Human development senior selected a Pickering Graduate Fellow
Hadja Diallo is one of only 30 students nationwide chosen for the prestigious graduate fellowship program
A Binghamton University senior was one of 30 students from across the country selected for the competitive Thomas R. Pickering Graduate Fellowship Program.
Hadja Diallo, majoring in human development with a minor in economics, was chosen from among 822 applicants as a 2019 Pickering Fellow.
The Thomas R. Pickering Graduate Fellowship Program is funded by the U.S. Department of State and administered by Howard University to prepare college seniors and graduates for careers in foreign service. The fellowship provides funding for two-year graduate programs, two summer internships, mentoring from a foreign service officer and other professional development activities. After fellows complete their master’s degrees and fulfill the foreign service entry requirements, they have the opportunity to work as foreign service officers with the U.S. Department of State.
Diallo said this opportunity is a dream come true.
“Honestly, it means everything — it’s everything that I have always wanted and worked for. And certainly more than what I ever hoped for,” Diallo said. “Pickering allows me to apply to schools that might not have looked at my application had I not been a fellow.”
The program requires fellows to obtain graduate degrees in international affairs or similar topics. Diallo’s interest in pursuing a career in foreign service stems from her love of helping others.
“I am passionate about helping people, learning about diverse cultures and working with people from multicultural backgrounds,” Diallo said. “I have been personally affected by government policies. Now I want to not only be a part of the group that creates policies and implements them, but also the group that builds and maintains positive global change. And a career in foreign service provides that and much more.”
Diallo, from the South Bronx, is an inaugural member of the College-in-the-Woods International Relations/Cultural Exchange learning community, an Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) student, a Jewish Foundation for Education of Women (JFEW) scholar and a French language coordinator for the International Language Association. Her experience at Binghamton University has led to her success.
“I am tremendously inspired by many people at Binghamton every day, particularly my professors. They are formidable with such impressive backgrounds and an admirable passion for positive change — I love them,” Diallo said. “They help me have a better understanding of myself, of others and of how to best position myself in this society. Being at Binghamton also reminds me of resilience and how much work a lot of people have furnished to allow me to attend school here.”
In the next 15 years, Diallo hopes to make a positive impact on others and be a successful diplomat.
“I simply want to be happier than I am today. This means ensuring that I am doing my best to make everyone I interact with a little bit happier,” Diallo said. “Professionally, I aspire to have my own non-profit organization after a superb career as a diplomat.”