Name: Jaime Kwong
Major: International Relations (undergrad); Public Diplomacy (master's)
Expected graduation: May 2018
Hometown: Pasadena, CA
Why did you choose to attend Annenberg?
I learned about the Public Diplomacy program while looking for a way to supplement my theory-heavy BA in International Relations with a degree focused more centrally on developing practical skills. The Public Diplomacy program in Annenberg was the perfect fit, providing me the opportunity to develop the toolset and communication skills I’ll need to be a credible and persuasive leader in my field.
Tell us about a great experience or opportunity you've had here at Annenberg.
PUBD 504—one of my favorite and most difficult classes—challenged me to develop numerous campaigns in their entirety—from concept development to budget to evaluation—in order to effectively spread messages to audiences around the world. Not only did I develop tangible and extremely applicable skills in this course, but I also had the opportunity to work closely with my peers in high-pressure situations.
What makes Annenberg special?
Annenberg not only has world-class professors who are leaders in their respective fields, but it also attracts a cohort of global scholars eager to share their unique experiences and worldviews.
What's one thing at USC that no student should miss?
All students MUST find a “secret,” outdoor study spot on campus. Spend as much time outside as possible while living in this LA paradise!
Tell us about an experience you’ve had outside of class.
In my internship with the State Department’s International Security and Nonproliferation Bureau, Weapons of Mass Destruction Terrorism Office (ISN/WMDT), I created a bilateral exercise for countries to test their interagency coordination and international sharing capabilities, both critical in responding to nuclear security incidents. I led a meeting with international partners to gather and adjudicate feedback on the exercise, and once cleared by experts in the interagency and partner nations, it will be available for member states to the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism.
Tell us about something you're involved with here and how it's changed you.
For my practicum project, I’m co-planning the 10th Annual Association of Public Diplomacy Scholars Conference entitled “Migrants, Media, and the State.” I’ve learned a great deal throughout this experience, from best practices in building a conference from scratch to engaging with high level—often foreign—officials in putting together thoughtful and experienced panels. I’m very excited for the event on March 2 and look forward to implementing the skills and tools I’ve gained in the process in my future career.
What's your plan for after graduation?
After graduating in May, I will travel to the UK as a Marshall Scholar to earn my PhD in War Studies at King’s College London with the long-term goal of helping the world move towards nuclear disarmament.