Onwards Towards Our Nation’s Capital | Blog #1

I love getting out of school in April and having a four-month long summer. It’s very helpful to have the month of May to recuperate after a fast-paced academic semester. But it is unfortunate in some ways, as government internships typically don’t respond back until after mid-May. April-June then becomes a stressful waiting game, which was the case for me last year. This year was a bit different though; Instead of the usual four month wait, I spent eight months dwelling in a lovely state of limbo after my tentative acceptance to the Department of State, before finally being notified that I passed my security clearance in early May. When I heard the news, I immediately booked the next (cheapest) flight to D.C. and began my second summer in the nation’s capital.

This summer, I am beyond delighted to be an intern at the Department of State’s Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES). I am in my final year at the University of Michigan an am pursuing double majors in International Studies and Political Science, with double minors in Sustainability and Energy Science & Policy. Working at the Department of State has been my dream since I wanted to pursue public service, and my position overseeing environmental quality and transboundary issues in OES feels like it was made for me, as all aspects of my academic endeavors and my future career goals are incorporated perfectly into my daily tasks and long-term projects.

I know I want to pursue a career at the intersection of international relations and environmental policy, but there are way too many options between now and my end goal of working full-time at the Department of State. Plus, State doesn’t hire straight out of undergrad, so my 10-year plan is to graduate next April, work in Washington D.C. for 2-3 years before going to graduate school for a Masters in Public Policy or International Affairs, and then applying for a position the Department of State. My goal this summer is to narrow down my focus area and find leads on jobs within the environmental realm that will hire me after graduation. Whether it is environmental sustainability, energy security, climate change, multilateral institutions, project management – all of these are potential paths, so I aim to have coffee or chat with at least two people every week, in order to discern what would be the best fit for me within all the NGOs and government positions available. 

Above all, I am grateful for this opportunity to learn and grow, and I look forward to visiting old favorite spots, exploring new places, and seeing how the summer progresses! I’m excited to have another summer in my home away from hoMe. Stay tuned~

One thought on “Onwards Towards Our Nation’s Capital | Blog #1

  • August 7, 2018 at 3:58 pm

    Hi Michelle! My name is Mike Schropp and I work at the LSA Opportunity Hub and will be following along with your posts.

    It sounds like you’ve secured an excellent internship that really fits well with the kind of work you want to do in the future. It’s great to see that these things can so closely align as that will really pay off in allowing you to gain such valuable experience moving forward. Kudos to you for also already setting out goals ahead of time for what you’d like to accomplish during your internship.

    I’m really looking forward to hearing more about how your internship progresses and what experiences you have during it!



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