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Foreign Service official gives insight into career

Jamie Loftus ’13
October 18, 2012

Aaron Snipe ’94 returned to his alma mater October 10 to speak with communication students on a topic that most youth never think of—how one’s educational aspirations can change with the passage of time, for the better. Speaking to students in Associate Professor Gregory Payne’s Argument and Advocacy class, Snipe answered questions about his extensive history with the College and the Foreign Service, where he currently serves as the spokesperson for the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs.

 

Aaron Snipe

Aaron Snipe ’94 speaking to Gregory Payne’s "Argument and Advocacy" class. 

Snipe, who is a graduate of both Emerson and Suffolk University Law School, taught English in Japan, and has worked for the Foreign Service domestically and abroad for more than 10 years. Was this his original plan when coming to Emerson? “No,” Snipe said to the room full of students, “but there hasn’t been a day that’s passed that I haven’t thought, ‘This is exactly what I am supposed to be doing.’”

Although he did not pursue the career he planned on while attending Emerson, Snipe insisted that his time at the school prepared him for the rest of his life. “I wasn’t a great student at Emerson,” he said of his undergraduate years, “but I was a great communicator and wanted to use those skills in a meaningful way.”

Snipe is working to connect Emerson to the U.S. State Department internship program in an attempt to broaden students’ views on communication and how far an Emerson degree can take them. Of his current job, Snipe had only the highest praise—“I haven’t worked an [assignment] yet that I haven’t loved, and there’s always a new issue or focus to address,” he explained.

Snipe concluded his time with Payne’s students with a question and answer session and some sound advice. “You’ve got time,” he assured them after fielding several questions on how to approach the dreaded days following graduation. “There’s no one path to the Foreign Service or any position, and you need to open yourself to all possibilities.”  

Photo credit: Lauren Foley '13

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