The Charger Blog

Global Conference on Diplomacy Provides ‘Eye-Opening’ Experience for National Security Major

Attending the International Diplomacy Forum in Bangkok earlier this summer enabled Isabelle Lupinacci ’22 to learn about other cultures while reflecting on the impact she hopes to make in her career.

August 6, 2019

By Isabelle Lupinacci ’22

Image of Isabelle Lupinacci ’22
Isabelle Lupinacci ’22 at a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Thailand.

Attending the International Diplomacy Forum in Bangkok, Thailand, was one of the most influential experiences I have had both from an educational and cultural perspective. This was my first time being outside of North America, and the lessons I learned and the people I met taught me so much more about the world beyond the U.S. shores.

Image of Isabelle Lupinacci ’22
Isabelle Lupinacci ’22

This experience provided me with a better understanding of how other cultures operate. The networking that I did with students from other cultures taught me how geopolitical issues can impact more than just the United States. A delegate I met from Australia gave me a fresh perspective on U.S.-China relations, primarily, how the current U.S.-China trade war could devastate the economy and livelihoods in her home country. Going forward, this will make me more aware and sensitive toward those who come from different backgrounds than me.

Networking also opened opportunities to me and illuminated potential career paths. I was moved listening to a Malaysian student who spoke with me about his previous work with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). We discussed ways that I could go about applying for an internship there and how I could tailor it to my interest in working with migrants and refugees.

Our meeting with the International Organization for Migration highlighted many ways that the ICRC is influential in their work and gave me insight into how I could work for their office one day. This trip made me aware of career paths that intersect with subjects that I am passionate about, which was invaluable.

"Above all, my most significant takeaway from this experience was learning how to articulate my ideas in a way that will give others a reason to care."Isabelle Lupinacci ’22

The message I took from the many wonderful conference speakers was that the youth are the ones paying the price for the decisions of older generations, and that young people need to find a way to be heard, to lead, or to force change.

Image of Isabelle Lupinacci ’22
Left to right: Dr. Chris Haynes, Isabelle Lupinacci ’22, and Keyri Ambrocio ’21 in Bangkok.

Above all, my most significant takeaway from this experience was learning how to articulate my ideas in a way that will give others a reason to care. People often approach situations as if what they have to say is the most important, when people have other priorities on their mind. Tailoring your message to each individual person you meet and their interests will enable you to make progress.

This week was an eye-opening experience on so many levels, and I am very grateful to Carolyn Brehm, Richard Boucher, and Dr. Chris Haynes for giving me this opportunity. Its impact, no doubt, will be significant.

On behalf of Isabelle, the University would like to recognize Carolyn Brehm '96 MBA, the founder and CEO of Brehm Global Ventures, a firm that provides counsel on government relations and public policy strategies, and Richard Boucher, who served as the United States ambassador to Cyprus from 1996 to 1999, for supporting this opportunity.