“ It is your year fellows, make the most of it.”
Growing up well below the poverty line, sometimes I am surprised how I got here where I am today – a H. Humphrey Alumna, with a professional job at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
I have always dreamed about having an opportunity to go and study in the US which is the land of freedom, different from the old continent. Without the program, I would have never had the chance to spend one year in the US during which I improved so much both professionally and personally.
In the first “orientation” week our coordinators emphasized several times “it is your year fellows, make the most of it.” I took their advice and used the 10 months efficiently. The flexibility of the program allowed me to personalize a curriculum that helped me to enhance my soft skills and hard skills as well. I participated in many trainings related to leadership and I studied about climate change policy, US environmental law and international relations. I had the opportunity to work related to sustainable waste management policy at CalEPA and on energy and foreign policy issues at the Hungarian Embassy in Washington DC. I was inspired by Californian enthusiasm about fighting against climate change and about the topic of geopolitics of energy. During my year, I decided that I want to learn more about these topics and I applied to the Department of Energy and Climate Diplomacy in the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. If it was not for the experience I gained during my fellowship, they would not have had hired me. Now, I have a new dream about being a diplomat one day to improve transatlantic relations. I have found my path thanks to this amazing program, the State Department and last but not least the American people.
I improved a lot professionally, but I learned even more from my fellows. We came from a wide range of backgrounds, working experience, different culture, and religion. Still I discovered we have so much in common, we are aspiring for a better world and environment for the future of the next generations. I gained life-long experiences, and most importantly life-long friendships. I am proud and honored to have been part of the program and so thankful for the US for supporting those who are committed to public service.