Cadets with Mr. Alexander K. Hardin (seated)

Alexander K. Hardin, First Secretary of the US Embassy in Manila, spoke at the Foreign Service Officers’ Cadetship Course (FSOCC) about “Life in the Foreign Service” on 27 April 2016.

Mr. Hardin, who speaks both Japanese and Thai, started his talk by declaring that the local hires at the US Embassy in Manila are so competent, he would, if he would only be allowed, be requesting for them in his upcoming posts. He emphasized to the cadets how local hires in any country are instrumental in any diplomat’s mobility and efficiency at post.

At present, Mr. Hardin supervises over a hundred Filipino staff at the embassy. He also shared his experience taking the US Foreign Service Officer’s Test as well as his personal experience that led him to the service, which included a series of serendipitous events including a foreign scholarship, living in Japan, and working for an airline company. To reciprocate, the cadets shared their personal journeys and anecdotes, which also led them to choose the foreign service.