Name: Amana Abdurrezak
Class Year: 2019
Major: International Studies
Hometown: Alexandria, Virginia
Internship Placement: U.S. Department of State
Job Title: Public Affairs Front Office Intern
Location: Washington, D.C.
The views expressed are my own and not necessarily those of the U.S. Government.
What’s happening at your internship?
As a front office intern with the Bureau of Public Affairs, I have the chance to flex my writing muscles. Some of my responsibilities include helping draft and assemble official communications (such as memos), writing summaries on relevant news topics or statements made by important members of the administration, editing webpages, or sitting in on meetings. Each day is different, which means there is never a dull day!
Why did you apply for this internship?
I applied to intern at the Department of State to learn more about how the U.S. promotes democracy and progress around the world through its foreign policy. I love to read, listen, write and research domestic and foreign politics, so I figured I would dive into how the U.S. communicates its foreign policy priorities to audiences around the world.
I also applied to intern at State because it is an internship structured as a program. Besides the day-to-day work, I also have the opportunity to learn from seasoned individuals who have worked all around the world. From “brown bag” lunches to trips to different D.C. tourist spots, I have time to learn on the job and see whether the world of foreign affairs is one I want to pursue in a few years. I applied to this internship on a whim, not expecting anything, but I’m so glad I didn’t count myself out! It’s been incredibly rewarding and unlike anything I’ve done before.
Was there anything special about how you found this internship?
Like many other government internships in D.C., I found out about my internship through the Department of State website and USAJobs. For any other students in the Bi-Co who are interested in government internships, I highly suggest tracking these websites throughout the fall because they close early.
What is most rewarding about your internship?
By far the most rewarding part of my internship is the people. Although I didn’t have many expectations coming into the internship, I did expect the building to be filled with people who a) were too serious, or b) were too far in their careers to care about interns. In my experience, it’s been the complete opposite. My supervisors have been very warm, welcoming, and always up to answering my questions. The different Foreign Service Officers and civil servants I have had the chance to talk to—on top of being incredibly well-informed—love to talk to interns about their careers. I’m happy doing my work because I get a wealth of information and advice in return!