Ariel Jahner, BSBA/BA '11, knew she wanted an international career the day she set foot on campus. The path she would take to get her there, however, was one less traveled.
Jahner is one of 20 Pickering Fellows from across the country chosen this year—an elite group of students selected after a grueling application process. Finalists are required to complete a timed essay and a full-day interview session, an experience Jahner can only describe as "nerve-wracking."
Despite the difficult process, she was accepted and is thrilled about what lies ahead.
A Pickering fellow must complete a graduate degree, two internships, the Foreign Service Officer Test (FSOT), the Foreign Service Oral Assessment (FSOA), and three years of service for the U.S. Department of State.
"As a fellow, I have the opportunity to network with an amazing group of people that I will one day call my colleagues," Jahner said. "I'm most looking forward to my internships—one at the State Department and another at an embassy abroad."
Building a Foundation
Jahner was one of many BSBA students to design her own specialization while at Kogod. This allowed her to bring her international goals into focus.
While earning degrees at both Kogod and AU's School of International Service, she spent semesters abroad in both Madrid and Cairo, and interned with Lufthansa German Airlines.
With a passion for global affairs and a love of travel, the Foreign Service offered an intellectually stimulating and challenging career for Jahner, who came to AU as a Presidential Scholar from Newbury Park, California.
The incredible flexibility of AU and caliber of faculty were two of the many reasons Jahner decided to pursue a Pickering Fellowship. "The faculty I was able to interact with and gain advice from on my career and graduate school goals was invaluable," she said.
Jahner is now at Tufts University's Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, pursuing a graduate program in International Business.
"It will expand on the foundation I built at AU," she said.
She will have her first program internship at the Department of State in the summer of 2012. A second internship at an embassy abroad in 2013 following graduation will lead into three years at the State Department.