Dispatch From The Field: Across The Street At The State Department

By Jenny Schuch

This year I was lucky enough to secure what I considered a dream internship at the U.S. State Department.  After almost four years of studying international affairs it seemed like the best way to culminate my experience in D.C. and apply what I have learned in the classroom about U.S. foreign policy.

The internship application was due about eight months before I planned to start the internship and involved an extensive process including a security background check – probably how they deter most prospective interns.  My year studying abroad in Japan and academic focus on Asian Studies earned me a position as the intern for the South Korea Desk in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs.

The State Department always seemed like a “cool” place to be with its high profile officials and diplomatic activity, and once I started I realized that it really was that and even more.  Not only have I been immersed in U.S. foreign policy towards a volatile region (my office includes North Korea), I have been able to actually contribute to foreign policy and meet people working at the highest levels.  While I may not choose to take the Foreign Service Officer Test immediately, this experience has been incredibly valuable as I plan my professional future and I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in foreign policy.

Jenny is a senior in the Elliott School, majoring in International Affairs and double concentrating in Asia and Conflict & Security.  She is currently interning at the U.S. State Department and plans to conduct a fellowship with Volunteers in Asia while working for an NGO in Indonesia after graduation.

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