The School of Public Policy hosted a seminar with former Foreign Service Officer Jesse Coronado on October 24. This seminar was a part of The Generations Dialogue Project, which aims to increase the number of underrepresented youth who pursue a career in American foreign policy. They connect young Americans with trailblazers in American foreign policy and international affairs. The program creates a support network for careers in international affairs, and establishes a pipeline of under-represented groups finding a career in American foreign policy.
The seminar started with a video about The Generations Dialogue Project. The video was followed by an interactive activity which asked the audience about the anxieties, fears, and concerns they have about being successful in an international career as well as whether they have ever had to be inauthentic for a role.
After the activity, the seminar transitioned to a Q&A with Coronado. The conversation that took place between Coronado and Leonard Cisneros, a graduate student from the University of George Washington, focused on Coronado’s experiences, challenges, and advice from his experience in international public service.
Coronado traveled to nine countries as a Foreign Service Officer. He served as interim Deputy Chief of Mission while in Belize, Honduras, and Portugal, led real estate acquisitions of consulate general properties in Sao Paulo and Tijuana, and received two Superior Group Awards, a Meritorious Step Increase, and five Meritorious Honor Awards.
Coronado graduated from UCLA with a BA in Latin American Studies and an MBA in Finance and International Management and did not plan on applying for international jobs. He decided to apply after realizing his career stagnated as the Vice President at Citibank. He told the audience that he wasn’t necessarily the perfect fit for the Department of State at the time, since most employees graduated from Ivy League schools.
“If somebody said you fear being, you’re going to get rejected and fail anyways – we all do,” Coronado said about applying to different jobs. “I got eight job offers, but got rejected by 42 companies.”
Once the interview portion of the seminar came to an end, the audience was able to ask Coronado questions in an informal Q&A and then participated in a mixer with all special guests.
“For those of you that are starting, there’s internships and fellowships and you can get to all of that at state.gov,” Coronado said. “You can look at careers and it has a lot of information about where to start.”