On April 20, 2016 Erin Webster-Main, the Deputy Councillor of Political and Foreign Affairs of the US Embassy Budapest visited our Faculty.
Every semester the Students’ Union of the Faculty of Law organizes several professional programs for the students of the faculty. On these lectures students can learn about topics which can widen their knowledge and complete the curriculum acquired during university courses.
On 20th April after the Dean’s opening speech Erin Webster-Main hold a lecture with the following title: “Women in the world of diplomacy”. During this English presentation we were curious about how women can predominate in diplomacy, whether family and the Foreign Service can be compatible and the audience also wanted to know whether disadvantages affect women on this field.
Erin- who comes from a family full of farmers- decided to choose Foreign Service as a way of living with her husband ten years ago. Before Budapest they served in Amsterdam and Burma as well and meanwhile Erin gave birth to three beautiful children. She took a two years long maternity leave, but beside this she did not stop serving her country, the United States of America. After a brief résumé on their professional and family life, she shared a conclusion with the audience: despite the fact that it is sometimes hard and tiring, these two things can be compatible. Of course the fulfilling of these tasks requires a flexible workplace, a reliable partner, a team ready for every task given to them and steadiness. She encouraged the attendants to take the risk, defeat the challenges and to never miss their dream jobs despite some holdbacks.
After the official part the students could ask questions from the diplomat, which were sometimes off topic. The service in Burma, the American presidential election and the advantages of the service in Budapest were discussed in the last minutes.
From this direct and smiling lecture, nobody hustled home. Plenty of our students are preparing for Foreign Service or dreaming of a job where they can be in a leading position, but finding the balance can cause real anxiety in them. Erin is an excellent example and I truly believe that all the attendants got convinced by her that family, nurturing and serving your country’s interests does not need to be separated from each other.