Sitting in a crowded hotel boardroom, Olivia Dulmage, ’16, an intern at Grieboski Global Strategies, mentally rehearsed introducing herself to the prime minister of Somalia.
“The boardroom was full of almost all of our managing consultants, which seldom occurs since they work for GGS on an as-needed basis. The managing consultants are high profile enough to intimidate me, but greeting the prime minister and his delegation truly made me nervous,” remembered Dulmage.
The internship, which Dulmage completed through the Jepson School of Leadership Studies internship program, taught her to always be prepared. While a typical day at the international consulting firm would include gathering and preparing news updates, conducting research, participating in the firm’s strategic planning sessions, and drafting blog posts, press releases, and occasionally even congressional testimonies, Dulmage never knew when the next high profile figure might walk through the door.
“The internship at GGS is so engaging that we’re constantly moving and changing projects,” Dulmage said. “One of the results of that flexibility is showing up on a regular work day and learning that I will be meeting an ambassador in just a few hours.”
In addition to the prime minister of Somalia, Dulmage met many high profile figures, such as former Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Suzan Johnson Cook, Organization of the Islamic Cooperation Ambassador to the United Nations Ufuk Gokcen, and the chargé d’affaires of Somalia. This level of exposure has prepared Dulmage to apply her educational background in leadership studies and French in her future career.
“In my job search this coming year, I will be looking for work that has elements of human rights or religious equality, but I would love to work in policy,” Dulmage explained. “I believe so much can be done within legislations to clarify and render potentially important laws more useful, and I would like to be a part of something that makes an impact on our society and the ongoing conflict that surrounds it.”
Given her career aspirations, Dulmage was most impacted by the opportunity to hear former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright speak. As a member of the consulting firm’s team, Dulmage was invited to attend an event launching the Middle East Strategy Task Force held at the Atlantic Council at which Albright presented.
“Watching Madeleine Albright and her contemporaries break down stereotypes, introduce brand new polls from the region, and interview civilians and scholars about the attitudes of the Middle East was life-changing,” said Dulmage. “Working to understand foreign attitudes, especially of perceived adversaries is something I’d like to pursue in my career—to illuminate the often overlooked distinction between members of terrorist organizations and the millions of innocent victims of religious discrimination.”
Following the event, Dulmage found herself in the elevator with Albright and took the chance to introduce herself.
“Watching Ms. Albright during her presentation and briefly meeting her after the event took my breath away. She’s had such an enviable and important career, and being a rising senior in college, attending events in her presence, I felt a true surge of hope and anticipation for my future,” Dulmage reflected.