United States Embassy - Brasília, Brazil (U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service)
The "Torre TV" (TV Tower) in Brasília at dusk
Working at an United States Embassy certainly has its perks - the free housing and transportation to/from work, access to vehicles on weekends and most importantly a great mix of people - both Americans and locals.
My time at the United States Embassy in Brasília was no different. Before I say anything, I need to thank someone. Mr. James Tafel.
Mr. Tafel set up a scholarship at the University of Pittsburgh to allow students to take unpaid internships with companies and entities that would improve the professional development of students, allowing them to choose (formerly) unpaid internships over meaningless (in terms of professional development) jobs accepted at restaurants and golf courses with the intention of earning money to pay for school. I would NOT have been able to afford to go to Brazil as the scholarship covered my flight and the majority of my in-country expenses. Again, I vehemently thank Mr. Tafel for making it all possible.
Anyway, my time at the embassy was rewarding in two main respects - first, I was able to observe strategic planning for American companies wishing to enter Brazil and second, I was constantly using and improving my Portuguese. I sat in on meetings between the Commercial Service and clients like Boeing, Texas Instruments, ShotSpotter, Rajant and dozens of others. I met the United States Ambassador to Brazil (several times) and attended functions and receptions at his incredible house on various occasions.
My (short) time at the Embassy was nothing short of spectacular and I wouldn't trade it for the world. Most importantly, I gained more professional experience working in Brazil - something that will someday be incredibly valuable both to myself and to the right company.