By Lauren Speranza
As a Program Associate at the International Affairs Council (IAC), which merged with International Focus (IF), I gained a range of practical skills that have launched me into my career path. Organizing logistics and itineraries for diplomats through the IVLP Program, I learned to design and implement cultural-exchange projects under strict deadlines. Liaising with a variety of stakeholders and working as part of a dynamic international team, I improved my communication skills, cultural understanding, and adaptability. Preparing me to work in a fast-paced, high-profile environment, my experience led me to intern at the US Consulate General in Milan, Italy. There, I employed my skills to help organize several large-scale diplomatic events, including the flagship Independence Day Celebration and 2015 EXPO Milano Groundbreaking Ceremony. I continue to draw on my experience as an intern and am sincerely grateful for my time there.