Living the dream: AU professor David Bosco
Flashbacks of childhood dinners may conjure up images of a family discussing weather, football or movies. But School of International Service Professor David Bosco remembers dinners where his family talked about the Soviet Union, The Gulf War and the Bosnian genocide, among other global topics.
Bosco said these evening family conversations contributed to his decision to pursue a career in international relations. Since then, he has earned degrees from Harvard University and Cambridge University, as well as a Doctorate in Law from Harvard Law School, where he graduated magna cum laude. Bosco has also worked on Capitol Hill, a joint United Nations and NAO project and at the State Department. He is a Fulbright Scholar and a former senior editor for Foreign Policy Magazine and last but not least, he has written two books on the U.N. Security Council and the International Criminal Court, as well as countless articles that have been published in national newspapers.
Bosco’s love for international relations may have started when he was young, but he has taken his passion well beyond the family dinner table.
“My parents were interested in [international relations], and so it often came up in family discussions,” Bosco said. “By the time I got to college, I was set on doing that. I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I knew I wanted to have some kind of international intention.”
As an undergraduate at Harvard, Bosco joined his school’s newspaper, The Harvard Crimson, and soon after became the paper’s editor-in-chief. He said he would spend 30 to 40 hours a week working on editorials. His love for journalism began with his work for The Crimson and ultimately culminated in writing articles for Foreign Policy Magazine and other publications.
While in college, Bosco also had an internship on Capitol Hill and another at the State Department with the Foreign Affairs Committee. He said his work at the State Department made him realize that he didn’t want to work for the U.S. government because he was turned off by the bureaucratic nature of the job.
“[My internship] at the State Department made me see what it was like being in a big bureaucracy, the political realities of how it works,” Bosco said. “It gives you a different impression than [being on] the outside.”
His interest in the U.N. and the International Criminal Court began while he was working on his undergraduate thesis, but his passion manifested when he pursued his masters and took courses taught by international law professors. As Bosco investigated his potential long-term career options, his newly discovered interest in international law and his love of journalism became the guiding forces throughout his adult life.
Bosco said that he thinks students realize what they’re truly passionate about when they look at a topic close up, on the ground, versus seeing it from afar.
“Going into a situation that I had seen from afar and that I have been very interested in, seeing what it was like on the ground, it made me doubly interested in the issues,” Bosco said.
He said he advises students not to generalize when choosing a career.
“Sometimes there is a tendency for people to become generalists, people who are interested in international relations in general,” Bosco said. “But they don’t acquire the language skills and technical skills that you need and will help you get that job or internship that you are pursuing.”