BA in Global Affairs

Jonathan Tallman, 2014

Jonathan Tallman

What work are you doing now?

I work in the Department of Justice's Office of International Affairs, dealing with mutual legal assistance and extraditions. I assist the lawyers in the office by interacting with embassies, foreign counterparts, and law enforcement to ensure treaty and other legal requirements are met. I cover Canada and the English-speaking Caribbean.

What do you like about it?

The best part of my job is working with people from different parts of the world, finding common ground with them, and doing everything we can to ensure that justice prevails. It is great to go home every night knowing that I've been able to have a real impact on international due process through my job. On top of that, my position requires working with different cultures and systems of government, which provides an incredible learning experience.

How did your degree in the college prepare you to do this work?

Most importantly, the diversity at Mason helped me by always offering different and very unique perspectives. That's been valuable in dealing with day-to-day differences between how the United States and other countries operate. Additionally, Mason gave me a broad understanding of international issues, so as things come up on the job I feel prepared to at least speak generally about those issues.

What advice would you give current students about developing their careers?

What worked for me was exploring positions outside of where I thought I wanted to end up. I always had in mind where I wanted to be, and I never thought that would be the DOJ. I came across the job by chance, and now I have a job that fulfills everything I was looking for in a first post-graduation job. Particularly with global affairs, there is never a shortage of employers looking for people educated in international issues. Personally, I found a job in an agency that I never even knew had an international affairs office. My suggestion is to not lock yourself in to preconceived career plans. Follow the opportunities and look places you may have not considered.