christopher p. quade '92
Major: Political Science
Career field: International Relations
Job title: Watch Officer
Employer: U.S. Department of State
In two to three sentences, please describe what your current position entails.
I'm currently serving in the State Department's Operations Center, which is the Department's 24/7 nerve center. We monitor world events and crises to make sure the Secretary of State and other Department officials are kept apprised of international developments.
What has been your career path to date?
After graduating from St. Olaf, I taught English overseas for a year and then pursued graduate study before joining the U.S. Foreign Service in 2001.
How did your interest in working internationally develop?
My interest grew mostly from my experiences on the St. Olaf Global Semester in 1990-91.
Which parts of your St. Olaf education best prepared you to work internationally?
I participated in two study abroad programs, which were excellent introductions to a career in international relations.
What is the most difficult or challenging aspect about working internationally?
Learning to operate both interpersonally and interculturally.
What has been the most rewarding aspect of working internationally?
For me, it has been seeing first-hand the profound similarities and differences between individuals in different countries and cultures.
What does being a “global citizen” mean to you?
An awareness of international affairs is increasingly important. Like it or not, the United States plays a major -- if not the preeminent -- role in the daily lives of citizens around the world. Knowing how our country affects others, and vice-versa, allows us to better deal with problems and challenges.
What advice would you offer current students interested in working internationally?
Research your country/region of interest BEFORE going. Try to learn the local language!