#SummerSFS: Students Recap Their Work Abroad

by Robert Brothers, MSFS Communications Assistant

One of the core tenets of the MSFS program at Georgetown University is for students to gain the practical and useful skills which will facilitate success beyond the academic program. Nothing illustrates this better than the internship experience students undertake in order to graduate from the School of Foreign Service. So, how do students spend their summer away from Georgetown?

In one far-flung corner of the world, Daniel Toub0lets spent his summer as a consultant at the World Bank in Moscow, Russia. Daniel’s responsibilities ranged from supporting the Lead Economist Birgit Hansel with macroeconomic assessments of Russia’s economy, to conducting research on the Russian methodology used to determine seasonal adjustments of GDP and income elasticity of imports.

While working at the World Bank, Daniel used Moscow as a hub and spent his free time traveling throughout Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan. Daniel’s travels throughout Eurasia further expanded his knowledge of the political and economic issues of these countries, and most importantly helped him discover his desired career path. Daniel is hoping that the invaluable professional experience at the World Bank will slingshot his career into diplomacy.

Meanwhile, Alexandra Bro spent her summer working for The United Nations Development Program in Amman, Jordan. Engaging in diverse areas ranging from poverty reduction, governance, protecting the environment, and crisis prevention and recovery, Alexandra’s most rewarding responsibilities tasks were helping to mitigate the impact of the Syrian refugee crisis.

Alexandra worked as an intern for the Democratic Governance and Disaster Risk Reduction portfolio of the UNDP. This position entailed managing projects on legal empowerment of the poor and property tax collection, which allowed Alexandra to gain insight into the complete range of work in which the UNDP operates. She is grateful for the opportunity to strengthen her understanding of the Arabic language, enrolling in daily intensive language courses in order to help increase her practical knowledge of the region as a whole.

Halfway across the world, Matthew Gasparich spent his summer working as an intern within the U.S. Commercial Service in the U.S. Embassy in Paris, France.  In this role, he supported the Commercial Service’s mission of assisting U.S. companies in exporting products, as well as foreign investors interested in the Commerce’s SelectUSA program.  Matthew worked extensively with the U.S. Ambassador to France, Jane D. Hartley, in helping to prepare and brief the Ambassador in advance of important events and meetings. One of the most rewarding experiences for Matthew was his opportunity to network with key representatives from top U.S. and European firms operating in France. For that reason alone, it was a worthwhile experience in helping shape Matthew’s future career goals.

Nearly all students within the MSFS program orient their required internship experience towards foreign positions. These opportunities to work in the field not only expand the knowledge of the topics taught within the classroom, but also provide real world context to an ever changing global community. As students return to Georgetown for the fall semester, they bring with them unforgettable journeys that will continue to shape their careers in international affairs.