Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

Sean Manzano


Sean Manzano

September 2, 2012

Program: International Policy Studies

Undergrad: Drexel University (Chemical Engineering)

Fast Fact:  Since taking up running five years ago, Sean has run races of all distances from 5Ks to marathons.

"I would like to work as a Foreign Service Officer for the State Department."

Sean received a degree in chemical engineering in 2007 and worked in the petrochemical industry as a process engineer for several years.  Although he excelled in math and science growing up, his passions were always in languages and different cultures.  He says, "I decided that a degree in international policy studies would open doors towards a career path that would couple my analytical and technical skills with my interests in different cultures."

Sean says that he chose to study at MIIS because its alumni are renowned within the field of trade policy.  He was also confident that by honing his language skills, he would be more competitive in the job market come graduation.  He says, "While I was studying Chinese on my own before coming to MIIS, I knew that it would take more of a commitment, such as a requirement, to further my language skills."

Sean recently completed an internship with the U.S. Foreign Commercial Service and shares how his coursework at MIIS helped prepare him for this opportunity.

"The courses I have taken at MIIS have helped me to understand trade and economic relations between the U.S. and East Asia.  As an intern with the U.S. Foreign Commercial Service, I had the opportunity to experience firsthand commercial diplomacy and trade promotion.  The coursework at MIIS laid down the foundation and prepared me to understand the special relationship the U.S. has with Taiwan.  In addition, the language courses were an extreme help, as many of the meetings with the Taiwan authorities and businesses were conducted in Chinese."

Upon graduation Sean hopes to have a career in public service.

"Ideally, I would like to work as a Foreign Service Officer for the State Department.  I will be taking the test this February."

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