Hey, Liberal Arts Graduates: If You Can't Score a Job at Disney, There's Always the State Department

All you liberal arts students out there, take heart: There are employers out there who want to hire you, and none has more to offer humanities students than the Walt Disney Company, according to survey data released by Universum and highlighted by Forbes last week.

But if that gig at Disney doesn't work out, the State Department would like you to know that it finished third in the ranking, just behind the United Nations (and barely ahead of Google). Here's State's press release today:

As reported by Forbes magazine, the Department of State has ranked in the top three ideal employers in a poll of undergraduates with a humanities, liberal arts, or education background. Universum Communications announced its 2013 "Most Ideal Undergraduate Employer" survey results that are based on the responses of nearly 18,000 undergraduates in the United States. Liberal arts undergraduates saw the Department of State as an ideal employer for the opportunities to do challenging work with a good amount of responsibility. The U.S. Department of State is listed just behind first-ranked Disney and second-ranked United Nations.

Sure, Nicholas Kralev may have argued that professional development for American diplomats is "still largely nonexistent" and that "entry-level officers are being sent out ill-prepared for their new assignments" in an article for Foreign Policy earlier this year.

But let's save those critiques for another day. For now, we'll let Foggy Bottom revel in the good news: It's competing head-to-head with the Magic Kingdom and Mountain View -- and it placed six spots ahead of the National Security Agency



Is China's First Lady Playing Politics?

South Korean President Park Geun-hye is currently on a four-day, feel-good trip to China -- full of pledges about greater cooperation on issues ranging from North Korea to bilateral trade -- but one aspect of her visit has been unusual: During a meeting with Park on Friday, Chinese President Xi Jinping brought along his wife, Peng Liyuan. A photo of the sit-down shows Xi sitting in the center, looking to the left at Park, while Peng sits to his right, with what appears to be a notepad on her lap. A write-up of the exchange in the Chinese and English versions of Xinhua, China's official news agency, mentions that "Xi's wife Peng Liyuan and State Councilor Yang Jiechi also attended the meeting." (Yang isn't in the photo.)

It seems bizarre to have a head of state's spouse participate in an official meeting. A Chinese military singer who until her husband's ascendance to national prominence a few years ago was better known than he was, Peng remains extremely popular in China. Having her around adds to Xi's appeal. (She is China's first charismatic first lady since Madame Mao -- but that ended poorly.) Peng also traveled to California for Xi's summit with Barack Obama earlier this month (Michelle Obama didn't attend, in what many perceived as a snub), but she does not appear to have participated in similar meetings between Obama and Xi.

Peng has been used to help China improve its international image; a March article in the nationalistic newspaper The Global Times about Peng visiting an orphanage in Moscow carried the headline "First Lady Hailed as Big Push to Soft Power." But this week's visit with with Park makeS one wonder what role, if any, Peng is playing in Chinese policymaking.

(h/t @adamcathcart