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Public Affairs

U.S. ambassador speaks to future diplomats

March 19, 2004

Detail from Mindwire's poster advertising the April 24 Foreign Service examA packed room of students listened intently to stories of eating a lamb's eye at a meal in a Jordanian village, attending a funeral with four U.S. presidents and reuniting families during the Gulf War -- events that are all in a day's work for Ambassador Janet A. Sanderson.

As part of a marketing campaign for the U.S. Department of State, Ambassador Sanderson came to campus earlier this month to speak about careers in the Foreign Service at the invitation of students in SFSU's Marketing Department.

Sanderson, who has been in the Foreign Service since 1977, served as U.S. Ambassador to the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria from 2000 to 2003, where she spearheaded the normalization of U.S. diplomatic presence in the country. In addition to her service in North Africa, Sanderson has had extensive experience in the Middle East. During the Gulf War, she worked as an Economic Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Amman, Jordan. Currently a Diplomat-in-Residence at University of California, Berkeley, Sanderson is responsible for recruiting a new generation of leaders who are interested in foreign policy and government service for the Department of State.

The event was hosted by Mindwire, a campus marketing agency made up of 18 students enrolled in marketing classes. Under the direction of Assistant Professor Subin Im, the independent study project is part of an industry-education course sponsored by the U.S. Department of State in which marketing students from four universities around the country create strategies to promote careers in the Foreign Service to college students. In addition to SFSU, the other three universities participating in the program are Florida A&M, New Mexico State University and University of Texas at Austin.

Besides the talk, Mindwire's marketing campaign also included a booth at the campus Career Expo held March 11 and an international food buffet at the end of the event.

"Having the students on campus, working directly with the key target market [other students] is wonderful. The campaign is better than what our professionals in Washington, D.C., would have done," Sanderson said of Mindwire's campaign.

Photo of Ambassador Sanderson speaking with an SFSU student  and Evan Reid, a Foreign Service OfficerThe students created a personalized campaign, tailored specifically to college students.

"Since they are students, they understand what the key target market wants and needs. The campaign that the students created is more than professional," Im added.

Foreign Service Officers are individuals who advocate American foreign policy and promote American business interests throughout the world. They staff the embassies, consulates and other diplomatic missions to achieve American foreign policy objectives.

The State Department is looking for applicants who are between the ages of 20 to 51, interested in foreign policy, love to travel and interested in learning about different cultures. Applicants must also be U.S. residents.

"If you are adventurous and want a world view that looks beyond the Bay Area, the Foreign Service is a great opportunity," Sanderson said.

Interested candidates can take the first step toward what Sanderson calls a "rewarding and challenging" career by taking the Foreign Service Written Examination on Saturday, April 24. Register online at the U.S. Department of State Careers Web site. Registration closes March 24.

As part of the campaign, Mindwire also offers wake-up calls on the day of the examination to candidates and one lucky person will receive a free 10 GB Apple iPod. For more information, contact Gal Oren.

EdVenture Partners, a Berkeley-based marketing company working with both the U.S. Department of State and Mindwire, provided the student-run marketing agency with ongoing resources, guidance and a project budget.

-- Public Affairs Student Writer Audrey Tang with Ted DeAdwyler


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Last modified July 27, 2004 by University Communications