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Got my first job! Working with the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition

Got my first job! Working with the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition

November 17, 2021 at 10:00am

Name: Nicole A. Regalado '20, '21

Hometown: Miami, FL

Degree/Major: I'm currently a graduate student in the M.A. in Latin American and Caribbean Studies program. I previously earned a B.A. in Public Administration and a B.A. in Latin American and Caribbean Studies, with a minor in Portuguese at FIU. I was also a Global Learning Medallion graduate.

Where are you working? I'm working at the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) as a program assistant. The coalition is an organization that works in our nation’s capital and across the country to strengthen America’s civilian-led tools — development and diplomacy — alongside defense. By advocating for a strong International Affairs Budget, the USGLC is working to make America’s international affairs programs a keystone of U.S. foreign policy.

How did you get your job? I felt motivated to apply after watching one of the coalition's virtual annual events. Once they reviewed my application, I prepared myself for all three interviews and, fortunately, I'm here today.

What was your greatest fear going into your first job, and how did you face it or overcome it? Fortunately, I didn’t feel “fear”. I was nervous but my higher-ups are very understanding of how difficult training can be in this new virtual environment. They foster a welcoming environment, and I feel that I can openly express any doubts and learn.

What surprised you the most about your first job? Within my first month, the president and CEO of USGLC, Liz Schrayer, wanted to get to know me; I was able to meet with the directors of each department and present a trivia game to all staff for Hispanic Heritage Month. It surprised me that all of the USGLC staff took the time to care about new employees, even in the assistant position.

What advice do you have for those beginning the job search process? Try not to be misled that you are “supposed” to have a job by a particular timeline before or after graduation — each person has a different process, and that is normal! I advise you to consistently apply with your best work and don’t get discouraged!

What does a day on the job look like? My day varies! I usually work from home, but I also go to the office in downtown D.C. and top venues for our exclusive in-person events. The photo above is from one of those locations - check out the spectacular view! 

How does your job connect back to your coursework? Overall, I think my coursework gave me the necessary perspective, knowledge and understanding to keep up with current events that are often reflected in the types of events we host.

How was your transition from school to work?How do you balance your time? As a full-time professional, part-time graduate student and a new resident of D.C. (since October), I think it's best to be flexible and allow the transition to take its form. I try to be consistent with what mostly affects my day:

  • Waking up early
  • Eating balanced meals during my day (food = energy)
  • Taking 30 minutes for movement (preferably outside)

My day runs a lot smoother if I consistently strive to accomplish these three goals.

What’s been the coolest thing about your job so far? I was able to participate in Samantha Power's USAID address at Georgetown University. This job includes a lot of exposure to top government officials’ discussions and — hopefully next year — domestic travel for different events!

To learn more about the Global Learning Medallion program at FIU, visit its website. For support finding opportunities in Washington DC, learn more about the Talent Lab