#SummerSFS: Students Recap Their Work Abroad (Pt. 2)

by Robert Brothers, MSFS Communications Assistant

A Master of Science in Foreign Service provides a wide range of advantages beyond a degree in international politics. In fact, many young professionals choose this degree in order to improve their skills and understanding in finance in the context of a dynamic international market. MSFS students Dainis Butners and Sun Lingyuan both chose to specialize in Global Business and Finance within the MSFS degree in hopes of working within the sphere of international business and diplomacy. Here is how they spent their recent summer away from Georgetown University.

Sun was a recipient of the Wallenberg International Fellowship Program between Georgetown University and the Stockholm School of Economics (SEE), designed to help students apply their knowledge in a real-world business environment at top multinational companies. Sun spent her summer working for Permobil AB, a Nordic company that is one of the largest suppliers of power wheelchairs in the world.

Sun was involved in two key projects at Permobil. The first was the Market Intelligence Project, which involved compiling market information on Permobil’s products in various countries throughout the world. The second was the Go Directly to China Project in which Sun was responsible for designing innovative ways to gather information in order to more accurately predict the customer base within the Chinese market. These experiences allowed her to strengthen her skills in accounting and finance as well as to gain first-hand experience in real-world international business dealings, an invaluable experience to any career Sun pursues in the future.

Dainis Butners is currently involved in the three-year MBA-MSFS program, one of the many dual degrees the School of Foreign Service offers. Dainis spent his summer working at the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) in Washington, D.C. OPIC is a U.S. government development finance institution which mobilizes private capital to help address critical development challenges and assists U.S. businesses in gaining footholds in emerging markets.

Dainis’ internship involved working on two major projects. The first was vetting Independent Engineers and Auditors for an energy infrastructure project in Western Africa – a project with over $60 million in financing. The second was the industrial-scale Parc Eolien Taiba N’Diaye Wind Farm Project in Senegal, in which Dainis focused on the principles of project management, project finance, and energy security in order to assist the project team in clearing the OPIC Board for the $250 million in project guaranties.

 “The lessons I am starting to learn through my MSFS classes, such as International Trade and Petroleum in the Global Economy, are already incorporating the experiences and perspectives I have gained from the OPIC Internship,” Dainis said. He is grateful for his time at OPIC as it reaffirmed his desire to continue on the path towards foreign service with an eye on the intertwining dynamics of security and international business.

Choosing a concentration within MSFS can be one of several factors in shaping the type of career to pursue post-graduation from Georgetown University. Whether it is Global Business and Finance, Global Politics and Security, or International Development, the internship component of MSFS further strengthens students’ knowledge and experience in their particular field. Both class and field work thoroughly prepare students for career opportunities within – and well beyond – D.C.