A stop in the consulate five years ago to obtain an ID card led to a new line of work.
CONSULAR EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT
What do you do? I work as executive assistant at the Consulate General Ad Honorem of Peru in Seattle. We are a foreign governmental organization that provides services to Peruvians like Peruvian IDs, powers of attorney, register children as Peruvian and more. We promote the relationship between Washington state and Peru by organizing and participating in different events like donation campaigns and cultural events.
How did you get started in that field? Five years ago … I needed to renew my Peruvian ID, so I went to the consulate to obtain my Peruvian ID card. Consul General Miguel Velasquez mentioned to me that this position was available. I studied law in Peru, so I have a background in administrative work, and I thought this could be a great opportunity to grow professionally.
What’s a typical day like? The regular day job is at the office, assisting people with their paperwork. Our staff is small but very enthusiastic, so I have to multitask from answering phone calls, greeting Peruvian authorities (congress members, ambassadors, ministers) and organize business programs/tours with the most important organizations in Washington (Boeing, Microsoft, Amazon, the Gates Foundation, etc.), connect local businesses with Peruvian authorities, and participate in events with local authorities in Washington state.
What’s the best part of the job? I get to meet Peruvians from all the different regions, hear their stories and learn more about my country. Also, the humanitarian work we do to support our community in Peru — last year, we sent two containers with clothes, food, wheelchairs, school supplies and more donations to Peru due to a natural disaster caused by El Niño. I also had the chance to meet high-ranking authorities in Washington, including legislators, justices and the governor.
What surprises people about what you do? I think people find it interesting that working at a consulate doesn’t only mean being at a desk all day, but actually, doing networking in every field: business, politics and cultural. I think what people find surprising or valuable is the effort I put to strengthen the relationship of my country with Washington, and I find satisfying when I realize people travel more often to Peru for tourism or business after experiencing my culture.