In this day and age, it is important to understand how countries can collaborate in order to achieve both national and international interests. There are crucial key players in the field of diplomacy, from lawyers, entrepreneurs, community workers, and of course diplomats.
Being a diplomat is difficult, and it is a long process. But with right mindset and proper attitude, you’ll surely be able to make it. So, are you interested in making an impact through international relations and diplomacy? Here are the four key steps to becoming a diplomat!
Attain a Bachelor’s Degree
First and foremost, you must obtain your bachelor’s degree. If you’re extremely passionate about International Relations (IR) and Diplomacy, some of the schools that offer this course are Ateneo de Manila University and De La Salle – College of Saint Benilde. Other suggested courses are Political Science, European Studies, World History, and Sociology. If these courses don’t interest you yet, don’t fret! There is no course required to take the Foreign Service Officer Exam (FSOE)! You may pursue any course you wish!
Stay up to date with current affairs
If you want to solve the world’s problems in the future, you must stay informed of what is going on. Stay updated with the prevalent issues nations are facing, resolutions that are being lobbied, as well as what the current ambassadors are doing to take action. Reading the news will help you improve your critical thinking skills as you go in pursuing diplomacy!
Get some work experience or obtain a master’s degree
After graduation, you may opt to get a job or pursue further studies (or both!). To take the FSOE, you must either have 2 years of work experience or must be taking up your graduate studies. Immersing yourself in the workforce will help you garner the necessary skills needed as you take on bigger roles. Some people choose to work as paralegals, project coordinators in NGOs, and the like before taking the FSOE. As long as you enjoy what you’re doing and you know that it will train you for your future, it’s truly up to you!. While you’re at it, you must begin studying for the FSOE. It’s a long process so you must start preparing for it as soon as you can!
Take the Foreign Service Officer Exam (FSOE)
The FSOE is administered yearly by the Department of Foreign Affairs. To take the FSOE, you must reach the following qualifications:
- You must be a citizen or a permanent resident of the Philippines
- You must be graduate of any Bachelor’s degree course
- You must have two-years work experience and/or further studies
The FSOE has five components. The first is the qualifying exam administered by the Civil Service Commission. This exam tests your verbal, analytical, and numerical skills Failure to meet the required score for a step disqualifies you to take the next requirement. After your qualifying exam, you have to attend a preliminary interview for them to be able to evaluate your potential to represent the country. They want to get to know you more and assess how you will be applying everything you have learned throughout the years.
After which, another written exam will be administered. This exam will cover a variety of topics from world and Philippine history, national and international political, social, and economic affairs, and foreign languages. If you made it a point to constantly stay updated with the news throughout the years, this will indeed be a breeze for you! Before the last step, you must take the psychological test in order for the DFA to assess your well-being. Lastly, there is an extensive three-day oral test that includes interviews, panel discussions, and a formal dinner. This may seem daunting, but with dedication and hardwork, you’ll be able to pass the set of exams.
The process of being the country’s representative may seem intimidating at first. However, look at it from a perspective of only doing four things: obtaining a bachelor’s degree, staying updated with current affairs, getting work experience/ completing further studies, and taking the FSOE. Make sure to prepare and work hard! Good things always come to those who hustle, especially to those with the right intention to serve the country!