By Harrison Yu

With graduation right around the corner for many of us on this trip, you are bound to see quite a few posts about our visits relating to our futures.  Lucky for me, I get to be one of the first to experience a taste of life in what I hope will be part of my future.

We started off our day at the Harry S. Truman building.  It’s a bit exhilarating seeing the Diplomacy Center being set up for the speeches that would occur later that day, despite us not being able to attend the speeches by the current and three former Secretaries of State.  We’ve already had a similar thrill in seeing various stages being set up for the inauguration, but with that, we will actually be able to bear witness to the momentous event.

After re-discovering that government life isn’t for everyone, we were greeted by a Drake alum at Pyxera Global.  Having interned in the nonprofit sector, this talk was much more familiar to me.  The work that Pyxera was doing was fascinating; however, it was the enthusiasm that the Drake alum brought to his work that was the more inspiring point.  To work in an industry that he loves and learning that he arrived there through seizing opportune chances made me confident that I could follow my own path and end up just as happy in doing my work.

Matt Clark Pyxera (jvw).jpeg

A lively conversation with Matt Clark (third from the left).  Photo credit: Jill Van Wyke

Matt Clark, the aforementioned Drake alum, also spoke about citizen diplomacy.  That is, as his slide show put it, “The concept that every global citizen has the right, even the responsibility, to engage across cultures and create shared understanding through meaningful, person-to-person interactions.”  As we saw yesterday, constructive conversations in political life are difficult to manage but important to have.  This idea of citizen diplomacy puts those conversations in a global context and asks us to think of others.  How can we engage people to create shared understandings?  What do we need to know in order to help others?

This spoke to me as someone looking to be a better global citizen.  I’m not sure if today helped me with my career goals, but I did learn that, no matter what, it is likely that things will eventually work out.

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