From Casey O. Hastings, a Queens graduate who earned bachelor's degrees in international affairs and Spanish:
When I graduated in 2001, my plan to attend graduate school in Washington, D.C., was only months away - but not before I spent two weeks in Guatemala on my second Queens mission trip.
That August, with two Queens alums as roommates, I moved to D.C. and started graduate school at the George Washington University's Elliot School of International Affairs. A month later, D.C. became a target of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, and everything changed. At school and at work discussions and policies were shaped and developed to reflect the new world in which we found ourselves. It became a dynamic time to be in Washington.
Influenced by the two mission trips to Guatemala that I'd experienced at Queens I enrolled in a two-year program with a focus in development. I earned my masters of arts in international affairs in May 2003.
While in graduate school, I worked at the U.S. Dept. of Energy's Congressional Affairs office - in part because of contacts I made when attending the 2000 National Republican Convention in Philadelphia as part of a political science program sponsored by Queens. My two years at the department were fascinating. I got to interact with members of Congress, administration officials, and got a real taste of the D.C. political scene.
I then started work at a lobbying firm called the Alpine Group. I focused on energy, transportation and healthcare related policy, while learning how Congress and the world of fundraising worked. It wasn't long until I realized this experience could only take me so far until I actually worked on Capitol Hill. After two years there I went on to a legislative, policy position on Capitol Hill and spent the next three years as a senior legislative assistant for Congressman Patrick McHenry (R-NC). My portfolio included energy, transportation, defense and foreign affairs, among others. Projects included field hearings and writing immigration legislation, late night budget mark ups and hearing prep on issues from steroid abuse to government waste, fraud and abuse.
While all the jobs since I've graduated from Queens have been demanding and exciting it was in April of 2008 that an opportunity came along to combine my love of politics and international affairs. I was hired by Motorola, Inc., as a Director in the Global Government Affairs office in D.C. Every day I learn something new about the corporate culture, while combining my experience with Congress, the U.S. Government and international interests in the most challenging and most rewarding experience yet.
In the past two years I have traveled to nine countries, some multiple times, with destinations as unique as Libya and the Republic of Georgia. I interact with foreign government officials and ambassadors covering Latin America, Europe and Africa.
Every day I am thankful for this opportunity. While working hard and taking advantage of this experience, I know my Queens foundation is what helped get me here.