The business of diplomacy

Michael Creegan, who graduated from the Bachelor of Science in International Business program in the spring, said his academic experience at Northeastern has prepared him for a career in the U.S. Foreign Service.

“I believe my experience in the private sector can inform my work in the public sector,” said Creegan.

As part of the BSIB program, he spent two years in Mexico, where he was among the first Americans to study at Universidad de las Americas Puebla, the top business school in Latin America. He also learned a version of Spanish spoken by most Spanish immigrants to America and worked for CEO Business Consulting, a firm that helps companies in Latin and Central America break into the North American market.

Creegan, left, with the US ambassador to Mexico, Anthony Wayne.

Creegan said his decision to study in Mexico makes him well-suited for a career anywhere in North or South America. “I see Mexico as the biggest player in Latin America,” he explained, noting its versatile economy. “Spain and countries all across Europe are cutting down in so many areas while it’s all about growth in Mexico and throughout Latin America.”

After making a connection within the U.S. embassy in Mexico, Creegan was selected to attend a conference in which students met to discuss many of the same issues top diplomats address at the global G-20 conference. Creegan led the American delegation, which met just ahead of the 2012 G-20 conference in Los Cabos, Mexico.

That experience, he said, helped him land a similar opportunity this year: in August, Creegan will travel to Dubai for the Harvard Project for Asian and International Relations conference. There, he’ll attend sessions on security and diplomacy in a simulation of the six-nation talks between the United States, Russia, Japan, China, South Korea, and North Korea. He and his peers will send their recommendations to the real diplomats who address issues of Korean disarmament in six-party talks.

The outcome of the conference’s talks will likely draw close attention from the global diplomatic corps, which is preparing for a new wave of meetings after North Korea announced last weekend an interest in returning to high-level talks with the United States.

This summer, Creegan will work for Bloomberg, the New York-based multinational mass media company. He hopes the experience will prepare him to apply to work with the U.S. Foreign Service, where he’d work toward improving international trade.

“You’re advocating for U.S. business abroad,” Creegan said of the work he’d like to do as a U.S. diplomat. “You meet with people in the private sector and promote peace and prosperity through fair trade and equal opportunities.”