Majoring in international studies at Oglethorpe took Camille Teague ’23 all the way from Gray, Ga., to the State Department in Washington, D.C., and ultimately to the U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Teague walked at commencement in May and left soon after for her second summer as an intern in the United States Foreign Service Internship Program (USFSIP). The paid internship program lasts two summers with one summer spent domestically in Washington, D.C., and the other summer spent abroad at one of the embassies.
“Last summer, I interned for the Special Envoy to Advance the Rights of LGBTQI-plus Persons and this summer, I will be interning at the U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires,” Teague said. “So far, I’ve learned a lot about how governmental policies are implemented. My office, for example, furthers the Biden Administration’s pro-LGBTQI-plus human rights policies by tracking the legal status of LGBTQI-plus people in other countries, meeting with local activists to better understand the challenges they are facing, and by communicating our policies to other governments.”
During the portion of her internship in Washington, D.C., she took meeting notes, created background papers for senior advisors, and reviewed all daily reports from embassies and consulates, called “cables” in the diplomatic corps, and sent the relevant information to senior advisors and the Special Envoy.
Teague enjoyed the work, her office environment and especially the collaboration with her co-workers. She felt that her contributions were highly valued.
“I hope to continue working for the State Department as an FSO (Foreign Service Officer) or OMS (Office Management Specialist),” she said. “These careers require that I pass a test and an oral exam. My internship has definitely given me an advantage because I have a better understanding of the institutional writing style, the decision-making process, and world knowledge, which are all things that are tested.”
During her time at Oglethorpe, Teague worked in Global Education. Her journey is a perfect example of the type of career available to Oglethorpe students through the U.S. Department of State.
“Camille’s experience highlights the wide range of opportunities available to Oglethorpe students,” said Dr. Marisa Atencio, assistant dean and director of Global Education. “While she was an international studies major required to study abroad, she engaged in both domestic and international global learning experiences which helped her to identify her passions and a career path. Global learning experiences are everywhere on campus, in our local community as well as abroad. Students like Camille who take advantage of the fullest range of experiences stand out because they have deepened their understanding of themselves in relation to the world around them.”
Teague credits the opportunities she was given at Oglethorpe to develop her skills and grow as a leader with laying a foundation for success in foreign service. She credits Atencio and Accounting Assistant Professor Samantha Sick with helping her maximize the benefits by reflecting on the experience and leveraging it for further opportunities.
“My classes at Oglethorpe taught me the research and analytical skills needed to sort through large amounts of information and synthesize it down into a more digestible form,” Teague said. “Oglethorpe has a great career development office that is always willing to help you find internships and help you get them. Professors are another great resource as they can provide opportunities, introductions, and letters of recommendation.”
She is still in the middle of her experience this summer and doesn’t quite know yet where it will lead. With her career still ahead of her, she is glad she made the decision to attend Oglethorpe where her options are greater because of the education, experience and support.
“Oglethorpe’s many different leadership opportunities make it a great place to build your resume,” she said. “I think if I had gone to a larger school, like Georgia State University, I would have had a harder time gaining leadership experience.”