LD: Days 4, 5, & 6

Rebecca Cao DiplomatThis post is part of Le Diplomate series, in which I will chronicle my travel joys and tribulations as an intern for the U.S. Department of State at the U.S. OECD in Paris.

I have been meaning to write this post since Monday, but unfortunately I haven’t had the time! I apologize to all of you who have been waiting patiently for this next installation. To begin this post, I need to go back in time to more than a year ago, to my freshman year of college. Over the summer before college, I had just started my company, which involved camping out at Border’s to read everything business-related and filing incorporation papers that I barely understood. Predictably, I carried into my freshman year a passion for entrepreneurship and a desire to attend business school.

Then, the reality of being on one of the most social universities in the world hit, and my priorities changed. By the time I received my first B- ever in Econ 101, I had lost my fervor for business and discovered that I wasn’t particularly suited for it either. After briefly entertaining the idea of being a creative writing major, I decided that the one thing I loved above all other subjects was languages. The last thing I wanted to do, however, was to become a language teacher.

Then, one of my friends suggested that I become a translator/interpreter for the UN. This idea led me to pursue a concentration in Romance Languages (basically, French and Spanish) and I dreamed of interpreting in the booths for meetings with the highest officials.

This past Monday, when I was shown a beautiful meeting room with a grand tapestry and placards of the 34 OECD member countries, it really hit home. While I once strove to be the interpreter behind the glass window, I am now representing the United States and on the receiving end of that interpretation.

The Department of State has exceeded my expectations in every way. Its work force, from the gendarmes (local guards) to the diplomats, is full of the most brilliant and generous people I have ever met. When you step inside the Embassy, you just get the impression that life-changing work is being done every minute. There is a tremendous sense of history, honor, integrity, and prestige. Even as interns, my fellow colleagues and I have been entrusted with a significant degree of responsibility and independence.

Speaking of which, I have the greatest co-interns ever. For the purposes of this blog, they will be known as IA and Trois Fromages (the acronym actually stands for International Ambassador, but I figured if I kept writing about the Ambassador on this blog, the security team would quickly have my neck). While I have only known them for a few days, we have fallen into an easy friendship that stems from common interests and experiences. Throughout my two years at Michigan, it had been hard to find like-minded students, so it’s extremely rewarding to bond with IA and Fromages. It is also very rare to have coworkers who are not constantly looking to backstab you, but who are genuinely willing to aid in your own success.

While there is much more I would love to share with you all, unfortunately I am not allowed. In the end, though, I hope my message still came across: follow your dreams, because you never know where they might take you. Through effort and a decent helping of luck, I am now living life so full that it is brimming over and I don’t know what to do!

What are your dreams and how are you pursuing them? Can you relate to my passions?

À la prochaîne,



7 thoughts on “LD: Days 4, 5, & 6

  1. So happy to hear that you’re loving your internship so far! I’m not surprised that you’re not permitted to share the goings-on in the Embassy, but I hope you’ll still continue to blog about your general cultural observations – they’ve very fascinating!

  2. I really enjoy reading your blog, because I can relate to your passions. I’m a French and Francophone Studies major at U of M, and interning for the State Department is something I would love to do. Can’t wait to read more about your adventures in France and your internship!

  3. Hey Rebecca!

    Thanks for replying to my comment!

    I’m a rising sophomore at U of M. I’m hoping to apply for a State Department internship for summer 2013.

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