SIR Senior Anna Philips on Meeting Secretary Donley at the National Security Conference

“The opportunity to meet with Secretary Donley was a defining moment of my three years at the University of Southern California and an opportunity that I will carry with me for a lifetime. It is events such as these that only solidify why I am so proud to be a Trojan and a student at the USC School of International Relations. A visitation alone from someone such as Secretary Donley would have surely been educational and inspirational. However, in true USC fashion, the students from the USC School of International Relations were given the opportunity to speak with the Secretary individually and inquire about a life and profession in Washington D.C.

Most memorable of the afternoon was Secretary Donley’s advice regarding a career in the defense field. Whereas most professionals will return student inquires about futures and careers with a stern look and advice to work hard and study diligently, Secretary Donley recommended to allow life and the opportunities you stumble upon to take you where they will. Let people and events surprise you, said Donely, and you might not end up exactly where you planned, but it might just be the exact place you want to be.

It was refreshing and inspiring to see someone of Secretary Donley’s status be so willing to take extra time to recount pivotal moments of his career and time as a student at USC, all the while with a smile on his face and endless words of encouragement.”

Secretary Michael Donley lunches with USC Dornsife international relations students during his visit. To Donley’s right are students Chin-Hao Huang and Anna Phillips; USC Dornsife vice dean for academic programs and international relations professor Steven Lamy; and students Collins Belton, Kevin Oakley and Kymberly MacNeal.

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