Terrell Hunt’s mother, Tressa, has worked as a nurse for nearly 30 years. “She wakes up every day to help others. That really rubbed off on me,” he says.
Hunt is inspired with that same passion to serve, a passion that he cultivated at Northeastern and steered toward a career in foreign affairs. This fall he learned he’d been awarded a 2017 Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellowship, a highly competitive program funded by the U.S. Department of State supporting those who want to pursue careers as Foreign Service officers.
After he was notified of the award, the first person he called was his mother. “She was overjoyed,” recalls Hunt, DMSB’13. “To hear her say how proud she was meant the world to me.”
Hunt is one of 30 fellows nationwide who were selected to receive a 2017 Rangel Fellowship. Through the program—which began in 2003 and is a joint initiative between the State Department and Howard University—Hunt will work for a member of Congress on international issues this summer. The following summer, the State Department will send him overseas to work in a U.S. embassy, where he will get additional hands-on experience in U.S. foreign policy and Foreign Service work. Hunt plans to earn his MBA along the way—a graduate degree is a requirement of the Rangel Fellowship—and upon graduation he will become a U.S. diplomat.
The fellowship supports recipients through two years of graduate study, internships, and professional development activities, as well as entry into the Foreign Service.
“I’m still overwhelmed. It’s such an honor,” says Hunt, who is from Washington, D.C. “It’s been such a point of pride for me that my loved ones are so proud of me. To know that I’m going to continue my family’s legacy of service, and make the university proud, and do good things on behalf of this nation means a great deal.”
Hunt graduated from Northeastern in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a minor in international affairs. He says his Northeastern experiences have played an integral role in his personal and professional development, starting with an international affairs course he took during his second year that compelled him to study abroad.
He participated in two Dialogue of Civilizations programs while at Northeastern, in France and Japan, and completed one of his three co-ops at the Consulate General of the United States in Edinburgh, Scotland. His responsibilities during that co-op, which was supported by a Presidential Global Scholarship, ranged from managing the consulate’s press reporting to drafting diplomatic correspondence and briefs for senior staff including the Deputy Chief of Mission and Minister Counselor for Political Affairs.
For his third and final co-op, Hunt worked at the State Department as a junior desk officer in the Office of Western European Affairs, where he served in multiple roles. His job required him to be a key point person for U.S. embassies in Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands when it came to coordinating activities and communications between Washington and these foreign posts. He also helped arrange meetings between government officials and these countries’ ambassadors to the U.S.
Hunt says the experience he gained on that co-op solidified his desire to pursue a career in the Foreign Service. In fact, his co-op manager encouraged him to consider applying for the Rangel Fellowship.
Before coming to Northeastern, I hadn’t really been outside of the Capital beltway for more than a weekend. Knowing that my education here spaned over three continents, and that I’m able to take part in something as consequential as this fellowship on behalf of this country, I’m blessed beyond reason.
—Terrell Hunt, DMSB’13
During his time at Northeastern, Hunt was president of the Unity Gospel Ensemble, a Legacy Program mentor, and volunteered at the Yawkey Club of Roxbury, part of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston. He was also part of the John D. O’Bryant African American Institute’s Ujima Global Leaders Program and describes the Institute as his “home away from home.” He says the mentoring, support, and friendships he gained there was invaluable.
“He was a wonderful young man, and one of our best and brightest,” said Richard O’Bryant, the institute’s director.
After graduating from Northeastern, Hunt worked in Washington for two years as a senior consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton Inc.’s Defense and Intelligence Group. In 2015, he moved back Boston to work on the Converse Inc. global community impact team, where he currently leads corporate community engagement and operations activities in the Northeast.
Hunt says he’s eager to begin his Rangel Fellowship and build upon the skills and experience he gained at Northeastern and in the corporate world.
“The first time I was on a plane, it was to move into my residence hall on Hemenway Street,” he says. “Before coming to Northeastern, I hadn’t really been outside of the Capital beltway for more than a weekend. Knowing that my education here spaned over three continents, and that I’m able to take part in something as consequential as this fellowship on behalf of this country, I’m blessed beyond reason. I never thought that this shy kid from D.C., who was scared to speak up in class, would one day speak on behalf of the country.”