Sunday, July 10, 2016

Summer Updating

Hello readers -- happy summer!

I've been back in the States for a little over a month now and time seems to be flying at the speed of light (I think those two concepts are actually connected somehow in science, who knows). Anyhow, I apologize for leaving my blog abruptly, but fear not, my faithful readers, the remaining blog entries from my adventures in Turkey are coming this summer. I'm dedicated to finishing up my blog so bear with me as I reflect back on some of the events. Lots happened after the Bursa trip, so stay tuned.

What am I doing now? This summer I am interning at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, DC. Completing this 10-week domestic internship is one of the requirements of the Pickering Fellowship (completing one overseas internship is another requirement, to be fulfilled next summer). I applied and was selected to work at the Pakistan Desk; a deliberate decision to learn more about the politics and domestic issues of my birth country, especially in the context of a US-Pakistan relationship.

So far, everything is going well. I love what I do! I work specifically for the Political/Military team, but also support projects for the Politics, Economics and Congressional Engagement teams. I attend 'important' meetings, write cables (official informants), and organize visits by foreign government officials. I also have opportunities to participate in human rights and refugee discussions as well as attend lunch lectures on topics ranging from how conflict shapes religion (as opposed to the opposite) and US policy towards Iran. And then there's the "build your network" coffees and introductions with civil servants and foreign service officers. Everything I do has real impact and I see the fruit of my work. This work is much different than what I did at Liberty Mutual, though the skills I gained there (such as data analysis and communication) are proving to be quite useful in the public sector. It's already been 5 weeks, and I'm half way done with my internship.

With that, I leave you with some blog entries to come! Thanks again for reading!

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