Saturday, June 19, 2010

INTERNational Connections

I got this in my email Friday and thought some of you might be interested:

I’d like to take a moment to introduce you to a relatively new Department site, INTERNational Connections.

INTERNational Connections, the Department’s web-based career networking site, is designed for employees and current and former interns to stay connected. Participants are encouraged to provide pertinent information about themselves, their experiences and their career goals.

The Department’s student internship programs provide a key source of potential candidates who have an interest in, and are qualified, to become future Department employees. Naturally, HR/REE wants to strengthen and maintain its connections to this group, fostering and mentoring a pool of candidates from which to obtain successful recruits. HR/REE developed an intern engagement strategy to assist in maintaining these connections. The foundation of this strategy is INTERNational Connections.

There are currently over 1,200 active users; we’re planning to send an email invitation to over 5,000 former Student Programs participants (see email invite from Secretary Clinton attached). We also have an aggressive content plan which will ensure that there are regular (almost daily) updates to keep users engaged.

One of our immediate goals is to increase the amount of user participation on INTERNational Connections, particularly on the forums. As with any online community, it’s challenging to get users to be the first to participate on a new platform. We’re hoping to leverage the many interns throughout the Department with whom you have personal relationships and encourage them to start or join a thread on the discussion boards.

Akash Suri, the new Content Manager for INTERNational Connections, has provided a few ideas for posts that you can share with interns, Co-ops, Stay-in-Schoolers, Pickerings, and any other Student Program participants to help us jump-start the community. Please don’t hesitate to start your own discussion.

Please share this note with your colleagues and encourage them to start new discussions and engage in established conversations.

A Few Suggested Ideas:

· “______ Bureau Interns, Unite!” – A gathering place for past and present interns from a particular bureau to discuss their experiences and discuss bureau-specific topics
· Share a job/fellowship/scholarship/internship opportunity –INTERNational Connections is all about working together to advance career opportunities, so share any interesting opportunities you come across. Don’t think of it as increasing the amount of competition, as you’ll almost certainly learn of more opportunities than you’ll share.

· Form a group to attend an upcoming lecture or event – Chances are, there are other interns interested in the same things as you are, so if you’re headed to a talk at Brookings, SAIS, Carnegie or any of the numerous other think tanks, spread the word and go together.

· Share tips on life in D.C. – The “Life inside the Beltway” forum is the perfect place to share info on your new favorite restaurant or a hidden attraction. Remember, most interns are new to D.C., so share information to get the most out of your time in the city.

Here is a letter from Secretary Clinton about the site:

INTERNational Connections reconnects you – a former student program participant – with the U.S. Department of State. This network was designed specifically for you to find individuals who have shared the same experiences, learning first-hand about American diplomacy and its role in the world. It provides an exclusive platform where you can network with Foreign Service Officers, Foreign Service Specialists, Civil Service professionals, and participants from all of our student programs; all of whom are committed to public service and contributing to our global society.

We need people like you to share your knowledge and creativity to:

· help rebuild the global economy
· protect our environment
· defeat violent extremism
· build a future in which every human being can reach his or her full potential

We will meet these challenges, enhance our security, advance our interests, and reflect our values with a diverse team of experienced professionals. The U.S. Department of State must reflect the full strength of American talent which you represent. Our aim is to strengthen our workforce with Americans who understand and appreciate a variety of cultures, languages, and perspectives.

Your participation in this community will enhance its richness – and give you an opportunity to tell us about your career goals and aspirations and the knowledge, skills and experiences you’ve achieved since you worked with us. Take these easy steps to join our exclusive community:

· Go to - to register. Click "create a new account." On the next screen, you can choose your choose your username and password. You will receive a confirmation e-mail within 24-48 hours indicating your information has been validated. You now have access to the system and can start connecting immediately.

· After logging in, click the "My Profile" link on the upper left and then enter your personal information - you’ll have an opportunity to tell everyone more about yourself and your career aspirations.

· Take the time to explore INTERNational Connections and start chatting with other interns located throughout the world. Make sure to check out the Knowledge Corner and visit daily to see the latest Bulletin.

Welcome back to the U.S. Department of State.

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State


Anonymous said...

Does it make me a nerd when I got a happy nutty feeling of excitement when I saw I was on your list of future fss and fsos?

Because it totally happened. My night has been madeeeee!

Digger said...

Yes, that makes you a nerd. But of course, you are in good company. Most of us in the FS are nerds, including yours truly!