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Get to know some alumni in our alumni interviews.
Full Name: Diego Bassante
Country of Work: USA
Institution: Embassy of Ecuador in Washington DC
Postition: Third Secretary of the Ecuadorian Foreign Service
Course: Second Course for Diplomats from Latin America and the Carribbean
Can you tell us a bit about your career path and your motivation to follow this profession?
When I was in the fifth grade, my classmates and I put together a soccer team for the school championship. As I was watching one of the games from the sidelines, a Korean friend I had scored an amazing goal. I then heard one of the teachers comment “Wow, these Koreans sure are good at soccer!”
Being the son of a diplomat myself, this generalization stuck with me for many years. I realized that whatever I did or did not do could have the effect of being projected onto my whole country! So it was at a very early age that I assumed the self-inflicted responsibility of speaking and acting on behalf of Ecuador. As it turned out, this was a great motivation to excel in everything I did, and I actually felt comfortable with the role. Becoming a Foreign Service Officer was a natural transition and, in a way, just a formality.
How much did you plan your current tasks to be as they are today and how much did you leave to chance?
I believe that in any job, and especially in the diplomatic arena, there is only so much one can actually plan and anticipate. When you least expect it, there can be an opportunity that you have to immediately jump on, an urgent request from a higher authority, or even a crisis may pop up. The best you can do is prepare yourself responsibly, learn from others, and learn from history. I’m very thankful that my days at the Foreign Service Academy in Berlin allowed me to do just that.
How do you think our alumni network could serve your purposes better?
A network of any kind is valuable in and of itself. Great ideas and innovation usually come as a result of dialogue and human exchanges. When this network brings together people who share similar experiences and challenges in different contexts, I am sure that we can only gain from the exchange.
How would you be willing to participate in our network?
I would be willing to share my experiences with other colleagues and learn from theirs. This can be done either through discussion boards, virtual meetings and hang outs, or even video blogs.
These interviews are the opinion of the interviewed Alumni and do not represent the views of Training for International Diplomats or the Federal Foreign Office. Training for International Diplomats and the Federal Foreign Office are not responsible for the content of these interviews.