Natalie Schnelle

Political-Economic Specialist, US Consulate General, Hamburg
Year(s):
2010
-
11

As the Political-Economic Specialist with the American Consulate General in Hamburg, Germany, I advise US diplomats on the implementation of their foreign policy goals in the North German region and maintain a network of key players, including state governments, NGOs and major businesses. A large part of my time is devoted to issues of transatlantic trade. My present responsibilities build on my previous positions as trainee speechwriter for the President of the European Parliament and as analyst with the global risk consultancy Maplecroft, where I delivered bespoke political risk analyses to multinational companies.

In each of my roles, I have been required to quickly accumulate expertise on new topics, develop innovative ideas and prepare succinct yet comprehensive presentations. The GGD program, with its interdisciplinary approach, fostered exactly those skills and thereby effectively prepared me for a versatile career in both the public and private sectors.

I chose the GGD course as I was looking for a program combining high academic rigor with practical concerns. I particularly valued the intellectual freedom to pursue my own, sometimes unconventional, research interests, and the constructive guidance I received in identifying and sharpening these interests. The most fulfilling part of the program, however, was studying and socializing with my fellow GGDers, the support for each other during high-pressure situations and the invaluable career advice and inspiration I received from my classmates. 

I particularly valued the intellectual freedom to pursue my own, sometimes unconventional, research interests, and the constructive guidance I received.