“Meet a United States ambassador?” CHECK!

It isn’t everyday, or really any day  for that matter, that a girl from Mississippi gets to meet a United States Ambassador…well scratch that because not only did I have the privilege of meeting the US-Switzerland/Liechtenstein Ambassador, I also got to talk with him, show him around the Uni, and even eat good ‘ole American BBQ with him!

Now don’t those look like two diplomatic faces!

Before I go on, I must give all credit for the meeting and greeting to Jennifer, because of course it was her crazy ambition and email skills that even arranged the ambassador’s visit in the first place…all I did was help cook and schmooze. Seriously, Jennifer really sent Ambassador Beyer a message on LinkedIn asked him to speak at the Uni and a few emails and contacts later, the visit became a reality.

I mentioned in the last post that we spent all day Sunday preparing desserts for the BBQ, and Monday afternoon was spent decorating and setting up for the event. And when I say decorating, Marie in the International Office may have

United States Ambassador, Don Beyer, addressing the University students about brand management.

gotten a little excited needless to say we had American flag plates, cups, napkins, tablecloths, balloons, and the works! Even toothpicks with tiny flags on them!

While the BBQ was the main attraction for many of the Uni students (especially those darn Architects), Ambassador Don Beyer addressed interested students with an hour-long, riveting speech about Brand Management and his experiences with the topic in the business world as well as political arena.  Ambassador Beyer served as Lt. Gov. of Virginia as well as a number of other political offices/jobs,

The International Office representatives, Jennifer, Me, and Ambassador Beyer

and runs numerous auto dealerships in his home town back in the states. His past business and political experience, combined with his alluring personality and true Southern charm kept the entire audience interested and excited throughout the speech, and it truly was a privilege to listen to such a powerful person speak.

His visit included a brief tour of the University and dormitories (we even cleaned

Ambassador Beyer enjoying the fruits of our labor..hamburgers and hotdogs galore!

our room for him!) and of course the American BBQ complete with hamburgers, hotdogs, salads, chips, and desserts galore. Speaking of which if you want to see something funny put key lime pie and bread pudding on a desert table un labeled, and watch foreigners taste them and try to figure out what it is…PRICELESS!

The visit was a huge success, attended by over 100 people and a cooperative effort of the International Office, START (a student led organization), the Bern Embassy, and many more individuals and groups. I checked bungy jumping off the bucket list, and it looks like I can now check “meet an US diplomat” off as well!  Yet another amazing study abroad experience for the books.

Five interesting facts for the week:

1. Rain is the ultimate excuse. Running? Nope it is raining. Grocery shopping? I’ll get wet. Anything other than napping? Impossible.

I’d say the desert table was a smashing success!

2. Group projects aren’t really that bad…as long as you get the good group! And after a successfully completed International Human Resources project, I can say Jennifer and I were lucky enough to get a good group…I’ll have to remember that next time.

3. Much can be learned about business from politics and vice versa. Just ask Ambassador Beyer. That might just come in handy for me one day…we shall see.

4. Apparently everyone BUT the US calls bell peppers “paprika”. This of course causes Jennifer and myself significant amounts of confusion in the kitchen…

5. Life without a laptop is certainly NOT easy.  Although it does help that I can’t

See what I mean about getting super excited about the US decorations?

watch my tv shows all day instead of studying, anytime I want to send an email/blog/etc. I have to either hope Jennifer has disappeared so I can steal hers or walk ALL THE WAY to the Uni. (3 minutes maybe…)

Till next time readers!


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