Let’s face it. The term “international relations” has become grandiose in this century more than any before it. Today, an African prince can board a jet and within a few hours disembark in a different time zone; we have truly become globalized. This globalization has caused many a CEO to launch global plans to invade New Delhi and Fuzhou markets, or make Presidents, and Prime Ministers alike, design domestic strategies according to advice from foreign policy advisors. However, these CEOs and foreign affairs gurus who have neglected the acquisition of the proper linguistic skill set, knowledge of foreign trade and tax laws, economic stability and sustainability of nations, etc., have become victims of erroneous knowledge. In this new era of globalization, superficial knowledge will only lead to failure.
This failure, indeed, has happened and has too often led to conflict. While there is no doubt the understanding nations on a global scale facilitates cooperation and peaceful interactions between countries, misguided attempts at grasping nations cultures has put a dramatic premium on individuals who take the time to properly prepare themselves in international affairs. For me, the University of Virginia would play a significant part in my training.
I foresee my own career moving in the direction of American/Middle Eastern affairs, initially from an advisory perspective (i.e. consulting or public affairs) and ultimately from a leadership role in a diplomatic position. This divine insight has been spurred from my past experiences in the Middle East and South Asia, particularly: India, Pakistan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. These experiences, in turn, have formed my opinions on certain topics and opportunities that should emerge in the future: there should be vast activity, locally and internationally, in reference to areas of the Middle East, which, with a good degree of certainty, should be the causality of western powers entangling themselves within the already chaotic disarray. This foresight along with my interest in foreign affairs and an affinity for diplomacy will play a large role in the evolution of my career.
In the not too distant past, I have taken many courses required of me to fulfill my general education requirement. These have built a strong base to help me further my professional goals. Moreover, this semester I am enrolled in many more general education courses which will not only broaden my horizon but also allow me to finish the general education requirements your university expects of its transfer students. Along with the general education classes, I have taken an International Relations class which dealt vastly with information pertinent to my future career plans and this semester I am interning in a congressional office which has given me a greater insight into to foreign affairs
Moreover, my next semester(s) will deal highly with classes geared toward my area of study therefore I will be focusing more toward linguistics. Maybe because I feel a kinship towards it or I know the opportunities that lie there, I want to specialize in the Middle East which requires the proper skill set. Although I have been blessed with knowledge of Urdu, Hindi, and Arabic, I believe I still need to acquire knowledge of the Persian and Turkish language to help bolster my career. Along with a keen linguistics base, a Foreign Service officer is required to have through knowledge of the host country: the culture, economics, defense, geopolitical situation, etc., which is the reason for my curriculum focused more toward the middle east.
I vehemently believe that the University of Virginia will not only provide me with the training I need but also augment my career forward. Based on my observations of UVA graduates and the reputation of the school internationally, a degree from the University of Virginia would be a catalyst for achieving my career goals.