| || Maggie Habib Meawad|
|Rutgers University Class: Class of 2006|
Home Town/High School: Jersey City/William L. Dickinson High
Major(s)/Minor(s): Political Science/Communications
Date of Questionnaire: July 18, 2009
I currently work at the U.S. Department of State in the Office of Iraq Assistance and Economic Affairs. I started off an intern in the fall of 2004 in the Office of Iraq Political Affairs. It was an exciting time, only 16 months after Operation Iraqi Freedom (March 2003). Before my internship concluded, I was asked if I could stay on for a little longer deferring my last four classes and graduation for one year. It was an amazing opportunity and I took it. During that year I worked on the 2005 Iraqi National Elections and several VIP visits among many other things. I returned to Rutgers to complete my last semester and returned to Washington in June to become the Congressional Affairs Advisor for Iraq. After one year in this position, I moved on to my current office to take over the healthcare and capacity development portfolio. I was also fortunate to be chosen as the sole NJ candidate for the FBI Honors Internship in the summer of 2004, where I worked at the National Virtual Translation Center.
Make sure you take the time to account for an internship during your time of study. Internships are a great way to determine whether or not you want to work in a specific field. Make sure you spend the time to apply and be chosen for an internship that is substantive and not spent making copies. Know your audience and be honest in your responses. Make sure you allow time for others to provide input and proofread your submission. Try to acquire and/or develop a language skill while in college. There are many federal scholarships that will allow you to go abroad and study in a foreign language (recommend www.state.gov). While it is only a recommendation in the curriculum, taking economics courses is critical and will open many opportunities. While selecting courses, meet with an advisor early on and take the time to meet professors who are willing to spend the time to guide you, get to know you, and write letters of recommendations.