanen, Public Affairs Assistant at High Commission of Canada in the United Kingdom, were joined by Visiting Professor John Macgregor CVO, former ambassador to Poland and Austria.
They discussed the ways diplomacy has changed in the last 30 years, and the rapid transformations brought about during the Covid pandemic. They also reflected on how the transferable skills and specialist knowledge acquired during their degrees prepared them for their roles.
In particular, they highlighted the value of learning to meet deadlines, applying critical thinking skills and group work skills. Furthermore, they advocated taking any and all opportunities for networking and work experience while still at university. They encouraged students to challenge themselves and also have faith in their knowledge and abilities.
Recognising that this is harder for current students than it was when they were studying in a pre-Covid world, they also kindly offered to help students with mentoring and advice after today’s session too.
The session was a huge success, and it must be said, this was made possible by the leaps we have made in our online teaching abilities. A class involving graduates based in Australia and Bosnia would not have even been considered a possibility in the past. Even when we return to classrooms in the future, we intend to continue to offer these kinds of experiences now that we have the know-how!
A big thank you once again to all the participants. You have made us all #CCCUProud