CCD: Tell us about your internship experience. What were your responsibilities?
Christina: My overall job description was writing up policy memos, assisting in conference call briefings, presenting at weekly policy team meetings, and working on my long term research project. Every day I was responsible for going through the Presidential Press Briefings and writing a memo about the subjects discussed, then along with all the other interns, we would send out a daily roundup with all the information to the entire office. On some days I would go to the hill and attend briefings related to my research project or the Foreign Policy Initiative would be hosting their own briefings. I also had the opportunity to practice my public speaking skills by debriefing our policy team every Monday at our weekly meeting.
Aside from the daily routines, I had the responsibility of working on a long term research project over the summer; my focus was about NATO activity within Europe and its relationship to Russia. I also took on a second project pertaining to the South China Sea ruling. Every day I would document news articles, other think tank briefings, and congressional hearings. By the end of the summer I had composed a comprehensive document detailing everything about the focus area.
CCD: What advice would you give another student about making the most of a summer experience?
Christina: Take advantage of every network event and extra job task, and make sure to create relationships with the people you work with. It is essential to take advantage of all the opportunities around you, because you learn so much from going to these events and meet people that may help you in the future. Make sure to be active at your work, always volunteer to help out on projects, and don’t be shy to ask questions. Finally, make sure to reach out to your bosses, invite them to coffee and get to know what their life experiences have been. These are great people to ask advice from and help you better understand the career you are entering.
CCD: How did this experience impact your future plans?
Christina: After having the opportunity to work in Washington D.C., I definitely see myself moving back there after graduation. I plan on attending law school and specializing in international law and trade. I hope to find a career in government or at private think tanks. I would like to pursue a career where policy is being created, especially internationally focused, specifically with our relationships with the European Union and NATO.