Upload new images. The image library for this site will open in a new window.
Upload new documents. The document library for this site will open in a new window.
Show web part zones on the page. Web parts can be added to display dynamic content such as calendars or photo galleries.
Choose between different arrangements of page sections. Page layouts can be changed even after content has been added.
Move this whole section down, swapping places with the section below it.
Check for and fix problems in the body text. Text pasted in from other sources may contain malformed HTML which the code cleaner will remove.
Accordion feature turned off, click to turn on.
Accordion featurd turned on, click to turn off.
Change the way the image is cropped for this page layout.
Cycle through size options for this image or video.
Align the media panel to the right/left in this section.
Open the image pane in this body section. Click in the image pane to select an image from the image library.
Open the video pane in this body section. Click in the video pane to embed a video. Click ? for step-by-step instructions.
Remove the image from the media panel. This does not delete the image from the library.
Remove the video from the media panel.
Megan Fuglestad stands in the main entrance hall of the State Department building, Washington, D.C.
Megan Fuglestad is a senior international relations, Chinese studies
and Asian studies triple major with a minor in history. At the
University of Delaware, she is involved in numerous student-run
organizations including the International Relations Club, the College
Democrats and the Wesley Foundation, and she participates in the
Department of Political Science and International Relations (POSCIR)
Ambassadors program. Outside UD, Fuglestad has built a resume allowing
her to expand and showcase her language and cultural skills. She’s held
four internships at the U.S. Department of State and hopes to gain a
position there after graduation.
A member of UD's World Scholars program, Fuglestad described why she was attracted to international relations and what she has learned from her internships.
What drew your attention to foreign languages and majoring in international relations?
I've always been interested in learning other languages, and I think
it's really fun. In middle school, I had to take a foreign language, and
I took Chinese. I ended up absolutely loving it, and I've taken it
ever since. As I got into high school and I started learning more
about politics and foreign policy, I discovered international relations
and decided that that's what I wanted to do.
Tell us about your internships.
I first applied for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs
because I speak Chinese and China is my main interest, and I was placed
in the Office of Public Diplomacy. I didn't know much about public
diplomacy or about communications. I was just happy to be there. But
later, I figured out that I loved public diplomacy, and I love working at
the State Department, and I like the government's mission, through
public diplomacy, of promoting and making people more knowledgeable of
what U.S. foreign policy is. And that has grown to be my focus area.
Since then, I've held three other internships at the State Department, which all focused (in one way or another) on communications and
What are some of your most rewarding experiences at your internships? And what did you learn from them?
During my first internship, I was able to help with a lot of the
State Department's efforts in promoting our values and U.S. foreign
policy in East Asia and the Pacific, and I was able to learn a lot more
about East Asia beyond just China, which was really exciting. This past
summer, I interned in what's called the Global Engagement Center at the
State Department, which is the State Department’s center for countering
foreign propaganda and disinformation. It was a new side of
communications and public diplomacy that I had not seen before. I was in
the China Division, and I spent the summer analyzing Chinese propaganda
and disinformation. One of the reports I got to help with analyzed, in
detail, China's attempts to cover up genocide in Xinjiang. The report
detailed very explicitly Chinese efforts to do a widespread
disinformation campaign to deny culpability. That was really exciting
because you could see immediately the real-world impacts of our work.
Currently, I'm an intern in the Office of China Coordination with their
Strategic Communications Unit, so I get to continue the work I did
previously and help to make sure the State Department, well, the whole
U.S. Government, has a united voice on what our policy is on China, as
well as help track actions taken by the Chinese government in the United
States. So over time, I’ve gotten to narrow my focus at the State
Department, which has been really rewarding. I’ve also benefited from
meeting many people who have helped me understand the different career
opportunities in international relations.
What is some advice that you can share with other students?
Don’t be afraid to apply for opportunities, even if you think you
are underqualified. I was definitely underqualified for my first State
Department internship, but on my application, I showed that I was really
passionate and that I was able to apply skills that I had learned (either in class or in volunteer opportunities) and be able to excel.
What do you see yourself doing next?
I am hoping to work for the State Department. My ultimate goal is to
join the Foreign Service and work abroad. I'm thankful that through my
internships I've made a lot of contacts with people at the State
Department who are so nice and so willing to give me advice and help me
along the way. So I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
Move this whole section up, swapping places with the section above it.
Article by Gelina Dames, photo courtesy of Megan FuglestadPublished January 30, 2023