They may not know exactly what to expect, but Maureen O’Toole and Teresa Sullivan will be well-prepared when arrive in Rome this month to begin their once-in-a-lifetime experiences as interns at the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See.
In addition to taking the American Foreign Policy class this summer with Dr. Daniel Burns, O’Toole and Sullivan spoke with a number of foreign policy experts to give them insight into the important role embassies play in diplomacy.
One of these experts was Professor Mary Ann Glendon, former ambassador to the Holy See under George W. Bush and current professor at Harvard Law School, who answered questions for the class via conference call. Haney said that Professor Glendon gave them insight on the unique nature of her post and also what to expect during their time in Rome. “Professor Glendon emphasized the power of the Pope, who has no real political interest other than the protection of human dignity around the world,” Haney said. “This is what distinguishes the relationship between the United States and the Holy See from the US’s diplomatic ties with just about every other country.”
As part of Dr. Burns’ class, O’Toole and Haney also met with Amanda Schnetzer, Director of Global Initiatives at the George W. Bush Institute, and both mentioned that their supervisors at the embassy have been very helpful in helping them prepare for their roles.
Both Haney and O’Toole know that living on their own abroad and working full-time will be a new experience. “Having previously lived in Rome and having Dr. Hatlie and the rest of the Rome campus only a metro ride away, we know that adjusting to a new lifestyle won’t be too difficult, although I’m sure it will not be without its challenges,” O’Toole said.
Haney said that she is most looking forward to meeting with and shadowing the Foreign Service Officers at the embassy. “I am looking forward to learning about the various interests of the embassy and how we work with the Vatican to pursue them,” she said.
O’Toole said that she is looking forward to managing the embassy’s social media and writing their news products. “I am particularly interested in political journalism and I think this job will give me great experience in this field and a good idea of what to expect,” she said.
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Editor’s note: O’Toole and Haney heard about their internships through emails sent by Julie Jernigan, Director of UD’s Office of Personal Career Development.