Exchange Matters / February 3, 2021

Q&A with Kezia Daniel

by Kezia Daniel

Editors Note: Kezia participated in the 2020 Emerging Leaders Program while interning at Global Ties Alabama. Learn more about Kezia and her Emerging Leaders project here. This interview is the first in a series of interviews with Emerging Leaders Program alumni highlighting the impact of the program on their careers.

How did participating in the Emerging Leaders Program impact your career path? 

Since I was an intern during the program, my goal was to gain a better understanding on what it meant to be a global citizen and how I can bring awareness to the importance of international exchanges. Although I do not have a title yet, this experience allowed me the opportunity to network and expand my interest and knowledge of global diplomacy.

What do you remember as a highlight of your Emerging Leaders Program? 

A highlight was having the opportunity to meet and seat dignitaries. One thing that has stuck with me and drives me to perform my best was as I was walking with one gentleman, he said, “There is a leader in us all.”

What were the most useful skills you gained during your program? 

The most useful skill I gained was networking. Networking allowed me to be more comfortable in my work, to gain a better understanding about what our work entailed, and how multiple people play a role in the work that we do. Also learned how better to communicate effectively with my team and the visitors I encounter.

What advice do you have for future Emerging Leaders to make the most of the program?

Be honest about where you fall short and do not be afraid to ask questions. Everyone you encounter and all of the workshops you attend are in place to help you grow and gain more knowledge on not only who we are or what we do, but how to effectively do it.

What advice do you have for university students or young professionals planning to start a career in international affairs or public diplomacy?

Try to provide a space for you and others to thrive. The way you speak depends on the audience, try appeal to the crowd and get to know who you’re working with, i.e., their style, interest, strengths, etc.