Stephanie Collins Fall 2012

‘Social Media and U.S. Diplomats’

            As the semester began I knew I had a major assignment to be working on; my capstone. I was nervous and had no idea what I wanted to do. My BIS professor told the class to go with our strengths. We should create a project that interests us but also connects to our majors. My only interests were to graduate and find a job. My strengths were in writing papers. I thoroughly enjoyed writing and researching.

I wanted my project to stand out. I was not trying to make it complicated or take on too much. I just wanted mine to stand out in the crowd. So what would I research? Then September 11, 2012 the United States embassy in Benghazi was attacked and Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three members of his staff were killed in what is considered a terrorist attack by the United States government. I would write a research paper on ‘Social Media and the effects on Diplomats around the World’.

Laurel presented this topic to me as inspiration to move forward with my capstone project. As I began researching for inspiration I was surprised at the information I was finding. Governments around the world heavily rely on social Medias for information and the latest news from other countries. E-diplomacy was a new concept to me but definitely not new to our government or diplomats.

As the semester progressed I began acquiring sources and research for my paper. The more I uncovered the more enthralled I became with the idea of this paper. Anytime I brought the topic up to family and friends they each seemed equally bored and uninterested. As a result I only wanted to find more information to share with people. I was ignorant to the concept of e-diplomacy so I knew people around me had to be.

When I started putting my research into the cohesive paper form it was becoming apparent to me this would be the most significant project of my college career. I wanted this paper to stand out against all of my other papers and research projects. This paper became more meaningful as I worked on it. I was going to include this paper in a career portfolio to use in future job interviews.

This project would show prospective employers I had the ability to create and design something valuable and significant with little direction. I was given an idea and I moved forward to create something that has valuable and helpful information. I discovered new information that I could easily share with a group of people. My career goal involves international work with governments. Explaining the benefits of using social media can give me a leg up because of the research I have done into international works and the uses of internet.

The semester is coming to a close and the more I try to finish my paper the more I think to myself I am so far off from officially completing the paper. There is so much information I can go back and add to sections. Technology around us is continuing to change every day and this paper can continue to grow with these advances. The prospect of this excites me and encourages me to continue working on this paper after I graduate.

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