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Follow The Passion (German), Find the Career (Foreign Service)


The sequence of events lined up perfectly. In July, Charlotte Carstens ’16 finished up a five-month fellowship at the German Bundestag in Berlin just in time to begin a two-year master’s program in German and European studies at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service.

She’s en route to a career that precisely fits her interest in the German language, and German and international politics. Her mid- and long-term goal is a career in the foreign service. Shorter term, Carstens anticipates she’ll work in governmental affairs for a German-American company, ideally in Germany.

Her post-Hamilton stint as an International Parliamentary Scholar, a program of the German government, was a total immersion in workings of the German democracy. As an intern for a member of parliament who worked on issues such as migration and the European Union, she researched hot topics of the day. And she attended parliamentary committee meetings and plenary sessions, heard Chancellor Angela Merkel speak, and managed to snag a photo op with the leader.

A German studies and world politics major at Hamilton, Carstens spent her junior year studying in Germany. During her first year after graduation, she worked in Germany on a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship. Her time abroad crystallized her career interests.

“Once you find that passion, it’s truly great because it becomes your area of expertise, and you want to kind of deepen that. So that’s where I am now,” Carsten says.

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