We are Birmingham Alumni: Amy Soar

I came to Birmingham through a bit of a roundabout choice. My brother actually came her and studied International Relations before me, which is exactly why I didn’t want to come to Birmingham. But I quickly realised that it actually had everything that I wanted in a university - the campus, atmosphere, it was fantastic. The accommodation was exactly what I was looking for and the course itself is excellent and I was really looking for a quality education that would be able to combine international relations and French.

So when I was at Birmingham I did participate in extracurricular activities. Other than the typical student social life, I was also one of the founding members of POLSoc which I believe is still running, which is fantastic. But yeah, me and my classmates thought that we really needed a society that was dedicated solely to discussing political science issues and I’m really pleased to hear that it’s still going.

So I got into my current position with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office initially through an internship. They offer graduate internships on an annual basis and I was lucky enough to be one of the people selected a couple of years ago and that really catapulted my career in the Foreign Office and since then I’ve been able to hold a number of positions in embassies around the world.

[On-screen title] Tell us a fun fact about yourself...

I think a claim to fame would probably be in my first week of working at the UN for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office I met Ban-Ki Moon, which was a real star-struck moment for me and I can’t remember what I said but I just remember shaking his hand very vigorously and being very pleased to meet him!

The best piece of career advice I’ve received is from my mentor in the Foreign Office and she told me to always think of the opportunity in front of me and how that can be leveraged into the opportunity following that. So don’t always consider the job that’s immediately in front of you, but think where that’s going to take you and where that’s going to lead you and I’ve really found that valuable in thinking about my career choices.

I think the one word I would use to describe Birmingham and my experience here is ‘opportunity’ because that’s what it really had given me in my career. It’s given me a background from which to springboard my career from.

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