Originally drawn to Gannon University by the school’s keen ability to think globally, Michelle Hoyt toured the business world for four years from the comfort of the classroom by partaking in the international business program. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in international business in 1995, but her diploma signified more than simply business knowledge: she can also speak multiple foreign languages, including French and German.
While working to attain her degree, Michelle joined the Alpha Gamma Delta sorority, was involved with multiple volunteer activities and the campus tour guide crew. These activities and programs taught her “about work ethic and the value of it.” Michelle mentions, “If you work harder, you’ll get more work ethic.”
Today, Michelle is a Foreign Service officer (United States diplomat) for the State Department. She has worked in Washington D.C., as well as the U.S. embassies in both the Philippines and Lithuania and – for a short time prior to becoming a diplomat – the World Bank. Overall, Michelle is an economic officer who works to promote economies overseas. Recently, she constructed a workshop on budget transparency in Brazil by inviting people to discuss the struggles of budgeting and devise ways to correct fiscal budgeting and its transparency.
Michelle views her job almost as an adventure. “A good chunk of every day is a surprise,” she explains. Atop that, she’s constantly learning new cultures and languages. “The State Department invests in their people. So, when we go out to foreign posts, we often get language training before we go.” This ability to learn proper communication techniques not only makes it easier for Michelle to navigate through foreign societies and cultures, but improves relations between her and the people of these countries, as her learning of their language is viewed as a sign of respect.
Michelle and her family (her husband is also a diplomat) will be moving to the Ukraine to work at the United States embassy for their next two-year assignment. “One of the great things about Foreign Services is that you can stay in the ‘same’ job, but you work in so many different places with new challenges and new opportunities and are always learning new things,” says Michelle. She plans to remain a Foreign Services Officer in the future and take on increasing responsibilities as her career progresses even further.
(Published July 2014)