Internship Stories

"I wrote a speech the regional representative gave to the representatives across the Arab world."  UNODC, Cairo Egypt

"I made the decision to buy a logistics company."  Variv Investments, Mexico City Mexico

"I was given the opportunity to participate in a conflict transformation workshop in which I was the only non-Lebanese participant."  Search for Common Ground, Beirut Lebanon

When students return to School in the fall, the Office of Career Services asks them to describe a particularly interesting experience during their summer internship  The answers to that question provide insight into the types of impact Fletcher students experience during their summer internship. We have selected a random sampling to help you visualize what your summer internship at Fletcher might look like.

Multilateral Organizations
Organization   City Country Interesting Experience
OECD Paris France The opportunity to plan the inaugural Global Forum on Responsble Business Conduct and to see it come together was a very rewarding experience and great learning opportunity for me.
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina Sarajevo Bosnia and Herzegovina This was my first time in BiH, and by far the most interesting part was the interviews I conducted with local community activists, which gave me the opportunity to travel all over the country and meet with a diverse group of people. 
The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Washington United States I was able to meet the editor of the Wilson Quarterly and journalists for the Washington Post and New York Times.
United Nations - Children's Fund (UNICEF) Port-au-Prince Haiti Give presentation to senior executives.  Participated in negotiations with donors, ministries and other organizations. 
United Nations - Children's Fund (UNICEF) Yangon Myanmar/Burma Being in Myanmar during this time of transition for the country was fascinating. Through this internship, I was also given the opportunity to visit parts of the country that are not accessible to tourism. The professional and personal growth I experienced through this internship was invaluable.
United Nations - Development Programme (UNDP) New York  United States A very interesting moment from my internship was when I was selected to draft official tweets for the UNDP to promote my supervisor's publications. I had done that before and it was an interesting glimpse into the communications department of the UN. 
United Nations - High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) Pretoria South Africa I had the opportunity to work in a refugee processing center.
United Nations - High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) Beirut Lebanon It was my first time ever in the Middle East. Living in close proximity to gunshots, car bombs, kidnappings and road blockages was also very new. But it helped me get to know and understand slightly better the complexities and challenges of the region. I was lucky to meet the UN High Commissioner but also countless devoted humanitarian workers from which one can learn immensely.
United Nations - Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Dakar Senegal I was fortunate to meet the new Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sahel who was sitting just across from my office. I learned a lot from him,  especially in the area of disaster risk management, and the challenges of leading the humanitarian community through a crisis such as the one the Sahel is currently.
United Nations - Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Cairo Egypt I wrote the speech the regional representative gave to representatives across the Arab world. 
United Nations - Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR) Geneva Switzerland I wrote a speech for the High Commissioner of Human Rights that she read out at the International Day for Criminal Justice.
United Nations - Office of the High Representative (OHR) in Bosnia and Herzegovina Sarajevo Bosnia and Herzegovina This summer was punctuated by largescale peaceful demonstrations before Parliament, in which our office also became involved. It was thus exciting to experience firsthand both the developments on the streets and the closed door diplomatic meetings in response. The situation highlighted the difficult position of the OHR as a transitional administration and the choices between intervention and fostering domestic governance.
World Bank Group Washington United States In a meeting, I was asked to give an impromptu presentation about my work to around twenty people from different government agencies, international organizations, institutions, and private sector. 
Non-Profit Sector
Organization   City Country Interesting Experience
Accion East and Online Boston United States Meeting Accion clients whose businesses were devasted in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and learning about Accion's Sandy Loan program and how it helped many small-business owners gain access to loans with low interest rates and flexible repayment plans. 
Acumen Mumbai India Completed the entire Investment Memorandum and due diligence process on a housing sector deal for Acumen that was subsequently approved by the Investment Committee.
Aghaaz Leadership Labs Lahore & Islamabad Pakistan This was my first time in Pakistan, and to work for a start up organization. My supervisors gave me responsibilities, but at the same time, it was hard to coordinate/communicate with them from remote settings when the study was not structured when I arrived. I was able to get in touch with various people in Pakistan, such as established and start-up entrepreneurs and CEOs, UN employees and US Embassy employees, which were extremely invaluable experiences. 
Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Niamey Niger I was selected by the CRS Country Representative to work on an important budget agreement for a partner in a food security project., That was pretty exciting for me.
Council on Foreign Relations New York United States I was published on the CFR website and the article was picked up by the New York Times' blogroll on Brazil.
East Asia Institute  Seoul South Korea I was voted as president of EPIK essay committee. The committee was to come up with an essay topic for undergraduate and graduate students to write on for the grand prize of 2000 US dollars. I also participated in the essay competition as a designated discussant for selected candidates.
