Alumni Spotlight: Elaine Kelley

Picture of Elaine Kelley

Elaine Kelley graduated in 2010 and works as a Foreign Service Officer at the United States Department of State.

I chose the MAGES program because of its holistic focus on Europe and its close ties to a variety of German institutions and organizations. I was also impressed by the MAGES community, which is made up of a close-knit group of students who are passionate about international affairs and a core group of faculty and staff who are invested in the success of the students.

As a MAGES student, I had access to academic and professional opportunities that helped me to launch my career. With the help of the SFS career center, the MAGES network of current and past students, and a MAGES Flynn Grant summer scholarship, I was able to do an internship with the United States Department of State at the U.S. Embassy in Bern, Switzerland. The experience enabled me to see first-hand the important work done by the Foreign Service and sparked my interest in pursuing my current career. I also received funding to attend the annual “USA Meets Europe” conference sponsored by the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy in Berlin, which introduced me to young transatlantic leaders that I still keep in touch with several years later.

I now work as a Foreign Service Officer in the economic career track. My favorite parts of my job are being exposed to other cultures, meeting and working with people from diverse backgrounds, and serving my country through fostering strong relationships between peoples and countries.