Ms. Sujin Lee
Major: Public Administration
Internship: International Student Conferences
Have you ever seen a small girl who looks completely confused, standing with her oversized luggage in front of the airport? That was me on my first day in Washington, D.C. on August 31st having just arrived from South Korea. Right after my exchange program to South Carolina ended in April, I went back to Korea where I applied to WISH with my desire to explore America more. Four months later, I couldn’t stand waiting for a response, so I just left without any decided internship yet. How brave I was!
One day after I came to D.C., I received an email back from International Student Conferences (ISC) which I had an interview with and expected to have my first internship at. In retrospect, my internship at ISC couldn’t have been better. Not only does ISC’s work pertains to my interest, international relations, but the entire staff treated me as part of the team and not as a temporary intern. They are very passionate about developing interns as well as devoting their own tasks, which motivated me to work much harder. During my internship, even though many tasks assigned to me were completely new and challenging, I didn’t say, “No, I can’t,” but gave them a try and asked for active feedback from my supervisor. Not giving up made me go one step further and I believe my experiences at ISC will serve as a solid first step toward my career, and it was great.
I am satisfied with staying in D.C. personally as well. Unlike South Korea, Here in D.C. many events are held by NGOs, NPOs, research institutes and think tanks with a diverse range of topics. ISC strongly encouraged me to go to events, so I often attended events at research organizations like, Korea Economic Institute (KEI), the Brookings Institute, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and the East-West Center, talking about relationships between East Asia Countries and the U.S.A. At these events, I learned more about the academic perspectives of young as well as more established professionals and felt their passion as well. In addition, my time in D.C. wouldn’t have been the same without my roommates. Our room was literally a melting pot of different cultures, America, France, China and Korea. We were always busy discussing politics, history, economy, culture and even love from each country’s point of view. This was one of my joys after work.
I just finished my internship at ISC and am about to go back to Korea. Now you can’t see that small girl with nothing, but the women having a dream. This fall internship in foreign country started with my interest in a different culture, but it has changed my goals. I now hope to take a position in an Asia-U.S. related organization for the next step in my career. As an international student, I would like to inspire students who stay in either America or other countries to go outside and challenge themselves to seek new experiences. That might give you a new idea about your future career or personal life that you have never thought about before.