How the Master of International Business program prepared this alumnus for a career with the U.S. Department of StateReading Time: 3 minutes
Adam Sotomayor (BSBA ’10, MIB ’10) serves in the United States Department of State (DOS) as a Foreign Affairs Officer in Counterterrorism Finance & Designations. His journey has taken him to Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and France. Recently Adam was selected for the 2019 French American Foundation Young Leaders Program.
In this story, Sotomayor reflects on how the Master of International Business program set him up for success in his career in public service.
Thanks to UF’s Machen Florida Opportunity Scholars Program, I was able to complete my Bachelor of Science in Finance and my Master of International Business, which paved the way for my career today representing America’s foreign policy priorities to the world.
After graduating from the program, I served as a community organizer and teacher for youth from a low-income community in South Florida while I applied for fellowships in foreign affairs. Working with these kids and city officials helped me realize how influential our voice can be as diverse, first generation college graduates and reinforced my commitment to pursue a career in public service. The process to secure a foreign affairs fellowship in Washington, D.C. was competitive, time consuming and challenging at times, but I focused on making the most of every opportunity in front of me and appreciating the journey.
I started my career with the Department of State as a Presidential Management Fellow, launching and facilitating public-private partnerships for economic development in Africa. I then served as a Political-Economic Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Paraguay. My experience studying business in Latin America in the MIB program was pivotal to me succeeding in this assignment.
I was featured on Huffington Post’s list of 40 under 40 Latinos in Foreign Policy (2017) for my work on the White House National Security Council Initiative to Promote Diversity and Inclusion in the National Security workforce. I then went on to serve in the U.S. Embassy in France to serve as Deputy Press Attaché in Paris. After my time in France, I worked as a Foreign Affairs Officer in the Bureau of Counterterrorism. I was recently promoted to a senior supervisory role at the U.S. Department of State, my fourth promotion in five years. I currently service on the Washington, D.C. Advisory Committee for the Hispanic Scholarship Fund to help ensure diverse, first generation college students have equal opportunity to succeed.
The MIB program gave me an opportunity to study with incredible students and learn from their experiences working in the private and public sector. Moreover, I was able to learn from some of the best college professors in the nation, who taught me key international business principles and helped me hone my problem solving and communication skill sets. Through dynamic course material, class discussions, group projects and experiences studying actual policy issues overseas, I developed the skill set to be competitive for a career in foreign affairs. Moreover, the MIB program directors were pivotal in guiding my career path and informing me of actual career options after completing the program. As someone who did not have a previous network in politics and foreign affairs, the MIB program equipped me with the tools to market my skill set, work with dynamic groups and build a network for success in my field.
My best memory from the MIB program is completing the International Finance Course study tour to Buenos Aires, Argentina, where I got to apply what I learned in class to meetings with government and private sector leaders. Being able to travel with other Warrington students and experience the food and culture of Argentina was also epic and motivated me to participate in the Financial Markets study tour to Buenos Aires, Argentina soon thereafter.
To current MIB students, I suggest making the most of every opportunity to learn and grow in your journey. You may not find your dream job overnight and that is okay because every career experience will help you identify what truly fulfills you in the long term.
Don’t fear your ambition. Aim big while also appreciating every opportunity that comes your way. My experience working with kids in my community was just as important as my work in the U.S. Department of State.
Interested in learning how you can gain a fulfilling career in international affairs and public service like Sotomayor? Request information about the Master of International Business program today.