Internship Series: Department of State

IMG_3635Aelish Benjamin-Brown
CAS/Pardee’18 | International Relations
State Department Internship

CCD: Tell us about your internship experience. What were your responsibilities?

Aelish: I found the opportunity via my academic department and the Center for Career Development. I went to walk-in hours for cover letter help and followed up with a career advisor multiple times to perfect my essay. The career advisor challenged my ideas and interests, helping me write a clear essay that I still take pride in today. While at the State Department, I researched topics to inform future legislation on drug control and future UN conferences. Also, I attended relevant meetings with non-profits and the DC courts, ultimately providing read-outs for the office and helped reorganize a UN Resolution Library and quarterly financial reports.

CCD: What are some lessons you learned in your experience? 

Aelish: Ask questions! By asking questions, you demonstrate a willingness to learn and acknowledge your room for growth. Never be afraid to ask for help or advice. People are most often willing to give it. Also, a skill that is hugely important to master is networking. I had a fabulous supervisor who went over my interests, connected me with people of interest, and encouraged me to dive in head first with informational interviewing. Lastly, try everything! If there is a meeting that seems interesting, see if you can sit in. If there is a person you want to meet, show interest and set up a quick informational interview.

CCD: What was the best thing about your experience? 

Aelish: My summer experience gave me a chance to see the inside of something so essential to the function of our country and to international diplomacy. The best thing about the experience was the opportunity to see the hard work our government does on a daily basis.


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