When I got to Washington I still wasn’t sure what I would be doing for the summer. I didn’t find an internship until I had been here for a few days but in hindsight I’m happy I had to wait as long as I did for my current internship. This summer I am interning with Osgood Center for International Studies and the work has been incredibly educational and interesting to me. Going from stress filled days where I didn’t know if I would be able to find any internship that suited my interests to being hired for a job that allows me to learn from experts every day was really beyond what I hoped for when I arrived in DC.
My duties thus far have been to report on the events at different think tanks and “sponge up information” for my supervisors. The information and reports from myself and the other interns is then used to inform Osgood Center on what events they should have during the summer institute in late July and early August. A few things that I’ve learned from the first month or so in this internship are how to pick up on political leanings and bias effectively but also how to listen to someone I wholeheartedly disagree with and try to understand their viewpoints. I think both of these are pretty important skills going forward in my professional development, especially if I’m to continue working in a city like Washington.
I’ve had the ability to attend a number of different events at different DC think tanks and congressional hearings but a few have really stood out to me. The first was an event at Brookings Institution titled “All Measures Short of War” in which the speaker talked about the changing geopolitical environment as the US starts to scale back its efforts to act as a global hegemon. The speaker’s talking points and the discussion following were really interesting and left an impact on me as its still one of the more memorable and informative events I’ve attended. Another interesting event was at the American Enterprise Institute called “Kingpins and Corruption”. This event’s keynote speaker was Senator Marco Rubio and featured his own speech about curbing corruption and drug trafficking in Central and South America, later taking questions relating to a variety of subjects regarding the region. The panel that convened following Rubio’s remarks was quite diverse in their areas of expertise ranging from the finances of different cartels or other illegal entities to how Hamas and Iran fit into the picture of Central American drug trafficking. Very interesting range of subjects discussed here with some very impressive speakers. The last event that I’ll highlight was at Hudson Institute titled “Russian Interference: Past, Present, and Future” and was moderated by Fox News anchor Brett Baier. This was notable for the fiery debate between panelists that devolved into throwing different conspiracy theories at each other. While it was not the most informative event I have attended, it was entertaining and really showed the polarization that has been created in Washington during this new administration.
I have had a summer in Washington that has gone from incredibly stressful to being very rewarding and I really wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m really excited to learn even more from my colleagues and supervisors as well as the experts I get the opportunity to listen to every day.