By Emily Green
Sitting amongst the seasoned diplomats in the U.N. Security Council chamber is one of the School of Diplomacy’s very own: alumna Teale Harold (MA ’13). Like many others in the field, Teale always knew her passion for international relations would lead her to the U.N.
Less than a year after graduation, Teale was welcomed with a full-time offer from the Permanent Mission of Japan.
As an adviser for the Political Section of the Japanese Mission to the U.N., Teale spends each day covering the proceedings of the Security Council. If she’s not typing away at notes in an open debate, Teale can be found waiting patiently in the Council “Quiet Room” to be debriefed on progress made in closed consultations. All the information she gathers is used to keep her mission’s staff updated as Japan nears its 2016-2017 term on the Council.
As the only staff member tasked with covering the entire Council agenda, Teale’s notes and reports end up on the desk of nearly every department in the large Japanese mission. Her reports are first sent to the head of the appropriate region-specific department, then translated into Japanese for government officials in Tokyo.
Teale’s time at Seton Hall left her well-prepared for her position at the U.N. Surrounded by classmates from all over the globe, her courses introduced her a diverse and multicultural environment akin to that of the U.N. Within her career, Teale builds upon the skills she learned in classes such as Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding to research credible information to present to the Japanese capital.
While it can challenging to decide what to do after graduation, Teale encourages maintaining momentum and creating a plan for the future. For those from outside the tristate area, the Ohio-native recommends determining first where you’d like to work.
After deciding to stay in the area after graduation, Teale supported herself through a temporary administrative position while searching for her job. Ultimately, there are many ways to use your international relations degree- “the challenge,” she shares, is to “figure out what you’re interested in doing with it!”
Teale hopes to continue using her degree to work with or within the U.N. system. She’s open to transitioning from a position with a Member-State to a U.N. agency itself. She’d also be interested in exploring NGO work that deals with conflict or the Security Council.
The important thing, Teale says, is to “maintain momentum. You should keep looking for ways to move forward and learn.” Teale shared that she learns a lot from people at other permanent missions, as you often have to be outgoing and talk to people to get information for your reports.
For those looking to start careers at the U.N., Teale recommends networking. It can be very helpful to know people who work within the U.N. system, as they can give you advice and insight on the process. Teale found out about her own position through a fellow alumna who worked at another mission.
Teale also offered some advice of her own. On a lighter note, she quipped that you should probably drink coffee as the U.N. work schedule is pretty erratic.
In addition to getting ample caffeine, Teale advocates coming into the environment with a touch of optimism. Although it’s easy to be cynical when surrounded by such serious issues, you should always have a bit of faith in humanity. Teale’s optimistic attitude and passion for the U.N. make it clear that she has quite a successful career ahead of her.