Paige found her internship when a professor in the Politics Department forwarded her the opportunity from the US Department of State’s website. A typical day for her included having a remote meeting in the morning with the Political and Economic team at the US Consulate General Milan, Italy. Then, she would conduct independent research on topics of concern, such as the Russia-Ukraine War, European Drought, and the Collapse of the Italian Government. Paige also had the opportunity to work at events, such as the Chiefs of Mission Conference in DC at the Harry S Truman Building headquarters.
The tremendously diverse research experiences that Ursinus has provided Paige with were pivotal to her success as an intern this summer, as she employed many of her learned skills in her daily independent research.
To Paige, teamwork and communication were important for her internship experience. Given that the Foreign Service Officers were very busy, she provided critical research and information which the FSOs did not have time to do themselves, creating a strong team dynamic. Paige also had to work through a vast amount of information and identify the important factors for US Foreign Policy and the economic impacts to create a short analysis for the FSOs.
Prior to her internship, Paige had an interest in politics and international affairs, but was planning on applying to medical school given her BCMB background. Her internship experience provided her with an inside perspective on the work done by the US Department of State, which she thoroughly enjoyed, inspiring her to pursue a career with the Department in either the civil or foreign service. Paige noted that working primarily off a 6-hour time difference was difficult, but she fostered her independence as she had to problem solve any issues which arose in her work after her time of 11am, since that was after 5pm in Italy. The coolest part of Paige’s experience was attending the Chiefs of Mission Conference where she had the opportunity to hear the Secretary of State speak in an intimate setting as well as meet the Ambassador to Sri Lanka.