Danville graduate seeks international experience with internship in China

Published 7:28 pm Monday, June 3, 2019

A graduate of Danville High School currently seeking a double major in Economics and International Studies at Centre College, Race Pellant has invested most of his academic career in his hometown. Now, he’s leaving the City of Firsts for Beijing. This summer, Pellant, 20, will begin an internship with the U.S. embassy in Beijing.

For Pellant, the internship is “a stepping stone,” an opportunity to explore the possibilities that his globally-minded double-major can offer him, and to gain insights into the career of a diplomat.

Pellant explains the motivation behind his pursuit of a summer at the embassy: “I’m hoping to get a wider world understanding, to see what a career in the foreign service is like, and to get to shadow someone who’s in that role currently.”

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Pellant says being a career foreign service officer is his dream job. It’s worth noting that a career in the foreign service is no effortless goal; the U.S. Department of State emphasizes the need for candidates to be flexible, open-minded individuals, ready to change their post every two or three years.

Pellant, however, is not daunted by the challenges of life abroad. A first-generation American, Pellant’s international ambitions have been nurtured by an “internationally-minded family,” he explains.

With a dad in the U.S. army and a mother from India, Pellant has spent time abroad before. In addition to the support of his family, Pellant credits his neighbor, Harry Nickens, with helping him reach this exciting step. “He taught me a lot of stuff. I call him my mentor,” Pellant says.

After his internship with the State Department in Beijing, Pellant’s time in China won’t be up; through the Centre-in-China program, he will trade a fall schedule filled with swim team practice and student government meetings for a semester in Shanghai.

Asked about his dedication to pursue opportunities in China, Pellant says, “Looking at diplomacy, China is just a really big hotspot right now, because they’re an economic superpower — second to the US — and tensions are rising right now. So it’s a really cool place to be right now.”

Chloe Games is a Centre College student who is interning at The Advocate-Messenger this summer.