Thursday, January 7, 2010

Ambassador Profile: Elizabeth Comley

As a marketing and international business major, I didn’t think that the federal government held a lot of possibilities for my interests—I was wrong. Thanks to a visit from an international trade specialist, I discovered the U.S. Commercial Service, a sector of the Department of Commerce that works to help small businesses export their products and alongside the Foreign Commercial Service to promote U.S. products internationally. Over the summer I worked under a trade specialist to develop easy-to-use references on exporting logistics, documentation, and licensing. I also created market research reports which analyze the attractiveness of countries as exporting opportunities in terms of historical trade data, currency fluctuations, social trends, and government initiatives. Other interns in the office worked on revamping the agency website, collaborating with local companies on trade events, and initiating a medical tourism cooperative for major Seattle hospitals.

My experience with the U.S. Commercial Service was invaluable. It opened up my eyes to the possibilities for business majors in the federal government and led me to my future career goal of working with the USAID. The government can provide language and cultural training as well as relocation assistance that industry would be hard-pressed to match which is why it is an extremely desirable option for students wanting to work abroad. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at ecomley1 at