ENVODEV N'Djamena Chad I was able to meet Chad's Secretary General of Urbanisme and made contacts with nearly a dozen NGOs for ENVODEV.  One contact even led to a new project design idea that went from concept to pilot in less than a month.  As a first experience in "field NGO work", it was exactly everything I was looking for.
Human Rights Watch New York United States I really appreciated being engaged in research in many countries, working with different researchers, human rights abuses, and types of research (i.e. outputs). I gained more insight into how Human Rights Watch works as an organization, and how human rights research looks like from a non-academic perspective.
I-DEV International Cajamarca Peru I was one of 3 foreigners in a rural city in Northern Peru. The work I did was fantastic and all day I spoke to funds and investors in New York, London and Nairobi, all while sitting in the middle of the Andes. It was a very surreal experience, all made possible by technology. 
Innovations for Poverty Action Manila Philippines The best part of the trip was when I was invited over by the National Commissioner of Filipino Muslim Affairs to accompany him and a visiting Turkish delegation to a pre-dominantly Muslim squatter community for 'iftar' during the Islamic holy month of Ramadhan. The interaction I had with everyone there was really fascinating.
Mercy Corps Cairo Egypt I was given many great professional development opportunities this summer. Another intern and I developed a Theory of Change for the Egyptian entrepreneurship ecosystem. We were invited to present this at a Mercy Corps regional meeting in Beirut. I also got to go on an impact evaluation training at the Columbia University Middle East Research Center in Amman. I have been looking for people doing impact evaluation in the Middle East for years (it is rare), so this was an incredible networking opportunity. It was great that the MC Egypt office gave me a chance to present my work to a larger audience and to attend a training. It definitely made me feel that my work was valued. 
Save the Children Atambua Indonesia I presented the findings in Jakarta to Save the Children staff, Ministry of Education officials, AusAID, USAID and other education NGOs. 
Search for Common Ground Beirut Lebanon I was given the opportunity to participate in a conflict transformation workshop in which I was the only non-Lebanese participant. Over the course of three days, I worked with Lebanese conflict resolution practitioners and peace workers to work through cultural and personal mechanisms we use to approach and handle conflict. It remained both a personal and professional highlight of my summer.
The Carter Center Atlanta United States Being entrusted by the director to work directly with a delegation from Ghana and given the space to do what I knew was necessary to properly host them was a significant opportunity for me to practice and affirm my intercultural skills and their relevance to my future career. 
The Hague Institute for Global Justice The Hague The Netherldands The opportunity to work on The Hague Approach under the guidance of our President was truly an exceptional experience. Our President, a Fletcher alum, is quite inspirational and really motivated us to perform the best we could during our weekly meetings. Because it is a start-up, interns like me had amazing opportunities to work on projects that really mattered to the Institute. The Hague Approach was the first big publication to come out of The Institute and was presented to King Willem Alexander of the Netherlands and Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at the Peace Palace by Mayor Jozias van Aartsen of The Hague. Quite unique. 
Private Sector
Organization   City Country Interesting Experience
Bayti Real Estate Company - Rawabi Ramallah West Bank I had no idea what the transportation system of a city meant and I ultimately created how this will work in a new city. A few of the deliverables were a site analysis and design for the prospective transportation hub, developed a public transportation system coinciding with neighborhood development, and also worked on sustainability aspects of bicycle infrastructure and a bike share program. 
Callaway Capital Management LLC Washington United States I faced challenges in unfamiliar situations. Also I had to become an expert on issues that I never read about before so despite its challenges it was an amazing experience. Finally it was my first time in DC so getting used to the city and its people was great!
Cell Signaling Technology China Shanghai China Experience in working in an entirely Chinese team; running strategy workshops in India and Korea, running the workshops and being the only German within 22 Indians and 4 Chinese in India, or 10 Koreans and 4 Chinese in Korea was an extremely unique experience.
Converse North Andover United States Gave a presentation to the senior leadership team (CEO, CMO, VP of Retail, VP of Strategy) and another presentation to the entire Global Marketing department. 
East Africa Exchange Kigali Rwanda Launched of a commodity exchange in Rwanda.
Emerging Markets Consulting Phnom Penh Cambodia I could interview a company with a consultant in Special Economic Zone in Phnom Penh. 
Ernst & Young  Johannesburg  South Africa It was a great opportunity to investigate an issue from many sides and allowed me to interview a wide range of actors, from the Department of Higher Education and Training to executives at Ford Motor Company, and leading academics and civil society figures.  
Fidelity Worldwide Investment London UK First, I was selected by senior management to work on a specific project outside of my normal responsibilities. A public-sector delegation from China came to Fidelity to learn about the asset management industry. They were in a parallel industry, but they were about to be privatized and spun out into an asset management role. I was brought on to pull together the entire presentation and visit. It included a broad, but detailed, presentation about Fidelity and the entire industry. Naturally, the presentation was given by a senior manager, but he publicly gave me a lot of credit for the work I put into it.  The mentorship I have received in London is the best part of it all. Whether it's sitting in on calls with sovereign wealth funds, making presentations to visiting delegations from China, or meeting one-on-one with Portfolio Managers, I feel that the management wholeheartedly encourages my development at every opportunity. In my time there, I bet that I had dozen or so one-on-one meetings, each giving me a broader understanding of the business and expanding my network. I had one particular meeting with the new team leader who came over from the Boston office. He has since put me in touch with hiring managers in Boston and given me relative assurances on a spot in their MBA rotational program.
