LEAP Center Students Explore International Careers: FBI, NASA, State, Pangea


LEAP Center Students had a great chance to explore international careers as they met with representatives from the State Department, NASA, FBI, and the non-profit organization Pangea.  It was a rare chance to get face time with representatives from these groups, and the LEAP Center students were the only college students on hand to take advantage of this opportunity.


Although the students knew much about opportunities with the FBI and the State Department, the students were exposed for the first time to the work of Pangea, which provides resources to women  in developing countries.  And while the students were familiar with NASA, they hadn’t thought of NASA as an international career option.  But after hearing of their hiring practices and the International Space Station, we realized that NASA was not only Interstellar, but also International!

SHSU Students Listen to NASA's Grier Wilt
SHSU Students Listen to NASA’s Grier Wilt

Students received numerous tips for how to achieve a career in international affairs, including:

  • Make good grades
  • Learn about another culture, by studying abroad, if possible
  • Learn a second language
  • Do internships, particularly those with international connections
  • An advanced degree is preferred but not necessary

Happily, these tips fit right into the LEAP Center’s mission, which is to broaden horizons, stress academics, and gain internships in the professional world.

The students spent the bulk of their time with the always generous John Roberts, from the State Department…

John Roberts & LEAP Center Students
John Roberts & LEAP Center Students

…who amplified on these tips, and encouraged the students to apply to the State Department.  In fact, he discussed the possibility of coming to SHSU with the hopes of following up and recruiting additional students!

John Roberts with LEAP Center Students

Author: mikeyawn

Mike Yawn teaches at Sam Houston State University. In the past few years, he has taught courses on Politics & Film, Public Policy, the Presidency, Media & Politics, Congress, Statistics, Research & Writing, Field Research, and Public Opinion. He has published academic papers in the Journal of Politics, Political Behavior, Social Security Quarterly, Film & History, American Politics Review, and contributed a chapter to the textbook Politics and Film. He also contributes columns, news analysis, and news stories to newspapers such as the Houston Chronicle, San Antonio Express News, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Stamford Advocate, Greenwich Time, Huron Daily Tribune, Laredo Morning Times, Beaumont Enterprise, Connecticut Post, and Midland Reporter Telegram. Yawn is also active in his local community, serving on the board of directors of the local YMCA and Friends of the Wynne. Previously, he served on the Huntsville's Promise and Stan Musial World Series Boards of Directors. In 2007-2008, Yawn was one of eight scholars across the nation named as a Carnegie Civic Engagement Scholar by the Carnegie Foundation.

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