Sunday, February 5, 2012

Week Two: Into Foggy Bottom

I just want to start off by saying that this week has been stunningly amazing. I don't think I can happier at my internship.

However, I am sorry to say, I will not divulge any details on what I am doing at work. Though it is unclassified for now, this being a blog, you can't trust anything. I can give an overview, but that's about it.

Monday was my orientation. It was incredibly long but I did learn a lot about State Department procedure. Additionally, I got to see just how big the building was. Believe me, it is an incredibly complex building. I got lost briefly on Tuesday morning.

My view of the Harry S. Truman Building

Tuesday was my first full day of work. My office was extremely welcoming and supportive during my first week. They all have great personalities and I can tell they'll be a pleasure to work with over the next few months. I couldn't do much Tuesday without a badge (you need a badge to gain access to email/a computer), however I learned a lot about the background of the office and the many international organizations  that they work with. The office does essentially what I want to do; multilateral diplomacy and asserting and working U.S. interests in international organizations. This is a foreign policy nerd's dream.

For the rest of the week, I have been primarily working on things for the Universal Postal Union (UPU). Yes, it's a thing. Without this organization, you wouldn't be able to send mail to other countries without the U.S. having separate treaties with that country. Its pretty important if you think about it. It also handles postal security too. I have been assembling spreadsheets, reports, preparing and sitting in on official meetings. I have also met some individuals from these international organizations and got to see how the inter-agency process and diplmacy works in real-time.

You can only learn so much from class. However when you apply the theories one learns from their academic courses into their everyday life; that's where the true knowledge and magic happens.

Additionally, I met Dr. Esther Brimmer, head of the IO Bureau! She was extremely nice and it was incredible to meet an assistant secretary of state. I hope to be in her position one day.

Dr. Esther Brimmer
I have to say, it does feel official wearing a badge and suit everyday. It's also very cool to work on international issues and I can't wait to learn more and further develop my professional skills. I have amazing opportunities ahead of me.

Game time.

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