FIT Uganda Kampala Uganda It was my first time in East Africa. I had an amazing time. Very nice people, and place. 
Next Step Living  Boston United States It was cool to do product development!
Ramky Estates and Farms Limited Hyderabad India I was incorporated in the core team working on finding alternative proposals for a Real Estate property. I had the opportunity to present my first hand field research findings to actual clients. I liked the responsibility that the company gave me and the confidence they showed in me.
Scholastic New York United States The Vice President of Marketing (my supervisor) used the marketing/training materials I designed to present at a national conference in Florida.  
The Tony Elumelu Foundation Lagos Nigeria I was given the opportunity to interact with several prominent figures from the Nigerian capital markets 
Variv Investments Mexico City Mexico I made the decision to buy a logistics company and had the opportunity to present all the benefits it will bring to the group.
Public Sector
Organization City Country Interesting Experience
American Councils on International Education Dushanbe Tajikistan I was contacted by Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty based in Prague to give an interview in Persian about the program I was directing.
Costa Rica's Ministry of Foreign Affairs San José Costa Rica This was my first time in Latin America and I did not know that coffee could taste so good. 
Immigration and Customs Enforcement Washington United States My section was responsible for keeping war criminals out of the United States or trying to get them removed. 
Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Ouagadougou Burkina Faso  Professionally, it was a great opportunity to work in French on a daily basis, learning how to communicate and articulate key technical concepts in development work, as well as understand the ever-changing and evolving context of economic development work in Burkina Faso. At the end of my internship, I delivered a consulting presentation highlighting the work I had accomplished in French to the senior officials of MCA-BF and MCC. Personally...I sat on a sacred crocodile. 
NYPD Counterterrorism New York United States CTB treats its interns very well, by offering a range of off-site field trips, such as the Bomb Squad, the Firing Range, Maritime Unit (and patrol boat tour of Manhattan), and Aviation. Our helicopter ride over Manhattan was by far the most exciting moment of the summer. In addition, some offices give interns a wide range of responsibilities. The Terrorism Threat Analysis Group (TTAG), for example, assigns interns to a portfolio of countries and expects them to cover news stories, draft summaries, and brief senior officials and police officers starting from the first or second week. 
Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) Washington United States Screening a pre-growth stage technology and healthcare venture in South-Asia by leading meetings with the venture capitalists, investment bankers, founders and OPIC investment officers. It got me very interested in pre-growth stage venture-style funding that OPIC is trying to move more into. I prototyped a venture-screening tool to evaluate the growth and sustainability prospects of various early-stage ventures and demo-ed this to the investment officers and division head. It's currently being used on a trial basis.
The Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies Honolulu United States I had the opportunity to collaborate with many important people working in the Asia-Pacific region, including the US Ambassador to the Asian Development Bank, the Director of the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies and former Deputy Commander of the US Pacific Command (PACOM), and the former US Ambassador to APEC
U.S. Department of Commerce  Paris France During the Paris Air Show 2013, I attended the partnership ceremony between the State of Maryland and the French city of Nord-Pas de Calais; a partnership based on trade that will spur economic growth in both regions.  I also led a team that drafted a concept paper, which a few Senior Commercial Officers will use to develop an EMEA strategy with USFCS. 
U.S. Department of State Ta' Qali Malta Getting to interact on almost a daily basis with the Ambassador. In particular after one meeting went particularly well, we went to lunch afterward and strolled around Valletta talking about a range of topics.
U.S. Department of State Washington United States I drafted the testimony given by the Ambassador-designate to Ethiopia at her Senate confirmation hearing.
U.S. Department of State Guadalajara Mexico I met with U.S. citizens convicted of murder that are incarcerated in Mexican prisons. To my surprise they were polite, fairly normal individuals. Many reported they were happier in Mexican prison than they would be in a U.S. one.
U.S. Department of State Hanoi Vietnam I was selected to accompany the Charge D'Affaires to an airstrip sendoff for Vietnam's President who was en route to the United States. I was invited to a closed meeting with just the Charge and the President (and one other Embassy staff) and was able to meet the President and shake his hand.
U.S. Department of State Washington United States Speeches were used in Congressional Briefings, as well as Keynote Events abroad.
U.S. Department of State Tbilisi Georgia This was my first time in Georgia and I was able to design and implement a program on “Summer in the U.S.” that included a social media campaign, a photo contest, and activities for youth around the country. 
U.S. Department of State - US Mission to UNESCO Paris France There were a number of unique moments throughout this internship. Some of the more interesting ones involved attending high-level UNESCO meetings to learn more about how the UN operates and America's evolving role at the organization. This summer was also highly unique in that we are not currently funding UNESCO (due to a number of political reasons), making it a slightly contentious environment. However, this also allowed for creative thinking and partnership building that I would not normally have been a part of it the relationship was more traditional.