Name: Emilio Mejia
Position: Fulbright Scholar
Industry: Foreign Affairs (Diplomacy)
Degree: Business Administration and Creative Writing Double Major
Why did you choose this field?
I chose my current field because I have always had a fascination in countries outside of the United States, and realized the State Department has incredible opportunities for people interested in living abroad – such as the grant I am currently serving in Thailand.
How did you strategize to get your career to where it is today?
I strategized to get in the position I am currently in by reverse engineering what I wanted in life. I have always been passionate about travel and learning through experiences from people who think differently than myself. It seemed like a long shot to find a way to get paid to do that but I talked to peers, professors, and the Chapman career services team who pointed me in the direction of the Fulbright Grant from the State Department and were able to help me make my dream a reality.
Any career advice for current students entering into the industry in this job market?
My advice to those who are interested in my field is to not write yourself off. When I submitted my application for my current grant it felt like a long shot and like I was wasting my time. I was nervous about the required and relevant experience to be a strong applicant. You can always find a reason to count yourself out for something, but by keeping an open mind, talking to professors, and using the career services, I was able to make something I thought was incredibly unlikely, a reality.
How did earning your degree from Chapman University set you up for success on your career path?
There is no doubt in my mind that had it not been for the incredible staff at Chapman University, I would not have been selected as a finalist for the Fulbright grant. Dr. Julye Bidmead and Dr. Jan Osborn in particular were incredible resources that relentlessly workshopped my application and helped me gain insight into what parts of my life to emphasize to make myself stand out against the competition.