Heather Yang Hwalek is a 2008 Undergraduate Pickering Fellow. A recent graduate from Columbia University where she studied Anthropology, Heather will be pursuing an Master’s Degree in International Relations at Yale University. Originally from Bangor, Maine, Heather became interested in international affairs in high school and spent a gap year before college teaching English in a rural area of China. During college she studied abroad in Ankara, Turkey, and completed a research fellowship on hospitality practices. She has completed internships at the State Department Bureau of Diplomatic Security, the Sudan Desk, and the Office of Central Asian Affairs. Heather is fluent in three languages, Chinese, French, and Turkish. Participating in the Pickering Fellowship provided Heather the opportunity to learn about a career in the Foreign Service. The more she learned about the Foreign Service the more excited she became about the dynamic lifestyle the Foreign Service offers. The professional training, mentoring, and career development seminars she was able to participate in as a Pickering Fellow have provided her with invaluable information about the different career paths available within the Foreign Service, and have helped to prepare her to become a successful officer. The internships organized by the Pickering Fellowship have given Heather an opportunity for substantial and rewarding work experiences that she has drawn upon during her graduate studies.