Students take interest in State Department hiring increase

The U.S. Department of State is looking for a few good men and women to help bolster their work force, and representatives came to GW this week to spread the word.

Deborah Graze, a recruitment outreach branch chief at the State Department, said the federal government’s biggest diplomatic organization has plans to significantly increase its workforce in the coming years. They expect to hire nearly 1,300 people this year, which would double the number of new hires over last year.

GW students are often familiar faces at the State Department. Nearly 300 Foreign Service officers are GW alumni and another 193 Civil Service officers in the State Department hail from GW.

“I am very interested in working for the State Department. I also knew of others [at GW] who wanted some information,” said Fred Jennings, a senior and a member of Delta Phi Epsilon, the professional foreign service fraternity that organized the information session.

At a time when many seniors are struggling to find employment after graduation, Graze’s information session resonated among the students who came to hear her speak at the Elliott School Tuesday night.

Graze said she was especially interested in seeing veterans at the information session, as veterans often have many of the necessary skill sets beneficial to a Foreign Service career, she said.

Senior Pia Oestlien served in the Army for five years and said she came to the event to meet the recruitment officers and expand her network at the State Department. She also speaks several languages and plans on learning Swedish over the summer.

“I spent a lot of time overseas as a kid,” Oestlien said. “After my time in the Army and with my language skills, I think the Department of State would be a perfect fit.”

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