Chris Fitzgerald, University of Birmingham alumni, on taking time out
"When I left university, I had a pretty clear idea that I wanted to work internationally. I wasn't exactly sure what that meant. The Foreign Office was the obvious option. But I was quite lucky in that I had got a scholarship with the Rotary Club that was called Ambassadorial Scholarship; I found out about it in the library. And, so, I was actually over in Morocco where I was studying and then lecturing. Whilst I was over there, I applied online to the Fast Stream, which is both the Civil Service, domestically, but also there is the option to go to the Foreign Office stream as well. Eventually I got in."