Putting theory into practice is what Lachlan King wanted after finishing his Bachelor of International Studies at the University of Adelaide, and he got just that when he enrolled in the Master of Diplomacy at the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs, at The Australian National University.
During his short 18-month degree Lachlan completed four internships: at the Embassy of Egypt, the Embassy of Afghanistan, the U.S. Embassy and the Australian Institute of International Affairs (AIIA).
Lachlan says that he gained insights into project management when Egyptian Ambassador, HE Mr Mohamed Khairat, entrusted him with a task he was solely responsible for from start to finish. He also learnt how to write briefs for senior diplomatic officials and gave embassy staff a presentation on his thesis ‘Data Diplomacy’.
Lachlan praises the course ‘Negotiation and Conflict Resolution’ which hosts an intensive negotiation workshop that provides students with firsthand exposure to the challenges of managing conflict through diplomatic negotiation. “It was by far one of the most rewarding courses and it made me realise that I had made the right decision to study at ANU,” says Lachlan.
The Kioloa three day retreat to the ANU Coastal Campus was another highlight for Lachlan.
“Being able to get to know my fellow cohort by the campfire, and hearing from guest lecturers some of whom were former Ambassadors, public servants and members of the United Nations was an enlightening experience,” Lachlan says.
Lachlan also worked as a research assistant for Professor Geoffrey Wiseman, former Director (Diplomacy) at the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs. His research was focused on how to leverage Australia’s soft power diplomacy to influence and counter negative perceptions on contentious public issues. He was also writing a bibliography entry for Oxford University Press for ‘Diplomatic Practices’.
After graduation, Lachlan would like to volunteer for NGOs overseas, so that he can gather the proper foundation to springboard himself into an Australian Government Graduate Program, but first he flies to Egypt for an intensive Arabic language course.